Bovada Announces Sale of US-Facing Poker Operations to Ignition Casino

Bovada, the US-facing arm of online gambling giant Bodog, has announced the sale and pending transfer of the online-poker portion of those operations to a new site, Ignition Casino.  The move was announced in a brief posting at BovadaPoker.com, as follows:

We have an important announcement to share with you: Bovada Poker has been acquired by Ignition Casino. The acquisition will require all poker players to transfer their account by September 30. Following this date, Bovada Poker will no longer be available, however, access to Bovada’s sportbook, casino and racebook products will remain.

bovada-poker-iconBecause Ignition Casino uses the same platform as Bovada Poker, everything you enjoy such as; anonymous tables, Zone poker, mobile poker and guaranteed tournaments, like the weekly $100K, will be there waiting for you. Additionally, until the transition is complete, both sites will operate simultaneously with shared player pools.

We’ll do everything we can to make this transition as smooth as possible so please be sure to visit our Migration FAQ page. There you’ll find information on account transfers, how to score generous migration bonus, what to do with your Poker Points and any other question you may have.

We’re fully confident in Ignition Casino’s ability to offer an equal level of service and security you’ve been used to at Bovada. Find out more by checking out their website today.

A nearly similar e-mail was sent out within hours to some, but not all, of Bovada’s existing US-player customer base.  That e-mail read, in part:

Hey, [Bovada player],

We have important news we want to share with you. Bovada Poker has been acquired by Ignition Casino. This means you’ll be required to transfer your account by September 30, 2016. After this date, poker at Bovada will no longer be available. You’ll still have access to Bovada’s sportsbook, casino and racebook products.

Ignition Casino uses the same platform as Bovada, so the features you enjoy such as anonymous tables, Zone poker, mobile poker and guaranteed tournaments, like the weekly $100K, will be there waiting for you. Both sites will also operate simultaneously with shared player pools until the transition is complete. Any Poker Points that you have accrued on Bovada will need to be used before September 30 as they will not carry over to Ignition Casino.

We’ll do everything we can to make this transition as easy as possible. Please be sure to visit our FAQ page where you’ll find information on account transfers, how to score your generous migration bonus, what to do with your Poker Points and any other questions you may have. …

Ignition Casino has already existed as a skin for at least several months on Bodog’s poker network, much as Bovada itself.  Although Ignition Casino has a separate corporate parent from Bovada, it, like Bovada, is believed to be another part of Bodog’s corporate framework.

ignition-casino-logoThe move means that Bovada will continue to offer sports-betting and online-casino services to existing customers under that brand to any and all customers who choose to stay there.  However, Bovada customers who wish to play poker will have to move some or all of their existing balances over to a new Ignition Casino account before September 31st, 2016.  Any such transfers are one-way, as funds cannot be transferred back from Ignition to Bovada, and even the one-way bridge currently existing between the two is expected to be closed at the end of September.

The partitioning of the poker operations from the rest of Bodog’s/Bovada’s online operations not only appears to be intentional, but is also likely the very reason for the segregation.  Though not specified or confirmed by Bovada, the site is believed to be searching for a way to limit its highest-volume sports bettors from punting away the majority of their online bankrolls at Bovada’s poker tables… which will cease to exist in another seven weeks.  Bovada, currently by far the largest offshore site presently open to the US market, has, anecdotally, also become the online home of a large number of highly-skilled online poker pros who profit from Bovada’s existing crossover traffic.  Many networks and sites have taken steps to curtail the profitability of online poker’s most successful players in recent years, and this is another step in that direction.

The move will also spell the end of Bovada accessibility for US-based players in a handful of states.  Ignition Casino does not accept players from five US states — Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, New York and Maryland.  Previously, Bovada had blocked Maryland and New York entirely, as both states have had a previous history of seizing money from payment-processing entities who have worked with Bodog.

However, while Bovada no longer accepted new sign-ups from Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware, the three US states that have formally regulated online-poker, Bovada had allowed existing customers from those states to continue playing if they so chose.  That will end with the forced move to Ignition, since players from those three states are excluded.

For other existing Bovada players, the transfer process appears straightforward.  The process includes some modest financial incentives to do so as early as possible, though the process may be an overall wash: May existing loyalty-points and in-progress bonuses appear to be discontinued.  Bovada has detailed explanations for moving existing accounts over to Ignition, including the downloading of the new client, on a FAQ page dedicated to the move.

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