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Calvin Ayre among the top ten most wanted men in the United States

October 22, 2014

The U.S. administration has decided to fight against the illegal gaming industry. And that is what the administration has been doing since the Black Friday when the federal government got involved in the online gambling market by shutting down several of the main online gaming operators. Calvin Ayre became one of the most relevant names in the gaming industry when he founded, back in 2000, Bodog. But the online gaming industry in the United States was not receiving any support from both, governments and brick-and-mortar casino’s moguls. It is still one of the major topics in the country as many US states have been pushing the envelope by legalizing and regulating online gaming networks only for residents of those states.

Bodog was one of the main operators in the United States during the boom of the online gaming era right after the passing of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA). 2006’s act UIGE brought without doubt the debacle into the online gaming industry. Based on outdated regulations, UIGEA was presented to the US administration as the tool to prevent fraud and money laundry from online gambling operators. But the reality was that the UIGEA was only looking after the monopoly created in the main gambling US states such as Nevada, states where casino moguls are still fighting to shut down the online casino and poker rooms that are now state regulated. Calvin Ayre decided to sell Bodog to the Morris Mohawk Gaming Group (MMGG), licensing other products and creating agreements with other brands until the end of 2011 when Ayre decided to exit the US online gambling market.

The claim filed against Bodog founder Calvin Ayre in a 2012 indictment (Black Friday indictment) is the reason why Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard C. Kay now wants to have Ayre extradited to the United States. The United States District Court for the District of Maryland in February 2012 sentences Calvin Ayre, James Philip, David Ferguson and Derrick Maloney, with charges of conspiracy: “Members of the conspiracy communicated with payment processors located in the United States and elsewhere and directed those payment processors to send funds by wire and by check to gamblers located in Maryland and elsewhere. Two such payment processors were (a) JBL Services Inc., which processed at least $43 million for BODOG ENTERTAINMENT GROUP S.A., d/b/a, and (b) Zip Payments Inc., which processed at least $57 million for BODOG ENTERTAINMENT GROUP S.A., d/b/a”.

Now, Calvin Ayre finds himself on the Department of Homeland Security’s “Investigations Most Wanted” list. He is listed amongst the top ten most wanted fugitives in the United States, along with child molesters, drug cartels’ dealers and a felon who tried to deal with military technology. But Calvin Ayre is still alive and fighting this nonsense back. From his site, he published a statement about this indictment: “I see this as abuse of the US criminal justice system for the commercial gain of large US corporations. It is clear that the online gaming industry is legal under international law and in the case of these documents is it also clear that the rule of law was not allowed to slow down a rush to try to win the war of public opinion”.

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