Feds Indict Calvin Ayre – Zero People Surprised

Most of us in the iGaming industry were shocked last year on Black Friday.  For me, the shock stemmed not only from what happened, i.e. the surprise shutdown of PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker (and the indictment / arrest of their owners), but what didn’t happen.  “What about Bodog?” I wondered.  Bodog was still accepting US players (a fact of which I had first hand knowledge).  What about Bodog’s founder Calvin Ayre?  Do you mean to tell me that one of the most outspoken critics of America’s policy against online gaming dodged the Black Friday bullet somehow?

Why wouldn’t the feds want to string up the star of Forbes Magazine’s 2006 annual “Billionaires” edition, the subject of a feature in People Magazine’s “Hottest Bachelor” list, and one of Star Magazine’s “Most Eligible Billionaire Bachelors”?  Based on what I know about the federal authorities that pursue online gambling matters, Ayre’s head on a platter would be quite a catch – much more so than Lederer or Ferguson or an unknown small time bank official.
I allowed myself to believe that Ayre had outsmarted the US government.  I figured he had crossed some t’s or dotted some i’s that the less sophisticated and perhaps more reckless operators hadn’t.  My admiration for the man grew.
Alas, according to Online Casino Reports, yesterday Federal prosecutors in Maryland unsealed an indictment against our boy Calvin.  US Attorney and likely complete tool Rod Rosenstein indicted Ayre and three other Canadians involved in Bodog, accusing them of supervising and illegal gambling business from 2005 until the present day, in violation of Maryland law.  Bodog Entertainment Group is also under indictment, and it’s domain name has been seized by federal prosecutors.
I have never met Calvin Ayre, but he seems like a smart guy to me.  I look forward to seeing how things play out.  I also note that this move is consistent with my opinion that the legal moves by the US government over the past 5 years are setting the stage nicely for approved, licensed, domestic operators to move in and fill the huge online gaming hole left by the operators that have been run out.

The following two tabs change content below.


At CLARK.LAW, we’ve built a different type of law firm. Our attorneys and staff have impressive educational and professional experience – but, unlike traditional law firms, we embrace modern technology to create efficient workflows and processes. Today’s business leaders should have access to high-quality legal guidance without subjecting themselves to the waste and excessive overhead that plagues traditional law firms.

Latest posts by CLARK.LAW (see all)