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Article:Gambling IQ Commentary On the Bodog Fiasco

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August 29, 2008

The Bodog Fiasco has been going on for Months on end now. It only seems to get worse. The hard thing to grasp is that there are potentially 10’s of thousands of players who possibly have funds at risk right now.

We have been watching this Situation very closely. What we are seeing is very disturbing. Every website you go to from the Poker Players Alliance to Gambling 911 you see horror stories of payouts taking a minimum of 40 days. No matter how big or small the sports forum is you see several complaints. This has been going on Since early in the year and is not getting better. Right Now if you put in a payout request at Bodog you may get it in time to buy a turkey for Thanksgiving. That is totally unacceptable for online gambling site.

Lets talk a little history here. Just some speculation on our part with some of this. Slow Payments at Bodog have been heard of and on the increase for the past couple of years. At first you just blew it off as an effect of the UIGEA that caused many problems for almost all online gambling portals. But the problem is Bodogs payment time rarely was better than 30 days for a check and slowly all the other payment methods would dry up. What Caused this?

Was it the acquisition of WWTS when they pulled out of the US market right ofter the UIGEA was passed? After a couple of other deals from prominent sportsbooks fell through at the last minute Bodog swept in and bought the accounts and merged them into Bogog. Did they underestimate the Damage that taking on all this added debt was going to damage the company with the limited access US players had to deposit? I know for a fact of One deal that fell thru to buy WWTS because of the trouble of transferring funds around now because of the gambing act. Did Bodog not do their due diligence as a company? Did these decisions eat into their cash flow with players cashing out of Bodog once rollovers were met because of Bodog’s limited betting options? When you go from a Solid shop like WWTS to Bodog who does not offer hafltime lines on most games, No totals on games with big spreads, lines up 2 hours before kickoff, etc. it is a real eyeopener to many players. Going from a book with many options to a book that only wants squares and gives a true bettor no real options to play had to cause some kind of run on the bank.

You add that into the other failed ventures that had to eat into their cashflow like Bodog Music, Bodog Fights, Bodog TV, etc.. There was hardly anything Bodog didn’t have their name on at one time. We even have where Bodog stiffed one of their own fighters under Contract. They did not honor their contract with former US Olympic Greco-Roman wrestler Matt Lindland. They cost him no telling how much money because it was an exclusive contract and he could not fight elsewhere. How many more are out there that we don’t know about?

Then you add into the fact that Calvin Ayre was flaunting Bodog in the US Governments face for years. He was throwing parties in Vegas, advertising on the Radio and TV virtually all over the United States. Basically telling the US Department of Justice to screw themselves. He did not learn a lesson from disgraced BetOnSports owner Gary Kaplan and Top Executive David Carruthers that you don’t tell the US Government to screw off. Instead of learning from their mistakes he goes out and puts himself on the cover of Forbes magazine claiming he was a Billionaire playboy.

Lets move on to them losing a almost $49 Million lawsuit to 1st Technology LLC and having to spend untold millions in rebranding their company from Bodog to NewBodog and Bodoglife. You can’t put a figure on the amount of money they potentially lost just by the hit from search engines.

We also have many reports that Bodog was nothing more than a name ran be several shell companies. Plenty of sources have came forward (Matt Lindland is one) to make this claim. They are likely correct in their assessment. We know from experience in the past that we would have to be in contact with 2 or 3 different people at companies just to get Contest winners paid that Bodog would sponsor. This would be a 2 week process at least. Then they would have to audit the player. Several times they would claim the guy was not eligible after the contest was over, virtually changing the rules after the winners were announced. This laborous and unethical process by the old Riptown Media caused all contests on the forums we were involved with at the time to stop. It was not fair to our players.

