Bovada Ordered To Leave Michigan Sports Betting Market

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Michigan sports betting

Bovada, a prominent offshore sports betting website, has been ordered to leave Michigan by the state gaming regulatory body.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board issued a cease and desist letter to the Curaçao-based sportsbook on Wednesday, giving it until June 12 to leave Michigan sports betting or face legal action.

Bovada illegally offers online sports betting in 45 states without a license and has done so in he US market since before the fall of PASPA, according to its website.

Bovada accused of violating laws

The website’s parent company, Harp Media B.V., is accused of violating three Michigan laws:

Michigan leads offshore sports betting crackdown

It is the fourth cease and desist letter issued by the MGCB in the past six months.

In January, the MGCB announced Cyprus-based, Austrian-based VGW, and PredictionStrike, a New York-based startup, faced similar penalties. Each website has pulled out of the Great Lake State since.

“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,” MGCB Executive Director Henry Williams said in the letter. “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.”

Michigan legalized sports betting and iGaming in December 2019. It is home to 14 licensed online sportsbooks and 15 online casinos. Each pays an 8.4% tax on revenue as well as $150,000 in license fees every five years.

Will Michigan sports betting regulator demands matter?

Bovada recently banned customers from Delaware, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey and New York in light of similar regulations. However, state regulators do not have the same regulatory reach as the federal Department of Justice, which wields the most power to address offshores operating illegally within the United States.

As of this article’s publication, the company website does not yet list Michigan as an excluded state.

“We are not planning leaving Michigan on (sic) the coming days and we will keep operating as normal,” a customer service representative told LSR.

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