Home NewsRegulations & Licenses Michigan regulator orders Curacao-based Bovada to cease operations

Michigan regulator orders Curacao-based Bovada to cease operations

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Michigan Gaming Control Board has ordered Bovada, a Curacao-based company to cease and desist from allowing Michigan Residents access to their games.

MGCB claims that Harp Media BV, the operator of Bovada allows Bovada.com to Michigan players. It is not licensed.

Harp Media BV has been accused by the regulator of violating several Michigan gambling laws. The Michigan Gaming Control and Revenue Act and Michigan Penalty Code are included.

Online gaming and sports betting licenses are only available to tribal casinos and federally-authorised casinos that have been licensed by the Michigan Gaming Control and Revenue Act.

Unlicensed gambling is illegal. Offenders could face a punishment of up to ten years in prison or a fine of up to $100,000 (PS78,562/EUR92,276), or both.

Harp Media BV is given 14 days to stop Michigan residents using their services after receiving the order. This letter was sent on 29 May. The MGCB may take legal action after this time.

Henry Williams, Executive Director of the MGCB said that the cease-and desist actions are a warning for other international operators.

Williams said that the proliferation of gaming sites online has increased regulatory scrutiny worldwide. This action is a warning to companies operating overseas to adhere to local laws and regulations.

The MGCB is committed to ensuring that Michigan laws and regulations are upheld. It will monitor and enforce compliance in the state, to create a safe and fair gaming environment.

Re-regulation of Curacao to enhance reputation within the industry

The Curacao headquarters of Bovada is in the midst of reforming their gambling laws. The National Ordinance for Games of Chance, a piece of new regulatory legislation is still pending.

The new LOK is expected to improve Curacao’s reputation in the industry. It has been a long-standing association with criminality and lax rules against money laundering.

LOK replaces the National Ordinance on Offshore Games of Hazard. Javier Silvania said Curacao’s Minister of Finance, Javier Silvania would be able to protect the LOK from being greylisted by the Financial Action Task Force.

Michigan announced earlier this month that its online gaming revenues for April had dropped by 8.7%. The state’s sports betting and online gaming operators recorded a $234.8m revenue in April, which is a drop month-onmonth. Detroit casinos reported an April revenue drop of 11.7% to $109.4m.

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