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Connecticut Officially Sends Cease-and-Desist Letter to Bovada

Robert Linnehan

by Robert Linnehan in Sports Betting News

Updated Jun 20, 2024 · 2:59 PM PDT

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  • The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protections has officially sent a cease-and-desist letter to Bovada
  • The department is requiring Bovada immediately cease all services in the state
  • If the offshore, unregulated sportsbook and casino does not halt its services, it will be subject to civil or criminal penalties

The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protections has officially sent a cease-and-desist letter to Bovada, an offshore, unregulated sportsbook and casino, requiring that it halt its services in the state immediately.

The Department of Consumer Protections alerted Sports Betting Dime today that it sent the notice to Bovada on Friday, June 14.

The letter requires the illegal sportsbook operator to “immediately cease and desist offering its games and services to Connecticut customers” or it may result in civil and/or criminal penalties.

As of the writing of this article, Bovada’s services are still available in Connecticut.

Latest State to Officially Require Bovada’s Exit

A spokesperson for the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protections told Sports Betting Dime on June 11 that it would be sending Bovada a cease-and-desist letter. The notice went out to the operator three days later.

In a letter written by Kristofer Gilman, Director of Gaming in Connecticut, Harp Media B.V., which is located in Willemstad, Curaçao, is notified that it is in violation of Connecticut General Statutes 53-278b, 53-278d, and the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA).

Bovada does not possess an online gaming operator’s license in the state, nor do its actions fall within any of the excepted activities to the prohibition on gambling, Gilman wrote in the notice.

“Bovada’s promotion of unlicensed and illegal gambling services is also an unfair trade practice, which violates CUTPA,” Gilman wrote.

In addition to ceasing its services in the state, Bovada is required to allow Connecticut customers to withdraw any funds. If it fails to do so, Gilman warns that it may result in additional action including, but not limited to, civil and/or criminal penalties.

The offshore, unlicensed sportsbook and online casino Bovada is widely available throughout the country, but has banned customers from Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Maryland and Nevada in recent years after the states passed legislation to curb their operation.

States Examining Bovada’s Operations

Connecticut’s letter comes on the heels of a cease-and-desist letter sent to the operator by the Michigan Gaming Control Board on May 29.

The gaming control board gave Harp Media B.V. 14-days from the receipt of the letter to prevent Michigan residents from gambling on their websites, or the MGCB will take legal action against the company.

The company has yet to respond to the notice.

The gaming control board claims Harp Media B.V. is in violation of several Michigan gaming laws:

  • Lawful Internet Gaming Act: States internet gaming may only be offered by a licensed internet gaming operator
  • Michigan Gaming Control and Revenue Act: Prohibits a party from conducting a gambling operations without a licensed issued by the MGCB. Parties operating unlicensed gambling operations in the state may face imprisonment for up to 10 years or a fine up to $100,000 or both
  • Michigan Penal Code: Broadly prohibits any form of gambling, which generally involves the elements of consideration, prize, and chance. Such as, accepting money, or anything of value, with the understanding that money, or anything of value, will be paid to any person based on the outcome of an uncertain event is prohibited

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission recently revealed that they will be examining Bovada as well. The regulatory body last week discussed potentially sending a cease-and-desist letter to the illegal offshore online sportsbook and casino at a future meeting.

“I wonder if it’s worthwhile to have a discussion among the commissioners as to whether there are any steps we may want to take,” Massachusetts Gaming Commissioner Nakisha Skinner said.

The MGC agreed to evaluate the potential solution at a future meeting.

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