The seemingly unending stream of bad news for American poker players has become a full-blown flood with poker website Bodog Poker poised to exit the US market by 2012.
It appears that Bodog is preparing to pull out of the United States after announcing through a press release that the company will not renew their licence agreement with Morris Mohawk Gaming Group (MMGG) when it runs out at the end of this year.
While this is terrible news for poker in the US, it also arrives soon after British fans of the game were boosted in their quest to play online poker as Bodog UK became the first firm to be granted a gambling licence under new rules set out by the UK Gambling Commission on July 14.
But it might not all be terrible news for American poker players as MMGG are thought to be preparing to launch their own brand next year which will be licensed by the Quebec-based Kahnawake Gaming Commission and allow them to offer online poker for players within the United States.
Bodog – which was one of the few companies still taking American customers following the dark day that was ‘Black Friday’ back on April 15 – released a statement that said: “Following recent news that Bodog UK has been granted a gambling licence by the UK Gambling Commission, we are pleased to announce further developments to the Bodog brand going forward.”
The statement continued by pointing out that Bodog UK chief executive officer Patrik Selin reckons “the trust and credibility that having a UK licence brings to the brand will benefit customers and allow him to attract the best talent in the industry to work with him”.
But, as has now become apparent, Bodog does not wish the company’s expansion into “the UK and elsewhere, in emerging markets such as Asia, where Bodog88 is already successful”, to be overshadowed “by negative perceptions” so have reached the decision to “withdraw the Bodog brand from the US market at the end of 2011”.
This will result in the MMGG’s brand licensing agreement being allowed “to expire” on December 31 of this year, “following which US residents will no longer be able to access bodog.eu or any other Bodog branded website”.
However, as stated earlier, MMGG – who have five years’ experience in running online poker rooms through Bodog – are expected to “launch under its own brand in 2012, licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission”.
Additionally, the Bodog statement reassured their American customers that “all Bodog.eu clients’ funds will remain safe and they will have the option to switch to a new MMGG brand should they wish”, while adding that “MMGG confirms it’s business as usual”.
I suspect it will still be a worrying time for all American poker players, though, after the US Department of Justice (DoJ) closed down several online poker websites – including Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars and Absolute Poker – in mid-April.
However, that is of no concern to Bodog as their statement shows, when adding that “this decision presents a fresh direction for the Bodogbrand.com as it looks to create a new chapter in its history”.
The company goes on to point out that “the move will enable the Bodog brand to continue its growth and expansion and maintain its position as the world’s largest gaming brand”.
Keep coming back for more news on Bodog, as well as the ongoing troubles faced by Full Tilt Poker as the poker website faces up to a public hearing in London regarding the suspension of their operating licence by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC).
Meanwhile, for UK poker players Bodog is a good place to be, especially when Americans will disappear over there.