Hello, and welcome to another one of my senseless and unfactually supported rants. Today I wish to rant about Bodog, and the US Federal Governments supposed 'shutdown' of this website. First of all, some background. I have never gambled online, nor have I ever visited Bodog's website. But what I have done is visit some of those penny auction websites, which to me, seem to be more of a scam then online gambling. I mean really, if you are going to gamble, at least you know there is a chance you will be ripped off. That is why it is called gambling.
Back on track here, I will continue in suggesting that if you aren't familiar with this story, go and read the CBC.ca's article on the matter. While Bodog has claimed that they have moved their operations to bodog.eu as part of a business plan, the US lawmakers have been saber rattling that they have seized the domain bodog.com. The alternative story was that bodog just decided not to renew the domain, and it became free for someone else to register.
Regardless, Bodog has claimed that they do not cater to American customers, and their website prevents Americans from participating. This is easy enough to do, and many websites actively deny American visitors these days, as the American laws seem to be magically extending outwards from their nation, to encompass anyplace that the internet can touch. I would say "I don't understand how State law can be enforced if the infractions took place in Canada and Switzerland." but I would be lying. I totally understand that the government is corrupt and they pretty much consider themselves as gods who control what is right and wrong all around the world.
And frankly what are the infractions? 'illegal gambling'? What is illegal gambling? illegal where? in Maryland? Wonderful. So 'investigators' created accounts in Maryland, and gambled using fake proxys which bypassed the websites normal protections. The code allowed them to get onto the gambling website as it thought they were from another country. They proceeded to gamble, with taxpayers money, and apparently were lucky enough to win some eventually. So they sat back and watched the money automatically get sent to them via a payout system, which likely doesn't have the protections on it that the website does, because hey... someone might want to send their winnings to their families overseas or wherever?
So basically they forced their way in using unconventional methods, and faked their location until they won. Then were able to receive their winnings through a variety of different banks, which the money was routed through. I suppose if they had won the money, and then they were denied the money, that the US Lawmakers would of tried to charge them with stealing their winnings instead of money laundering then, right?
Basically it is a loose loose situation for Bodog. Someone in the government had it in for them, and they found a way to nail them on a state law. Also... "Bodog conducted a $42-million advertising campaign between 2005 and 2008 to attract gamblers to the Bodog.com website." Really? where was this campaign targeting? Americans? Why would they target an audience that they are not serving. I have been living in the US since 2006, and can say that I haven't heard of Bodog or seen any such advertising for it. $42 Million is a lot, especially for online advertising. I would say that is more likely targeted towards the Europeans.
And in todays world, $100 million is not a lot. Especially if you span that over several years. So a few people have figured out the whole proxy trick... Well, it isn't Bodog's fault really. Is it? I mean... people lie on the internet! So what happens when they win? Should you refuse to pay them if they request the money be sent to an American address? Maybe they should of refused to pay, and instead reported the Americans for breaking their own local laws... But that would likely get them in hot water to begin with.
So who is pissed off here? I will say that it is likely NOT the American casinos, nor any American interest. I am going to lean towards a European interest which is at risk here. Someone in Europe wants this site shut down. Maybe they lost a lot of money on it, or maybe it is a threat to their own gambling operation. Whatever is going on, it seems like the US is doing what the US does best... acting as a hitman for some other country.
Something to think about anyhow...