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Michigan Orders Bovada to Cease Operations



Michigan Gaming Control Board Orders Bovada to Cease Operations

Are you aware of the recent crackdown on unlicensed online gambling platforms in Michigan?

Learn how the Michigan Gaming Control Board is taking decisive action against Bovada, a major player in the online gambling world.

Understand the implications of this regulatory move and what it means for the future of online gambling in Michigan and beyond.

Stay informed about the latest developments in gaming regulations and how they impact the industry.


Michigan Gaming Control Board Orders Bovada to Cease Operations

In a significant regulatory move, the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) has issued a cease-and-desist order against Curaçao-based Bovada, prohibiting the platform from allowing Michigan residents to access their games. This decisive action underscores the state’s commitment to enforcing its gambling laws and ensuring a fair gaming environment.

Unlicensed Operations in Michigan

The MGCB has alleged that Bovada, operated by Harp Media BV, has been providing access to Michigan players via and without the necessary licensure. This activity is a direct violation of several Michigan gambling laws, including the Lawful Internet Gaming Act, the Michigan Gaming Control and Revenue Act, and the Michigan Penal Code.

Legal Framework and Penalties

Under Michigan law, only federally authorized tribal casinos and state-licensed casinos can apply for an online gaming or sports betting license. Running an unlicensed gambling operation is considered a felony, carrying severe penalties including up to ten years in prison, fines up to $100,000, or both.

Regulatory Action and Response

Harp Media BV has been given a 14-day window to block Michigan residents from accessing its services, starting from the receipt of the order on May 29. Should the company fail to comply, the MGCB has stated that it will pursue legal action to enforce the order.


Henry Williams, executive director of the MGCB, emphasized that this action serves as a warning to other international operators. “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,” Williams stated.

Commitment to Fair Gaming

Williams added, “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.”

Curaçao’s Re-Regulation Efforts

Bovada’s home base in Curaçao is undergoing significant regulatory reforms with the introduction of the National Ordinance for Games of Chance (LOK). This new legislation aims to tighten regulatory oversight and improve the region’s reputation, which has been marred by lax anti-money laundering (AML) practices and associations with criminal activities.

Impact on the Industry

Curaçao’s Finance Minister, Javier Silvania, has indicated that the LOK will serve as a “safety net” to protect the jurisdiction from grey-listing by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). This re-regulation effort is expected to enhance the credibility of Curaçao-based operators in the global gaming industry.


Michigan’s Gaming Revenue Trends

In related news, Michigan reported an 8.7% drop in online gaming revenue for April, with sports betting and iGaming operators recording $234.8 million, a decline from the previous month. Detroit’s casinos also saw a decrease, with revenue falling 11.7% to $109.4 million.


The cease-and-desist order against Bovada by the MGCB highlights the ongoing efforts to maintain regulatory compliance in Michigan’s gaming industry. As the state continues to refine its regulatory framework, operators must adhere strictly to local laws to ensure a fair and secure gaming environment. This action serves as a critical reminder of the importance of compliance and the potential consequences of operating without proper authorization.

Stay tuned for further updates on this developing story and the broader implications for the online gaming industry.


Jerome, a valuable addition to the Gamingo.News team, brings with him extensive journalistic experience in the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry was sparked during his college years when he participated in local poker tournaments, eventually leading to his exposure to the burgeoning world of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now utilizes his accumulated knowledge to fuel his passion for journalism, providing the team with the latest online scoops.

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