Calvin is Free! – Charges are Dropped Against Calvin Ayre of Bodog
Back in February 2012, the US Attorney for the District of Maryland brought charges of illegal gambling and money laundering conspiracy against Calvin Ayre and three other individuals. The indictment stated that the group was responsible for over $100 million of gambling and poker winnings making their way to clients in the United States through the Bodog brand.
If convicted of these charges, Ayre and the other three individuals were facing up to 25 years in Federal prison and $1 million in fines. While Ayre and the company never saw the inside of a courtroom, it is clear that discussions were occurring behind the scenes between the two parties and the US Attorney. On July 14th of this year, the District of Maryland dropped all charges against Calvin Ayre and the other three individuals in exchange for a few hefty terms.
In return for all charges being dropped, Ayre conceded the following:
- Ayre can pay $100,000 to get back the bodog.com domain name that was seized in the case.
- Ayre agrees to let the US government keep $67 million that was seized from its accounts belonging to third party processors.
It’s an interesting note that Calvin Ayre and Bodog never made any claims to these seized funds. While it is widely known that these funds belonged to US gamblers, no claim was made to retrieve it. Bodog did make sure to pay out all debts to existing players and unlike other similar situations, did not leave their customers “holding the bag”.
The question then arises what she should expect to see in the future. Bodog still holds a gaming license in Antigua that is recognized by the WTO as having the legal right to service customers in the US. With the return of the Bodog domain name and this licenses still intact, it’s hard to believe that Ayre and the Bodog team do not have plans to re-enter the US market in the near future.
Ayre’s direct comment on the issue was as follows,
“I don’t see this settlement changing anything, as I’m happy with my life the way it is. I’ll continue to focus on being an online gaming industry analyst, a tech investor and a philanthropist. But most importantly, I’m just going to continue enjoying life to the fullest.”
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