Bodog.co.uk, a brand on the Bodog Poker Network, has announced that it will withdraw from 20 countries, including Belgium and parts of Eastern Europe and the Middle East, by the end of August. Existing customers have been informed that they should request withdrawals before this time.
“It is better to concentrate on our strengths and where we can offer the best product,” said a Bodog spokesperson in a statement to pokerfuse. “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.”
Two countries on the list—Belgium and Estonia—have recently introduced online gaming regulations and require licenses to operate, which likely explains their inclusion on today’s list; others, such as Russia, are grey-market.
However, there are no such regulatory concerns in some of the other jurisdictions—such as Bulgaria, Slovenia and Lithuania—so other business reasons better explain today’s announcement: Maintaining operations in smaller nations will incur additional costs in areas like customer support, payment processing and fraud prevention.
There are three brands on the Bodog Poker Network: Bodog Europe, which serves the UK, EU and Canadian markets, Bodog88, facing the Asian gaming markets, and Bovada.LV, which accepts players from the United States and parts of the Caribbean and Central America. Neither Bodog88 nor Bovada are affected by the change, and will continue accepting players in their respective markets.
Rival poker network IGT/Entraction also recently announced it was withdrawing from many smaller markets. However, the IGT list—which includes South Africa and Australia—focuses more on the grey-market countries.
The complete list of new excluded countries on Bodog.co.uk is as follows: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Hungary, Israel, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovenia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan