Earlier this week, Forbes magazine published an article about the U.S. government's seizure of Bodog funds for a total of $12 million and hinting at potential legal actions against the company. Bodog’s North America licensee Morris Mohawk group has another side to that story, which they claim “creates several misimpressions.”
Alwyn Morris, CEO of Morris Mohawk Gaming Group and head of Bodog since , released a statement clarifying a number of points which he feels were misinterpreted by Forbes, and which he dismisses as “media hype,” stating,
Processing partners with whom the Morris Mohawk Gaming Group does business are sophisticated organizations that are perfectly clear as to the actual facts of these cases and their contexts. They are unfazed by such media hype and Morris Mohawk wishes to ensure that its customers are similarly informed.
Here is a summary of the Morris Mohawk Group statement:
- First of all, Morris makes a distinction between Bodog and its payment processors, explaining that it is standard procedure for gaming operators to delegate payment processing to third parties, who are answerable to the laws of the country in which they operate, “and occasionally in the US, are subject to legal action because of the uncertain legal environment there.”
- He goes on to establish a distinction between the $14 million case and the $9 million case, which are “two specific legal cases against US processors” and not against Bodog.
- According to Morris, the $14.2 million bust “happened some time ago” to a processor called JBL Services. He claims this seizure of funds did not affect payments at the time and is not affecting them now:“(the seizure) has absolutely nothing to do with the current payment processing challenges being experienced in the US (…)Also, note that not one single player failed to get paid when this processor was disrupted.”
- The $9 million case is more controversial, since Morris claims “The article falsely implies – but notably does not go so far as to state – that $9.9M (…) were funds on account for ‘Bodog’. This is simply false.” Instead, Morris states the funds were seized from payment processor Zippayments.com’s bank accounts in Nevada.
- Finally Morris stresses once more that Bodog customers will in no way be affected by these events as was suggested by Forbes: “Customer deposits are safe and every player has and will always be paid.”
However, Morris left a glaring omission. Forbes suggested that former Bodog CEO Calvin Ayre may already be in the US, stating, “There already has been published speculation in his native Canada that he is under secret indictment somewhere in the U.S.” Morris’s silence on this point will lead to even more speculation on the gaming world.