Then we get into the seized funds by the feds that has been well documented. We are talking two seizures of funds worth approximately $24 Million in cash taken from what is being strongly rumored were nothing but shell companies for Bodog. You can read the complaints against Bodog for the $14 million seizure here and the $9.8 Million seizure here. As you can see Calvin Ayre’s name is plastered all over these documents. That does not bode well for anyone involved in this. Then you add in the fact that Calvin mysteriously resigned after the first round of funds was seized early this year. He retired and transferred ownership to Morris Mohawk gaming. After his retirement he is reportedly on the run and said to be living in Antigua.

Calvin is reportedly still running the company but that can’t be confirmed.

You can probably safely say that if it were not for Bodog Poker this company would have been under by now. Poker is huge money maker for the company and brings a influx of immediate cash to the table. But you can only rob Peter to Pay Paul so long. We have sadly seen in the past that companies that do not hold post up funds in escrow to pay out players eventually get caught with their hands in the cookie jar and go under.

Is Bodog going under tomorrow? Probably not. Will they Go Under at all? No one can answer that question at this time. But things do not look good. This is all going to depend on if they can start paying out people in a timely manner. I am talking 2 weeks maximum to get funds to players. Once enough people get paid from them they will not send more. They will move on and Bodog will have to go the Route of BetOnSports and hope to get new players to make up for the exodus of players leaving. This is a very dangerous business model and is most likely going on at this moment as evidenced by the more than 200 layoffs by their marketing and support firm Fiver Media (formerly Riptown Media).

You just have to ask yourself One Question. Why all the layoffs at the start of Football season when Most other books are adding employees? This is most Books busiest time of the year. Especially ones that are US facing. It absolutely makes no sense. Even books on the ropes have been begging for football to get here for the influx of deposits.

What is sad is all the players who do not know about online forums and can inform themselves of this situation.

In Conclusion Gambling IQ believes that no player should send money to Bodog at this time. Their are too many red flags and warning signs out there. You can see the smoke signals coming off the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory. Is it a desperate call for Help? We hope not.

Any Forum Owners who can honestly send their players to play at Bodog right now need to be shut down. It is Unethical and not prudent for the player, the Posters of the forums or the Online Industry. How these forum Owners can look in the Mirror is amazing and it gives a huge slap in the face to every forum owner in this Industry. Lets just hope that the posters can see through all the fluff and circumstance and find Online Gambling forums that have the players interest truly at heart.

It is time for the Sportsbooks and Poker rooms to PULL ALL ADVERTISING AND CLOSE ALL AFFILIATE SHEETS for these forums that promote promote this type of action. All you have to do is look at the Banners flying at the top to see what kind of forum you are a member of. Until the Onwers of the respected and Highly rated Online Gambling sites stick together (B rating or Better at SportsBookReview) then players will be thrown to the wolves.

Are we saying turn your back on a book or poker room that is having temporary trouble? No way should that happen. But at some point you have to say enough is enough. All books have processing troubles from time to time and they pull out of it. But Most books don’t have all the warning signs seen in this situation. It is following a eery script we have all seen in the past with a book going from Highly respected to out of business in a matter of months.

Do we hope Bodog goes under and 10’s of thousands of players get stiffed on untold millions of dollars? The Answer is an emphatic NO. But at the same time you have to protect your current posters and readers so the losses are limited to the players that are there at this time. You don’t want to let anyone else get caught up in the Fiasco that builds every day.

There is no excuse to send money there when you have Sportsbooks like The Greek, Bet Jamaica, BetOnline, Looselines, 5Dimes, The PIG, Legendz Sportsbook, WSEX, Matchbook, Carib, and many more that are paying out in a timely manner. Many in just a few days. Some within Minutes of your request with certain Withdrawal methods. You have many respected Poker rooms like Doyle’s Room, Full Tilt, Poker Stars, Party Poker, Carbon Poker, and many more as well that are highly respected and paying out quickly.

In Short. Gambling IQ does not recommend sending any money to Bodog at this time or even in the near future. There is not ONE Reason anybody can give a player to send to Bodog at this time.

Please as a Poster at these forums do your homework and only support the forums that actually have your best interests at heart and are not worried if that advertising Check the bad books send them each month clear the bank.

Thank you.

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