Federal Prosecutors Drop Illegal Online Gambling Charges against Calvin Ayre

US federal prosecutors dropped on Friday felony charges against Calvin Ayre, the Bodog online gambling brand, and three other individuals, while the former gambling boss pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges to conclude a five-year case against him.

In 2012, the District of Maryland US Attorney indicted Mr. Ayre and the Bodog iGaming operator, he found himself in the early 2000s, for violating the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 and servicing US players in the period between June 2006 and January 2012.

The Canada-born entrepreneur thus faced money laundering and illegal gambling charges. According to court filings, Bodog, Mr. Ayre, and the other three charged individuals were the ones that had to stand trial for over $100 million being transmitted to US players within the above-mentioned timespan.

On Friday, July 14, Chief Judge Catherine Blake of the US District Court for the District of Maryland dropped the felony charges against Mr. Ayre and his online gambling brand. The businessman was allowed to reacquire the Bodog domain name in exchange for a $100,000 payment.

What is more, Mr. Ayre was fined $500,000 and was sentenced to a year of unsupervised probation. The former gambling boss and the three other charged individuals agreed not to make any legal attempts to claim the amount of $67 million (mostly from US players) that federal prosecutors had seized in relation to the case. Court filings read that Mr. Ayre had previously made sure that all affected Bodog customers had been reimbursed.

In the years following his indictment, the Canadian businessman has reportedly retired from the online gambling business and has transferred the Bodog iGaming operator to the Morris Mohawk Gaming Group, based and licensed in Kahnawake, a territory near the Canadian city of Montreal.

Mr. Ayre’s case was dormant for the past five years. If he or the other charged individuals had been found guilty on their original charges, they could have been sentenced to 25 years in jail and could have faced more than $1 million in fines.

Commenting on Friday’s turn of events, Mr. Ayre said that the settlement did not change anything and that he was happy with his life. True to his Bohemian demeanor the businessman pointed out that he would “continue enjoying life to the fullest.”

Bodog was not the only major online gambling brand to have seen individuals related to it being brought to court. In April 2011, federal prosecutors unsealed an indictment charging the founders and other individuals related to online poker rooms PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker. All three brands were found to have accepted US players in the post-UIGEA era.

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