Recently, $24 million was seized from Bodog-linked bank accounts and it is apparent that the online gambling company is under heavy investigation for allegedly facilitating illegal gambling in the United States. According to a report on Forbes.com, there is a lot of speculation as to a secret indictment somewhere in the US for BodogÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s founder, Calvin Ayre.
The Canadian tycoon has continuously claimed that he is not on the lam, yet no one seems to be able to find him. Reports indicate that Ayre is believed to be settled somewhere in the island nation of Antigua and Barbuda, but multiple attempts to contact him Ã¢â‚¬â€œ through his Calvin Ayre Foundation web site, Bodog web site and various other contacts Ã¢â‚¬â€œ have proved fruitless. Is the one-time billionaire and media termed Ã¢â‚¬Å“playboyÃ¢â‚¬Â really on the lam, or is he just avoiding contact with the press?
It is certain the Us government would love to get their hands on Calvin Ayre for his operations of Bodog, a popular online sports betting, poker and casino site that continues to cater to US gamblers, regardless of US laws put in place in 2006 that prohibit such activities. Industry experts are alluding to the investigation as a Ã¢â‚¬Å“witch-huntÃ¢â‚¬Â, suspecting Ayre would be prosecuted to the harshest extent of the law as an example, hoping to frighten other illegal online gambling operations into ceasing operations with the US.
Though Ayre consistently denies trepidation if US law enforcement, he licensed full control of Bodog to Morris Mohawk Gaming in the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory of Canada in September of 2007. It has even been reported by Ayre himself (on a web site) that he signed over full ownership of the Bodog company to Morris Mohawk, headed by chief Alwyn Morris, stating Ã¢â‚¬Å“It’s true; I’m packing it in.Ã¢â‚¬Â
If youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve kept up with recent Bodog news and press releases, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve probably noticed that all quotes regarding Bodog now come from Alwyn Morris himself, and no longer the former head, Calvin Ayre.
The US government has spent nearly two years now targeting online gambling operations, but more so online payment processors that facilitate monetary transfers between US players and online gambling operations. In January of 07, the co-founders of NETeller were arrested in Florida when attempting to switch planes to their next destination. Just this summer, Canadian online payment processor, ESI Entertainment Systems, found themselves the target of the same prosecutors, choosing to enter a Ã¢â‚¬Å“deferred prosecution agreementÃ¢â‚¬Â. This basically means they admit to wrongdoing and agree to fork over $9.1 million after processing more than $2 billion worth of online gambling funds for US customers.
Calvin Ayre, now 47 years old, and his family have had troubles with law enforcement for years now, even before he founded Bodog. Though Ayre himself was never charged, close family members were convicted on drug trafficking charges. Later in 1996, Calvin was officially banned from interactions with the British Columbia securities industry for 20 years for offenses related to the stick market.
In early 2006, (before the US UIGEA gambling ban ever existed) Calvin Ayre found himself plastered on the front page of Forbes Magazine as worldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s most prominent billionaire. Bodog was said to be handling $7.3 billion across the boards.
In his 2006 Forbes interview, Ayre stated, Ã¢â‚¬Å“One of the things that drives me is the excitement that I could fail. What better buzz can you get?Ã¢â‚¬Â
When the UIGEA came to pass later that year, BodogÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s profits plummeted and Ayre was no longer a staple on the Forbes list.
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