Most cryptocurrency enthusiasts know about Calvin Ayre. U.S. federal prosecutors have been interested in him for some time now, due to his online gambling business. Ayre has also been linked to Craig Wright in the past, although that business venture is entirely different. It now appears that all charges against Ayre and his Bodog online gambling business have been dropped.
Calvin Ayre and Bodog Are No Longer Under Investigation
This story goes back to February 2012. At the time, U.S. federal prosecutors took a keen interest in the Bodog online gambling business and indicted four individuals, one of whom is known as Calvin Ayre. The charges filed against these individuals included illegal gambling and money laundering. The Bodog gambling platform apparently provided services to U.S. customers for over six years, without having an official license to do so.
At the time of these indictments, it appeared that the U.S. federal prosecutors had a strong case against Bodog and the four individuals. The Department of Justice claimed that over US$100 million in gambling proceeds had been awarded to customers in the United States alone, though the company never had a gambling license to host those types of games and distribute winnings. If the individuals were found guilty, they would face up to 25 years in jail and pay around US$1 million in fines.
There is a big difference between charging people with illegal gambling and proving it, however. Since none of the four individuals in question ever appeared in court, the prosecution’s case may have lacked sufficient strength. Indeed, very little happened in the five years since this case was opened.
While we may never know why this case never amounted to anything, Calvin Ayre and the other indicted individuals will not be looking for an explanation. Chief Judge Catherine Blake of the District Court for the District of Maryland approved a resolution dismissing all felony charges against Calvin Ayre and Bodog. The three other individuals saw their charges dropped not long ago as well. Five years of investigating this matter have been anti-climatic. The Bodog.com domain has also found a new owner in exchange for a one-time fee of $100,000.
It is very likely that Bodog.com will reopen its doors as an online gambling platform very soon. However, nothing has yet been set in stone. As part of its settlement deal, the U.S. government can retain the $67 million in seized assets.
One possible explanation for this surprising turn of events is that the U.S. government brought this upon themselves. At the time of the indictment, Bodog had an Antiguan gaming license which officially prevented it from offering services to U.S. gamblers. However, the World Trade Organization found the U.S. to be in violation of its international trade obligations if this were enforced. This means that in fact Bodog had been operating in a legal manner. Their license is still valid today, but it remains to be seen if Bodog will relaunch.