Bovada banned players from a well known anti online poker state. Players from Maryland can no longer play on Bovada. Their accounts were closed, and the players received the following email:
Due to continuing difficulties finding and maintaining acceptable payment options we have been forced to make the difficult decision to stop offering our services to residents of your state.
As a resident of Maryland, your account has been closed to further activity.
If you have any questions, we recommend you contact us by phone at 1-888-263-0000 at your earliest convenience and ensure you we will do everything we can to service your state in the future.
There are a lot of rumors floating around now about other states no longer being accepted. Some websites are reporting that new players from New York, Utah, and Washington are no longer being accepted but existing players are allowed to continue to play. While this would not surprise me, I have heard from two sources very close to Bodog and Bovada that say this is not true. New players are allowed from those states. It would not surprise me if those states were dropped as well, but I am unable to confirm it.
One player in New York posted an email he received saying he was banned. I am told that was a customer service error. There were also several reports last week that stated that Bovada was no longer operating in Maryland, New York, Utah and Washington. Those reports turned out to be false.
Why Ban Certain States?
The main issue here is that there are some states that processors and poker rooms feel are riskier than others. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Maryland was responsible for Blue Monday. The network now known as the Winning Poker Network was a part of Blue Monday, when the company that owns True Poker and Americascardroom (formerly DoylesRoom) was indicted and lost their .com domains. This same U.S. Attorney’s Office indicted Bodog in late February, along with founder Calvin Ayre and two executives. This makes Maryland an undesirable state to do business in for online gambling companies.
New York State was the home of Black Friday. Utah is a strong anti gambling state that has a past battling online gambling companies, and in Washington it is a felony to even play online poker. That is why those four states are banned by some online poker rooms. In fact, if my sources are correct, Bovada is the only major choice available to players in Washington State as all other U.S. friendly networks have already stopped taking new players from there.
I will continue to check with my sources about this situation. Until players from those states report being blocked from creating new accounts, I think it is safe to assume nothing has changed outside of Maryland unless my sources tell me otherwise. Hopefully Bovada will make a public statement that addresses all of this confusion very soon.