Failure to Desist May Paint Control Board Bullseye on Bovada Suppliers

With one week left to leave the state, the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) said Bovada’s suppliers may be at risk if the company fails to comply with the vacate order. While insiders predict Bovada will likely honor the warning, owner Harp Media B.V. has not yet indicated what it plans to do.

If Bovada sticks around, Michigan has said it’s prepared to take legal action. However, states have few tools to challenge offshore gambling sites directly. Targeting Bovada’s US partners and suppliers could deepen the threat, but only if they seek a Michigan license.

While we haven’t been able to confirm who supplies Bovada’s sports betting tech, a review of its online casino game suppliers indicates most have roots outside of the US.

In fact, we only found one supplier in its slots catalog based on US soil: Genesis Gaming, which is headquartered in Spring, Texas.

Other companies supplying slots to Bovada include:

  • Betsoft (Malta)
  • BGaming (Malta)
  • Makitone Gaming (Estonia)
  • Qora Games (T&C’s indicate UK/Wales)
  • Rival Powered (UK)
  • Reevo (Romania)
  • Visionary iGaming (Costa Rica)
  • Woohoo Games (UK)

None of these have content partnerships in place to offer their games in regulated US markets, though some do have relationships with companies that operate in that space.

So, outside of potentially targeting US-based sports betting suppliers, the MGCB may be relegated to primarily pursuing affiliates and advertisers.

Board Hopes for Compliance But is Ready to Act

On May 29, MGCB issued a “stern warning” via cease-and-desist to Harp, Bovada’s Curaçao-based parent, dictating Bovada’s removal from the Michigan market.

In a statement announcing the order, MGCB executive director Henry Williams said, “flouting local regulations will not be tolerated.”

The MGCB remains steadfast in its commitment to upholding Michigan’s laws and regulations and will continue to actively monitor and enforce compliance within the state to ensure a fair and secure gaming environment for all.

In a follow-up email to Bonus, Lisa Keith, MGCB’s public information officer, said the board hopes Bovada complies. However, she reiterated that it is ready to take legal action.

In Michigan, strict laws and rules govern internet gaming and sports betting, providing consumer protections, promoting confidence, and ensuring fair and honest gaming.

For reference, Bovada has previously withdrawn from Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, and Delaware. However, if it chooses to remain in the state, Keith said US suppliers could face consequences, including exclusion from Michigan’s legal gambling market.

Certainly, any business relationship with an illegal operator will very likely prevent a company from being licensed to do business in the very large Michigan gaming market.

Keith added that the agency remains committed to combating illegal gambling and ensuring fair and honest gaming that protects the interests of the citizens. She urged suppliers to cut ties with Bovada if it attempts to bypass or ignore the order.

With this letter, we have made a clear statement that Bovada is violating Michigan laws. If Bovada fails to comply with the letter, we would strongly encourage any advertisers, affiliate marketers, payment processors, and other business partners of Bovada to sever ties to avoid potential licensing or legal consequences.

About the Author

Robyn McNeil

Robyn McNeil

Robyn McNeil (she/they) is a Nova Scotia-based writer and editor, and a lead writer at Bonus. Here she focuses on news relevant to online casinos, while specializing in responsible gambling coverage, legislative developments, gambling regulations, and industry-related legal fights.
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