Attorneys at the US Department of Justice are dropping all charges against online gambling magnate Calvin Ayre and Bodog.com. The surprise move marks the end of a five-year legal battle and is a major victory for one of the industry’s biggest personalities.
Word of the US federal prosecutors’ decision to end their legal vendetta against Calvin Ayre and company was announced late Friday afternoon. The announcement came shortly after Chief Judge Catherine Blake of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland signed off on an resolution dropping the charges against Calvin Ayre and Bodog.
Calvin Ayre and the company he built were accused of illegal gambling and money laundering conspiracy in an indictment that dropped five years at the behest of former US Attorney Preet Baharara. Baharara went after Calvin Ayre quite aggressively, but Baharara was recently fired by the American President, Donald Trump. With Baharara out of the picture, the Calvin Ayre case must have been a less enticing prosecution for Baharara’s remaining colleagues.
With charges against Calvin Ayre dropped completely, the US government also released the Bodog.com domain name, which it had seized when the charges were pressed half a decade ago. The domain name was immediately sold for $100,000. According to a report on CalvinAyre.com, the domain was purchased by friends of Calvin Ayre.
So how does the man at the center of this story feel about lifting the burden of legal trouble off his shoulder? In a statement to his namesake website, Calvin Ayre said:
I don’t see this settlement changing anything, as I’m happy with my life the way it is. I’ll continue to focus on being an online gaming industry analyst, a tech investor and a philanthropist. But most importantly, I’m just going to continue enjoying life to the fullest.
As of this writing, there’s no word on when, or if, Calvin Ayre plans to resurrect the Bodog.com brand as an Antigua-based online gambling operation.