Bodog Poker clients throughout Europe have received emails this weekend advising them that their service is being terminated and to empty their accounts.
Online poker players throughout many countries in Europe received emails from Bodog Poker this weekend advising them that Bodog will no longer be processing transactions in their jurisdiction from 30th August 2012. The emails continued:-
We recommend that you withdraw any balance you may have in your account by 30 August 2012. Minimum withdrawal amount is $/€/£10. After 30 August, we will adjust your balance to 0 to protect your funds. To withdraw your balance after 30 August, you will need to contact customer service at firstname.lastname@example.org
Speculation immediately started that Bodog Poker was having difficulty with payment processors in some European countries and that it also failed to be approved by the EU Gaming Commission – several observers suspected that Bodog were going to pull out of Europe completely and focus solely on its far more profitable (and unregulated) Asian operation.
The Bodog Network Liaison on 2+2 would only state that
it is up to the operators [to]
dictate who they offer their services to. If you have any questions about this operator’s decision, you will have to contact that operator’s customer service and emails to Bodog Customer Service asking for more information were met with a standard response stating:-
Thank you for contacting Bodog Customer Service.
We appreciate your time sending us an email regarding your account with us. We can definitely clarify this for you.
At this time, due to continuing difficulties finding and maintaining acceptable payment options, we have been forced to make the difficult decision to stop offering our services to residents of your country.
For the time being, please let us know if you would like to continue using your Bodog account or if we should proceed disabling it. Any available funds in your account will be returned to you accordingly.
Again, kindly ensure that you withdraw any balance you may have in your account by 30 August 2012. Minimum withdrawal amount is $/€/£10. After 30 August, we will adjust your balance to 0 to protect your funds. To withdraw your balance after 30 August, you will need to contact customer service by phone, chat or email at the details mentioned below.
We do apologise for any inconvenience caused by this and we will be happy to help you with any questions you may have.
If there is anything else we can help you with, please let us know.
Eventually, a Bodog spokesperson was prepared to make a statement to the effect that Bodog had made a corporate decision to
concentrate on our strengths & where we can offer the best product. The Bodog brand is known for its high level of customer service & spreading ourselves too thinly to try and cover a huge amount of smaller markets was proving logistically difficult. Bodog.co.uk will concentrate on growing existing markets.
The 20 countries affected by Bodog´s corporate decision are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Hungary, Israel, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovenia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
With Bodog Poker already absent from Spain, France and Italy, the removal of online poker players from 20 countries (including the
smaller market of Russia!) is going to make a substantial difference to the volume of traffic playing on Bodog Poker.