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Bodog Poker Network Withdraws from Several Smaller National Markets

bovada-poker-iconThe Bodog Poker Network has refocused its efforts on four primary national markets, deciding to withdraw its poker services from a handful of nations in which the company had achieved only minimal market penetration.  Via Bodog and its US-facing brand name, Bovada, the pullback means that Bodog’s poker platform will be available in only four jurisdictions, albeit large ones — China, Vietnam, Canada and the United States.

The pullback is poker-only, and does not affect the network’s sportsbetting and casino offerings in Europe and elsewhere, which actually make up the largest share of Bodog’s online business.

Pokerfuse was the first to report on Bodog’s pullback, assembling info from a handful of player reports.  Bodog itself has not issued a formal statement regarding the move, the actual effects of which are simply to stop offering their poker services in Australia, New Zealand, and a small handful of European countries.  Bodog had previously stopped offering poker to many European countries after failing to achieve significant market penetration against a large home field of entrenched European competitors.

The latest pullback was confirmed by players on multiple forums, who reported that Bodog will be rolling over the site’s player retention bonuses in poker to equivalents in the casino and sportsbetting areas of the site.  The following is a sample post from an Australian player who posted a received e-mail on 2+2, following his lockout from the network’s poker services:

“Hey xxx,

As part of our commitment to providing you the best online gaming experience, we occasionally evaluate which markets and products to focus our resources.

With that said, we regret to inform you that we have discontinued offering Bodog Poker in your registered market effective today. 

Here’s important information you need to know:

You will be refunded your (monetary) account balance upon request with same-day processing.
Within 10 days, any unused Poker Points will be converted to bonus money in Bodog Live Dealer Casino with a rollover of 10x.
Unused tickets will be credited with equal cash value.
You can still experience nonstop entertainment in Casino and Sportsbook. 

If you have further inquiries, please contact your 24/7 Bodog Customer Service team.

Thank you for the opportunity to have served you. 

All the best, 
Bodog Asia Poker Team”

The pullback appears to be a cost-saving measure rather than a legality issue, since Bodog’s other services remain available to the affected countries.  Whether the refocusing is based on budget trimming at Bodog’s Philippines headquarters or is related to a culling of third-party processing expenses remains unknown, but the end result is the same: Bodog appears to have deemed the minimal poker business it generates from these other countries as too minor to continue to pursue.

Bodog’s retrenching leaves the network with three separate domain/brand name packages to service its four major national player bases:

  • Bodog88 — China, Vietnam
  • Bodog — Canada (via bodog.eu)
  • Bovada — United States (brand name licensed to Morris Mohawk Gaming Group)

Under its Bovada name, Bodog remains the largest US-facing online poker site.  The traffic-tracking site PokerScout acknowledges Bodog’s size, based on the network’s tournament schedule, available cash games and visual traffic, and estimates the network’s traffic to rank in eighth or ninth place among all worldwide poker networks.  The PScout data remains only an estimate, however, as Bodog has forbidden the third-party site from actively tracking its player data.

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