US Fav Bovada exits market as Kahnawake says No More US Poker Players

Bovada, Ignition Casinos and Kahnawake say No More US Poker PlayersFor the last 22 years, Bodog (aka Bovada in the US) has been the one and only internet gaming website to maintain an undying commitment to US player acceptance… until now. Following talks with regulators in New Jersey, Bovada’s licensing entity, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission (KGC) has declared US online poker players will no longer be permitted.

As a result, Bovada – the number one choice for America’s internet poker players since Black Friday 2011 – quietly exited the US poker market on Friday, September 30, 2016 – the date the KGC’s prohibition went into effect.

No More US Poker Players – Who Knew?

Coincidentally (or was it?), Bovada announced back in August that the brand was being sold to a new operator, Ignition Casino, owned by Lynton LTD. The timing of the KGC’s announcement to ban US online poker players on Monday, Sept. 26 becomes highly suspect, as the sale of Bovada was officially completed the following Friday – the same day US player omission was enforced.

Bovada bought by Ignition Casinos

Over the last two weeks, it’s become more and more apparent that some parties knew exactly what was going on, while others – like the US poker players who enjoyed access to Bovada – clearly did not. It’s almost certain that Bovada knew of the upcoming changes when it decided to sell off the brand to Ignition Casino, but whether the new owner was aware of the impending situation… that’s certainly debatable.

Prior to the acquisition, Bovada was owned by the Morris Mohawk Gaming Group, based in the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake, Canada. It’s hard to imagine the owner had no prior knowledge that US players were about to be stripped of their access to the immensely popular online poker brand.

Subsequently, Bovada Poker, which recently enjoyed a 7-day average of about 1,000 players, is no longer even being tracked by traffic data informant, PokerScout.

US Player Denial 1 Year in the Making?

According to J. Todd, host of APCW Perspectives, the situation has been brewing a lot longer than most had initially thought.

Originally, this story seemed to come out of left field,” said Todd in a video published on Oct. 7. “But now we know it’s been in the making for quite a while.”

Todd said the situation actually dates back to an “unflattering” article published in the New York Times last year. The topic was offshore, unregulated gambling websites; particularly how easy it was for them to circumvent US law and access American players.

That article specially mentioned an operator with ties to the Kahnawake Gaming Commission that was granted a “transactional waiver” by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJ-DGE). It went on to denounce the KGC for providing licenses to other gambling websites that were not regulated by any US jurisdiction, yet continued to do business with American customers.

That connection, my friend, led to talks between the Kahnawake and the (NJ-DGE),” said Todd. “And those talks led us to the situation we watched unfold last week.”

US Online Poker Players Left Cold, but Dry

Unfortunately, because Bovada and its new owners, Ignition Casino, are not regulated by any United States jurisdiction, US poker player have no one to turn to for help. And while they’ve been left out in the cold, they weren’t hung out to dry. Bovada and Ignition are honoring all withdrawals by American account holders – according to most players, in a very surprisingly timely fashion.

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