Only the Bodog Brand is Leaving the U.S. Market

I have read story after story that Bodog is leaving the U.S. market.  The stories spin the report as yet another website giving up and walking away from the U.S.  That simply is not the case with Bodog.

In 2007 Morris Mohawk Gaming Group took over the North American Bodog brand.  Morris Mohawk Gaming Group is licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission.  The licensing agreement between Bodog and Morris Mohawk Gaming Group ends at the end of 2011.  Bodog recently became the first gaming company to receive a remote and non-remote gaming license granted by the UK Gambling Commission.  This license will be required in 2012.

It is no coincidence that Bodog wants its brand out of the U.S. market.  If they want to be considered legitimate in the eyes of regulated markets they must shed the market that arguably got them to the status that they enjoy now, a world leader in online gaming.

After the licensing agreement ends between Bodog and Morris Mohawk Gaming Group it seems widely accepted that Morris Mohawk Gaming Group will open a skin on the Bodog Network that accepts U.S. players.  U.S. players will be moved to that platform and beyond seeing a different logo and going to a different domain nothing will change for U.S. players.  Rebecca Liggero had this to say about the situation:

This decision was made because of the UK license- Bodog Brand wants to detach the UK gaming license from any US exposure.  MMGG (the US facing bodog brand licensee) has a lot of experience with the US market and will continue to offer services to US players, just under a new name.  MMGG is rebranding, that’s it!

There is no need to panic here.  This is an orderly, planned move that will benefit Bodog in the long run without hurting players or affiliates.  The only issue I see for the remainder of 2011 is a lack of Bodog marketing to U.S. players which could hurt their name recognition.  In the long run that will make no difference.

Keep promoting Bodog and whatever the new brand becomes.  It looks like they are a safe bet.

2 thoughts on “Only the Bodog Brand is Leaving the U.S. Market

  1. As one of the first media sites to run a “Bodog pulls out of US market” story, I do feel compelled to respond. Everything you state is accurate in the article, but i think you unfairly dismiss the media reporting as trying to “spin the report” as another site leaving the US market.

    It’s factually accurate to state that Bodog are planning to leave the US market. They want to pull their brand from the US; yes, Bodog state that MMGG will continue to operate as a skin on the Bodog poker network in 2012 (although it’s worth mentioning that right now there’s been no official statement from MMGG, and to my knowledge they haven’t responded to any media inquires yet as to their plans; comparatively Bodog have been very responsive to our questions) and of course they are quick to allay fears and to state that a transition for US players will be smooth and painless.

    But it is Bodog pulling out their brand from the US, and I think it’s fair to draw parallels to other sites that have withdrawn on or since Black Friday; operating in the US is now particularly unsavory, potential ramifications are now in the clear and there is heightened public knowledge of the legal situation. Certainly this is tied up to regulatory efforts in the UK and Asia, but I doubt this pull-out would have occurred without the events of Black Friday and Blue Monday.

    The line between ‘pullout’ a simply a ‘re-branding effort’ is a gray area, and depends on how well linked MMGG and Bodog are; however given the different PR from the two companies there is clearly some degree of separation. There’s still no announcement on what the new brand will be, whether they will use a separate cashier, customer support, etc.

    As with all media, and heightened in the poker world, there’s always a pervasive part that attempts to spin stories for shock value and short, with catchy, retweetable headlines contorting the truth. The nascent “story” started by EGR as a rather harmless “FT investors interested in only UK/IE assets” that was spun in to “US accounts will be screwed by FT investors” a particular example. But I think perhaps in this case the collective poker media don’t deserve such scorn.

  2. This certainly was not an attack on your site but there are many sensationalized articles about this. This is really no different than Bodog changing their domain name for US players IMO.

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