Bovada to Michigan Customers: Don't Be Alarmed

Written by:
Gilbert Horowitz
Published on:

A clearer picture of Bovada's status in Michigan was beginning to take hold late Saturday following a number of erroneous reports that the state had blocked access to the popular sports betting website.


To be clear, Bovada responded to the MGCB Cease & Desist letter by updating its Terms & Conditions for "restricted jurisdictions".  They now include Michigan and Colorado, the latter of whom quietly sent out a request and thanked Bovada for adding the state to its list.

By late Friday, it became abundantly clear Bovada had not booted all its Michigan customers or blocked them access from the site.  Current customers can still play there (as of June 22 at least) but must make withdrawals via cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.

And by Saturday night we had finally received some confirmation from Bovada.

DeaconMike tweeted out to us:

"Here'a a direct email replay I received from Bovada: Hi ****, apologies for the delayed response.  The restriction will only be for new players but there will be no impact on existing players from these states Michigan and Colorado, you can continue to play without any changes."

If you happen to live in Detroit and want to join Bovada, you'll have no problem filling out the registration form.  But once you are prompted to enter that 48127 Detroit ZIP code, you'll be met with the message that "Bovada is currently not available from your region". 

The MGCB started cracking down on unlicensed Michigan gambling operators late last year, first going after social casinos like the popular Chumba Casino.  Bovada is licensed, just not in the state of Michigan.  They take bets worldwide courtesy of their Curacao license.

So why target Bovada?

That site has, in the past, either utilized search engine professionals or had affiliates use techniques, with or without the gambling site's knowledge, that made it appear as if Bovada was located in certain jurisdictions via Google Maps.  We don't know if these methods were employed in Michigan per se.  They were used in other state cities.

Billboards, radio and television ads in the Michigan market would also draw the ire of regulators.  Again, we don't know if that occurred with Bovada here.


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