Online sports betting site Bodog.com shut down by Feds

While the Feds have shut down Bodog.com, Bovada.lv and similar sites remain active.

Anyone who has done any internet gambling over the past 10 years knows that there exists a murky gray area, somewhere between legal and illegal, when it comes to online gambling sites, especially those operating outside the U.S. but catering to U.S. customers.

Bodog.com, started in 2005, was one of those sites. Today, the Department of Homeland Security in its infinite wisdom and seemingly unchecked power, decided to seize the Bodog.com domain name and indict four Canadians for illegal gambling that generated more than $100 million in winnings.

Federal prosecutors in Baltimore unsealed an indictment against Calvin Ayre (Bodog.com owner/founder) and 3 associates, accusing them of operating an illegal gambling business and conspiring to commit money laundering. Prosecutors made their move based on the argument that sports gambling is illegal in Maryland. They alleged the company advertised to attract gamblers to the website and paid out at least $100 million in winnings to gamblers in Maryland and elsewhere from 2005 to 2012. Curiously, Bodog earlier this year transferred its site to Bovada.lv, which remained active as of this writing.

This follows last year’s seizure (by the FBI) of online poker sites Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker, and PokerStars.

This is yet another sad day in the long history of U.S. citizens being prevented, by their own government, from partaking in a pastime which they enjoy and which they fund using their own hard earned money. The government says they are seizing these “illegal” operations to protect people from the ills that result from gambling on the internet. What you’ll never hear from them, though, is that the real reason is that there is no ability for them to squeeze tax dollars out of these sites because of where the sites are based (outside U.S. borders).

Is the government shutting down the Bellagio or Aria in Vegas? No way! Are they shutting down convenience stores because they sell lottery tickets? Of course not! Why not you ask? Well, because those are well established, steady streams of tax revenue. If people go broke at the blackjack tables or they spend their paycheck on scratch offs, the government couldn’t care less because the tax money is rolling in. However, if someone loses their shirt playing online poker, well, that’s an absolute tragedy that the government must prevent from happening, right? Give me a break.

Instead of spending valuable time and resources chasing down, investigating, and shuttering existing online sites, why not legalize it, establish it, regulate it, and tax it? It makes perfect sense for all involved. The gamblers get to gamble and the government gets their cut. We can only hope.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

'Barack Obama cheats on Michelle' claims Japanese politician…

A senior Japanese politician has marred Barack Obama's official visit to Tokyo with bizarre claims that the President cheats on his wife Michelle. Kazuyuki Hamada,…

International

British Royal family devastated by freak NY death…

The British royals have been left devastated by the death of Mark Shand, younger brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, after a freak fall in…

Local

DA: Homeless man severely beat by men in…

Two former college football players pleaded not guilty to the alleged severe beating of a homeless man in Allston earlier this year.

National

Hamas, Abbas's PLO announce reconciliation agreement

The Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) agreed on Wednesday to a unity pact.

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 9

It was only an hour-long episode, but there's a lot to cover this week. The drama of Survivor strikes again as the identity of the…

Going Out

Thursty: Revamped Audubon is back in action

Having been a long time fan of Trina's Starlite Lounge in Inman Square, one of my only complaints about the place is that there's only…

Entertainment

Here's what to do in Boston this weekend

MUSIC Huun Huur Tu Friday, 8 p.m. First Church in Cambridge 11 Garden St., Cambridge $28, 617-876-4275 www.worldmusic.org This group comes from the tiny nation…

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox top Yankees, 5-1

John Lackey shines, Pineda ejected in Red Sox win

NHL

Bruins - Red Wings Game 4 preview: Boston…

Bruins - Red Wings Game 4 preview: Boston greedy for more dominance

MLB

Fantasy baseball: Searching for early season prospects

It’s relatively rare for a mediocre 30-year-old hitter to suddenly go nuts offensively for 162 games. That’s why minor league prospects are so exciting.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."