Offshore Sports Betting Crackdown Continues With WV Regulator

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Sports betting regulators in West Virginia are the latest to target offshore sports betting site Bovada.

The West Virginia Lottery sent the Curaçao-based sports betting website a cease and desist letter on June 27, agency officials told LSR. Bovada has not yet responded to the inquiry, per John Myers, director of the lottery, which regulates WV sports betting.

That marks the third state to take action against Bovada in less than a month.

Bovada under fire in four states

Michigan was the first state to take action against Bovada this year. That prompted the offshore sportsbook to leave the Michigan market in June, a few weeks after the Michigan Gaming Control Board issued a cease and desist order against it.

Both Colorado and Connecticut regulators followed suit shortly after with a cease and desist order of their own.

Massachusetts is also considering ordering the offshore sportsbook to leave the state, an idea regulators say they got from Michigan. A representative with the state Attorney General’s office declined to comment, however, on the timing of a letter.

Offshore sports betting crackdown continues

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

Regulations and cease-and-desists promoted Bovada’s departure from some states, though 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.

According to the American Gaming Association, Americans wager more than $500 billion annually on offshore gambling websites. The trade association has been at the forefront of the call for crackdowns on offshore sports betting.

Banned markets do not include WV sports betting yet

Bovada is blocked in seven states:

Bettors in those states are greeted with a message stating, “We currently don’t offer services in your area.”

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