Unsubstantiated reports in online media such as Poker News Daily and 911 indicate that the Bodog online gambling group has let go "hundreds of employees" this week in what is being interpreted as a precursor to departing the US market, although this has been denied by company spokesmen.
There are allegations that the company has been slow-paying customers in recent months, although this may well be a not uncommon problem associated with processing American payments occasioned by the UIGEA.
It is known that the company has been making a determined push into Europe and Asia since early 2008, although as far as online poker operations are concerned this is not yet reflected in their latest PokerScout rankings, which have shown a fall in the average number of real cash players per week, repositioning the operation at number 14 below networks like Cake, Absolute and Microgaming.
Last year, following a bruising legal encounter over patents with First Technology LLC, Bodog lost control of its original domains in a $48 million default judgement by US courts. Founder and at that time President Calvin Ayre subsequently signed a deal with Morris Mohawk Gaming Group of Kahnawake, Quebec, giving it the rights to use the Bodog brand to serve customers throughout North America, whilst international operations remained in Antigua.
Apparently the company then moved most of its operations from Vancouver to Montreal – a short distance from the Kahnawake First Nation enclave where Morris Mohawk is situated. The new regime, according to Poker News Daily’s source inside Bodog, lost many quality employees who did not wish to make the move from Vancouver.
"The staff that had grown to make Bodog one of the top internet gambling sites in the world had, in essence, turned over," the information site opines. In more recent times (see previous InfoPowa reports), Ayre announced his permanent retirement from Bodog, and has been low profile ever since.
It is now claimed – again on the basis of allegations by an unnamed insider – that in the past week, Bodog has laid off close to 250 employees in Canada, from customer service to management, and staffing levels are currently down to approximately 200 employees, split equally between Vancouver and Montreal. Advertising management has departed following a suspension in the activities of that division.