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June 26, 2014

Bovada Poker Exits Regulated Markets

By: Ifrah Law

In April the state of New Jersey issued warning letters to online gaming affiliate marketers who advertised unlicensed gaming websites in-state.  Now, one unlicensed operator is taking the warning to heart and withdrawing from regulated markets.

Bovada, the largest online poker site in the U.S., will no longer be accepting new players from the regulated gaming jurisdictions of Nevada and Delaware. Bovada ceased doing business in New Jersey after the state issued warning letters to Bovada’s affiliate marketers asserting that advertising unlicensed poker sites was in violation of state and federal law.  In all three states, Bovada is allowing existing players to continue to play and withdraw winnings, but is not accepting new deposits from in-state players.

Applying different levels of access to players on a state-by-state basis means that operators such as Bovada must apply stringent geo-location or similar such standards.

Other operators including Merge Gaming and the Equity Poker Network have already left the three regulated states.  While it remains to be seen who else will follow suit, it appears to be the safest move for operators at this time.