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U.S. Drops Bodog/Calvin Ayre Gambling Charges

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U.S. federal Wire Act felony charges against Bodog founder Calvin Ayre were dropped Friday, July 14. These criminal charges, originally filed in February 2012, were related to the processing of more than $100 million worth of online gambling transactions between 2006 and 2012. They carried a maximum sentence of up to 25 years in prison and $1 million in fines.

About the Resolution of the Case

The case against Ayre, Bodog, and three other named individuals had not seen much activity since it was started five years ago because it would have taken serious extradition attempts to remove Ayre from Antigua where he now resides. Perhaps in an effort to achieve some sort of closure to this multi-year case, U.S. District Court Judge Catherine Blake accepted a deal made via telephone from the office of Ayre's lawyer in Vancouver. The 56-year-old plead guilty to a misdemeanor, while being cleared of all felonies, and was sentenced to one year of unsupervised probation and a fine of $500,000. The charges against the three other defendants were dismissed separately a short time before. The original indictments against Ayre and his three associates were handled by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland, and it was in this same district that Judge Blake agreed to the proposals for concluding the legal saga.

As part of the enforcement activities relating to the charges, $67 million had been seized from accounts belonging to Bodog's payment processors. This sum consisted largely of U.S. player balances. Ayre agreed Friday to not pursue any claims to recover this money. It's worth noting that Bodog and related firms didn't use this loss as an excuse to not pay customers. Indeed, a document written by prosecutors states that “Ayre personally ensured that any Bodog brand player was made whole.”

One other piece of property that had been taken from Bodog was the Bodog.com domain. All visitors to this website currently see a notice from the Department of Justice and Homeland Security explaining that the domain has been seized by law enforcement. As part of the settlement, Calvin will pay $100,000 to regain this domain name, and we can therefore expect it to be revived as a premier real-money online gambling destination.

Calvin Ayre's Twitter Profile Picture

Calvin Ayre: Billionaire and Philanthropist, Founder of Bodog

 

Impact on Ayre's Life

Although he's probably pleased to put this unpleasant matter behind him, the billionaire entrepreneur won't likely see any drastic improvements to his lifestyle as a result of this legal decision. Calvin is a Canadian and Antiguan citizen who could have realistically dodged the charges indefinitely unless he made the foolish decision to set foot in the United States. Regarding the business he founded, Ayre claims to have retired years ago notwithstanding rumors that he is still involved with the running of Bodog and related organizations in some capacity. As Ayre explained to CalvinAyre.com writer Steven Stradbrooke:

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.

Ayer, the son of a couple of Saskatchewan farmers, learned entrepreneurship early on as a boy when he helped his father raise pigs and received the profits when they were sold. He put himself through college by delivering shipments of fruit. His first foray into online gaming came when Ayre ran a company that suppplied online casinos with software. He quickly realized that the big profits were to be had in owning a gambling site himself. Bodog debuted not long thereafter in the year 2000 and has continued up till the present day, making Calvin Ayre more than a billion dollars.

About the Bodog Group of Companies

Bodog is a high-value brand name that has associated itself with several distinct organizations that service various parts of the world. Australians and Americans can sign up for Ignition Poker, which gives a $1,000 bonus to U.S.A. residents and $1,350 to those hailing from the Land Down Under. In addition, it provides $1,000 in bonuses for casino games. Poker fans in Canada and several Latin American nations can create an account at the main Bodog.eu site for a $1,000 poker and $600 casino bonus. Sports-bettors from the United States and Mexico have the chance to score a $250 bonus ($500 using Bitcoin) at Bovada.lv. Take a look at our reviews of Ignition and Bodog|Bovada, and then sign up for the site of your choice.