Are There Ulterior Motives Behind Bodog's Recent Moves?
On Tuesday, December 5, 2006 Bodog.com announced that it was pulling all of its US based advertising for its free play site Bodog.net from US airways. The announcement came a few days after the completion of the Bodog relocation to Antigua from Costa Rica.
The move to stop advertising in the US, and the move away from Costa Rica, both seem to have ulterior motives other than what was stated in press releases by Bodog founder and CEO, Calvin Ayre, but no requests for comment were answered by any officials from Bodog since Tuesday's announcement.
The move to Antigua from Costa Rica was stated by Calvin Ayre to be because, "...this accords our gaming division a license in a safe, reliable and well-regulated jurisdiction and Antigua is also the right jurisdiction from where to run our European expansion."
The move was made after Bodog acquired Betcorp's international infrastructure in mid-November. Betcorp offices are located in Antigua and Bodog has taken over their gaming licenses.
The more likely reason for the move was because Costa Rica recently announced plans of heavily taxing and regulating companies operating online casino and sportsbooks out of the country, much like the UK is doing. It is likely that Calvin Ayre would rather be in a country that has very lenient laws on regulation and taxes, such as Antigua.
The move to stop Bodog.net advertising in the US was made because, as Calvin Ayre puts it, "...the current climate calls for even more focus of our gaming-related advertising dollars into markets that face Europe and Asia."
The more likely reason Bodog is pulling its ads out of the US is because it sees the very real possibility of future regulation in the states and it probably wants to be held in high esteem once that time comes. By advertising in the US, thus disrespecting US laws, Bodog is putting themselves in a position that would make it very difficult to enter the industry legally if regulation ever comes to fruition.
Bodog's international music distribution division, Bodog Music, currently has offices in Berlin, London and other international destinations. Bodog Television shows, including BodogFight and Calvin Ayre Wild Card Poker, are being distributed worldwide on cable, satellite, PPV and broadband to countries such as Japan and other regions of the world, including North America and Europe.
Calvin Ayre is one of the smartest and shrewdest CEO's in the industry, and every move he makes is very calculated. You can be sure there are more reasons than he has stated for the moves he has been making.