More State Regulators Target Offshore Sports Betting Site Bovada

Written By

Updated on


Connecticut and Massachusetts are the latest states to consider legal action against offshore sports betting operator Bovada.

The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection plans to send the Curaçao-based sports betting website a cease and desist letter within the next week, an agency spokesperson told LSR.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission discussed taking the same action during a public meeting on Wednesday.

Cease and desist letters pile up

That could be three cease-and-desist orders for Bovada in less than a month.

Just a few weeks ago Michigan regulators sent a letter to the company, giving them two weeks to stop offering sports betting in the state or face legal action.

“Bovada (Harp Media B.V.) has 14 days from “receipt” of the letter to respond.  The 14-day period has not expired yet. The MGCB continues to monitor the situation very closely to ensure they take the appropriate steps to prevent Michigan residents from gambling on their websites,” a spokesperson with the Michigan Gaming Control Board said in an email.

Bovada ignoring Michigan orders

As of today, Bovada is still operating in Michigan and 44 other states without a license, according to its website. The site lists only the following states as restricted from play:

State regulators lack the same regulatory reach as the federal Department of Justice, which wields the most power to address offshores operating illegally within the United States. However, some states have been successful in getting Bovada to leave without federal intervention.

Offshore sports betting hot topic at conference

Massachusetts Gaming Commissioner Nakisha Skinner said was inspired by conversations she had while attending a conference hosted by the North American Gaming Regulators Association this week in Charleston, South Carolina.

“There’s a lot of talk about the illegal gaming market [here], and discussion around the cease and desist letter than Michigan sort of spearheaded, now Connecticut, I learned this morning has signed on,” Skinner said during the MGC meeting. “Is it worthwhile to have a discussion among the commissioners whether there are any steps that we want to take along those lines, with the understanding that our hands are somewhat tied? But it’s worth the discussion we may want to send a cease and desist letter of our own.”

Skinner suggested formally discussing the prospect of a cease and desist during the MGC’s next meeting on June 20, a notion MGC Interim Chair Jordan Maynard endorsed.

Photo by Shutterstock/Madcat_Madlove