Bovada, a well-known online gambling platform, has been served with a lawsuit for allegedly violating US laws by offering services to American clients. The litigant, Kentucky resident Billi Jo Woods, alleges that Bovada falsely presented itself as a lawful online enterprise, whereas it has been, in reality, operating illegally.
A Historic Kentucky Law Utilized
The lawsuit leverages a unique Kentucky law, which has existed for over two centuries. This law empowers individuals who have incurred gambling losses to reclaim their money from the operators of the betting establishments. Such a legal provision was used effectively by Kentucky in a case against PokerStars, which led to the online poker giant compensating the state with $300 million after a nearly decade-long legal battle.
Named in the lawsuit are the Morris Mohawk Gaming Group, the Olympian founder and CEO Alwyn Morris, based in Quebec, Calvin Ayre, and Harp Media BV, based in Curaçao. Bovada, while having its ownership within the Kahnawake, does not run a regulated site in Ontario. However, it does service customers in other Canadian provinces, positioning itself in the so-called ‘grey market’. Bovada is a derivative of the original brand, Bodog, which was confiscated by the US authorities in 2012.
Responsible Gambling and the Curious Case of No Wagering Bonus
Morris Mohawk Gaming Group operates privately from headquarters situated on Kahnawake lands. It depends on a Curaçao license for its functioning rather than the Kahnawake Gaming Commission. Amidst these controversies, the concept of responsible gambling needs to be emphasized. This principle underscores the need for betting platforms to provide a safe and fair environment that helps prevent gambling-related harm.
One such approach could be through the provision of ‘no wagering bonus‘ offers. These offers allow players to keep their winnings without having to meet any wagering requirements, thereby limiting potential losses. As the legal proceedings continue to unfold, these concepts might serve as food for thought for the gambling industry stakeholders. It could be a step forward in showing their commitment to responsible gambling and protecting players.
The case of Class Action lawsuit against Morris Mohawk Gaming Group, Bovada, and Calvin Ayre underlines the need for greater regulation of online gambling activities.