Full Tilt shutdown marks 'rebirth' of US poker
Bodog founder Calvin Ayre says the US shut down PokerStars and Full Tilt because it is preparing to make poker legal again
|by Alligator Blood||August, 1st 2011||
Above: Calvin Ayre believes Full Tilt is just the start [CalvinAyre.com]
Calvin Ayre, the 50-year-old playboy boss of BodogBrand.com, said it was 'clear' that the move by the American Department of Justice was necessary in order to bring back regulated online gambling across the country.
But he denied Bodog, which still operates in the US under its Canada-based Morris Mohawk Gaming Group (MMGG) subsidiary, could be dragged into the current crisis.
He told the Observer newspaper "It's clear to me that the United States is gearing itself up to enter this industry.
"It's impossible [that Bodog could be affected]. Though the name was included [by the US DOJ in an affidavit about a related case] I can't see any reason why it should have been other than to get publicity.
"Bodog wasn't involved in any of that.
"Alwyn Morris [chief executive of MMGG] does have a business that takes bets from the US. And he does have a brand licensing deal with me. But he told me that he doesn't know any of those [payment] processors mentioned in the filings."
Full Tilt and PokerStars have been shut to US players since 'Black Friday' - April 15. Full Tilt has also been down for UK players since June 29, when the Alderney Gambling Control Commission suspended its licenses. Nearly $150million is currently frozen in Full Tilt player accounts around the world.
Bodog's British partner has just obtained a Gambling Commission licence to operate in the UK and the company has recently signed sponsorship deals with West Bromwich Albion and Ayr United football clubs.
But the company - and Ayre himself - has made clear that the growing Asian market is its core focus for the future.