Bovada Announces Withdrawal from New York State
Bovada has announced it will no longer serve residents in the state of New York starting in late June.
For years, online gamblers have had access to offshore sites. Decades ago, online gambling was offered in the United States only to be shut down when Black Friday took place in April 2011. While many top poker rooms were shut down, some operators continued to offer services and were not prosecuted by authorities. Such sites operate in what is considered a gray area. However, now that states like New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware, and Pennsylvania offer legalized services, these sites block users from these states from accessing their services.
Just this week, it was announced that Bovada, a brand based on Costa Rica, would no longer be serving residents in New York State. On June 21, the brand will pull out of the state, revealing that the future climate of online gambling in the state is why the move is being made.
New regulations have been introduced in the state as New York prepares to legalize online betting. The new changes were added to the recent budget signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo back in April. Part of the budget bill covers the online gambling industry and how the Gaming Commission will be in charge of issuing a request for proposals.
The Commission will be in charge of choosing at least two platform providers to offer sports betting services online. The providers will receive licensing and have the ability to provide up to four betting skins via the one license.
For Bovada, the removal of services was surprising to players. In a statement, the company said that existing members from New York State can play with remaining funds, use poker tournament tickets, or bonuses. However, bets should not be wagered on any sporting events that will take place after June 21.
Along with adding New York to the list of banned states, Bovada also does not offer services in Nevada, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware. These states have laws on the books so that they can regulate online gambling within its borders no matter where the operator is located.
What Happens Next?
What will happen to operators like Bovada if more states start to regulate online gambling? If they act accordingly, the company will have to continue to pull out of any states that has such legislation in place.
Perhaps, the company might decide to do as 5Dimes did recently and work on obtaining licensing and operating in regulated states. For years, the 5Dimes brand was one that operated offshore to players located in the United States.
Varela Creighton, the widow of 5Dimes founder William Sean Creighton, assumed control of the company and has decided to take positive steps towards operating in the United States. A settlement was recently reached with Pennsylvania, one step on a long path to becoming a legitimate company in the nation.
Will Bovada and other offshore operators decide to go the same path? If they do not, then options might become limited over the next few years as more states start to legalize online poker, casino and sports betting services.
The past year has seen significant growth when it comes to the iGaming market in the US. It is expected that even more legal changes will come in the future with more states joining in on the action. It will take some time, but eventually we should see more states open services online.
As this happens, companies like Bovada will have to take the steps necessary to avoid any type of prosecution or issues with operations in states that decide to legalize iGaming. It continues to be interesting to watch as new developments take place.