y Tuesday afternoon, Bodog had established a new website, www.newbodog.com, which is virtually identical to the old site and enabled Bodog clients to resume their online gambling activities.
In a news release issued late Tuesday, Bodog founder and part-time Vancouver resident Calvin Ayre, said "the problems result from a dispute over the ownership of the Bodog.com domain name." “We are fighting this dispute and are confident that we will win," he said in the release.
The release provided no details, but according to Nevada court documents, 1st Technology LLC of Las Vegas obtained a us$ 48.6-million default judgement on June 14th against Bodog Entertainment Group S.A., Bodog.net and Bodog.com.
The Las Vegas company obtained the judgment after the Bodog companies failed to answer allegations, filed in US District Court in Nevada, that downloaded software used by Bodog customers to facilitate its gaming activities infringed upon 1st Technology’s patents.
It is not clear why Bodog officials did not respond to the allegations. One possibility is they were scared away by the US Department of Justice, which has declared war on Internet gambling.
Through a series of high profile arrests of online gambling executives, the Justice Department has made it clear that online gambling is illegal and anybody operating or facilitating such activities is subject to prosecution.
Since then, Ayre has avoided stepping on American soil, but he continues to return to Vancouver, where Bodog runs a marketing-support business in Vancouver called Riptown Media and a call centre in Burnaby called Triple Crown Customer Service.
Ayre was in Vancouver as recently as Friday, when he attended a Bodog-sponsored mixed martial arts fight night at the Chief Joe Mathias Centre in North Vancouver. The event is sold as a pay-per-view television event. Meanwhile, 1st Technology has been steadily tightening the noose on Bodog, which was previously run out of Costa Rica but is now based in Antigua.
In an affidavit filed in conjunction with the court action, 1st Technology lawyer Kristopher Rath complained that, despite the default judgment, Bodog "continues to act with impunity in the United States."
"The Bodog entities infringing activities are responsible for over us$ 65 billion in cumulative transactions to date, with approximately two-thirds of this revenue currently being derived from infringing United States activities," he said.
The lawyer noted that, according to a Forbes interview with Ayre, "Bodog handled us$ 7.3 billion dollars of revenue which translates to over us$ 4.8 billion in revenue in the United States with revenue growing 300 per cent per year since 2004." He also noted that, according to the Forbes interview, Ayre "has amassed a current wealth of us$ 1 billion, which was derived in large part through infringement of 1st Technology LLC’s patent.
"However, despite reaping the rewards of US commerce, the Bodog entities evade United States law and courts, and Ayre gloats about his companies’ ability to operate above American law."
The lawyer said 1st Technology "continues to suffer massive and irreparable harm because of the Bodog entities’ wrongful conduct", and the "only way to stop this harm is to enjoin Bodog’s United States activities."
In the early 1990s, Ayre got into trouble with the B.C. Securities Commission over his dealings with Bicer Medical Systems, listed on the former Vancouver Stock Exchange. In 1996, he admitted to serious offences in connection with that company and agreed to a 20-year ban from the B.C. securities market.