Bovada Sportsbook Ordered to Leave West Virginia

Offshore Sports Betting Crackdown Focuses on Curacao-Based Site

Sports betting regulators continue to target Bovada Sportsbook, with West Virginia the third U.S. state to take action in less than a month. The West Virginia Lottery sent the Curacao-based website a cease-and-desist letter on June 27, according to Legal Sports Report. Bovada has reportedly yet to respond to the letter.

West Virginia’s actions follow a series of crackdowns on offshore sports betting site Bovada. Michigan was the first state to pull the plug, issuing a cease-and-desist order in June.

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Bovada, which illegally offers online sports betting in more than three-dozen states without a license, threatened legal action unless it left.

“The proliferation of online gaming platforms has led to increased scrutiny from regulatory bodies worldwide, and this action serves as a stern warning to overseas companies that flouting local regulations will not be tolerated,” Henry Williams, executive director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board, said in a letter to Bovada last month.

“The MGCB remains steadfast in its commitment to upholding Michigan’s laws and regulations and will continue to actively monitor and enforce compliance within the state to ensure a fair and secure gaming environment for all.”

Here’s the latest on the offshore sports betting crackdown.

More States Taking Action

Both Colorado and Connecticut also ordered Bovada to leave. Per LSR, Massachusetts is also considering taking a stand. Six online sportsbooks are already legally available in the Commonwealth: DraftKings, FanDuel, ESPN BET, Caesars, BetMGM, and Fanatics Sportsbook.

  • Bovada recently stopped accepting bets from customers in Delaware, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey and New York because of similar regulations.

Much of this remains fluid, as state regulators don’t wield the same power or oversight as the Department of Justice. That can create complications for regulating illegal activities as part of an offshore sports betting crackdown.

Per the American Gaming Association, Americans bet more than $500 billion each year on offshore gambling websites.

That includes an estimated $63.8 billion on sports betting alone, with a majority of the action ($337.9 billion) occurring on online slots and table games. Unregulated machines, meanwhile, account for an estimated $109.2 billion annually.

Assessing the Landscape

What’s next for West Virginia? Online sports betting has been a fixture in the Mountaineer State since it was green-lighted in 2018, and West Virginia is also among a handful of states with legalized online casinos.

The state is home to eight active sportsbooks, including DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars, BetRivers and BetMGM.

State law allows up to 15 online sportsbooks, though Bovada obviously doesn’t fit under that umbrella as an unregulated entity.

Because offshore sites like Bovada and BetOnline are not regulated by the West Virginia Lottery, they do not adhere to federal or state laws. That becomes especially problematic when disputes occur.

In 2019, betting site BetLucky was shut down after not adhering to the West Virginia Lottery’s standards.

West Virginia also has five brick-and-mortar locations that house some of the best sports betting apps.

They include the Greenbrier (FanDuel), Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort (Caesars), Wheeling Island Hotel/Casino/Racetrack (Betly), Mardi Gras Casino & Resort (Betly) and Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races (ESPN BET).

Stay tuned for more updates on the offshore sports betting crackdown.

For the best bets today, odds analysis and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.


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1 Comment
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Tom R
7 days ago

What if someone used a VPN? I don’t gamble personally but it seems like that would be an easy go around .if you sit down with 5 people each throws in 10 bucks y’all leave with 50 bucks spread across the 5 of you with WV gambling 5 people throw in ten the the state puts 40 in there pockets and y’all leave with 10 amongst the five of you with the best possible scenario simple math with the tax rate and what not it’s not very good odds

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