Sports Betting

Michigan Issues Cease and Desist Letter to Bovada Sportsbook

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Michigan Issues Cease and Desist Letter to Bovada Sportsbook

The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) has issued a cease and desist letter to Bovada Sportsbook, an offshore online sportsbook and casino operator. Bovada operates unlicensed gaming services in multiple states across the U.S. Harp Media B.V., Bovada’s parent company, is located in Curaçao.

Michigan Gaming Control Board is giving Harp Media B.V. 14 days to halt its Bovada Sportsbook operations

On May 29, the gaming control board sent the cease and desist letter to Harp Media B.V. for allowing its “illegal online gaming sites, and” to be accessible by Michigan residents.

A cease and desist is a formal communication sent by one party to another, often a business or an individual, to demand the immediate stoppage of an illegal or allegedly illegal activity.

Additionally, the MGCB has given Harp Media B.V. exactly 14 days to prevent Michigan residents from placing wagers via their websites. The gaming control board will take legal action if the company refuses to comply.

“The proliferation of online gaming platforms has led to increased scrutiny from regulatory bodies worldwide, and this action serves as a stern warning to overseas companies that flouting local regulations will not be tolerated,” MGCB Executive Director Henry Williams said.

“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.”

MGCB says Harp Media B.V. is in violation of multiple gaming laws

Furthermore, the MGCB claims that Harp Media B.V. is in violation of several Michigan gaming laws.

First off, the Michigan Gaming Control and Revenue Act prohibits a party from conducting gambling operations without a license 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.

Next, the Michigan Penal Code, which prohibits any form of gambling. This includes consideration, prize, and chance. It also bans accepting money or anything of value.

Lastly, the Lawful Internet Gaming Act. Internet gaming may only be offered by a licensed internet gaming operator. The offshore, unlicensed sportsbook and online casino has been operating since December 2011.

However, Bovada has been banned by states — including Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, and Nevada — in recent years after the states passed legislation to ban all access.

Michigan is the next state on the chopping block for Bovada.