We have learned that Bodog.com, the original domain of the world’s most popular gaming brand Bodog, was seized by the Department of Homeland Security pursuant to a sealed warrant.
We received information of the seizure via a leaked VeriSign notice sent to the international registrar managing the domain.
This seizure of Bodog.com is a bit odd as the domain name hasn’t been operational for quite some time and isn’t in use for any active commerce anywhere in the world. Other Bodog Brand properties won’t be affected by the seizure of this inactive domain.
The seizure could be some sort of revenge action against the Bodog Brand as a punishment for its past licensing of the domain name to a company with US facing business.
I asked our publisher and Bodog Brand founder Calvin Ayre about the seizure, “Not sure what to say. BodogBrand.com is a brand-licensing organisation based outside the US. The brand left the market last year and the domain in question has been dormant globally for longer than that. We are only currently doing brand licensing deals outside the US so this domain had no place in any of our current plans.”
This seizure of the Bodog.com domain name highlights how dangerous it is to have a .com or .net domain in any industry, anywhere in the world as the current US climate leaves international companies with no due process to protect their trademarked domains.
This isn’t the first time the Bodog.com domain name was stolen from the Bodog Brand. Back in 2007, patent troll Scott Lewis and his group First Technology were successful, albeit temporarily, in stealing the domain. The move by patent troll Scott Lewis essentially destroyed the marketing value of the Bodog.com name, leaving little total value to the seized domain in the overall Bodog Brand licensing globally.
Sportsbook.com*, BetOnline.com and Merge Gaming Network (rumoured to be owned by Sportsbook.com) all use a .com for their online business. Other sites such as BetUS.com and LockPoker.com use a redirect to send their traffic to a more friendly country coded domain such as BetUS.com.pa but as we’ve just seen, the US Government will seize inactive domains in an effort to intimidate internationally licensed companies. *Correction – Sportsbook now uses Sportsbook.ag
We have not received word on the other gambling companies still actively using .coms but we can assume Bodog.com won’t be the last domain taken in the US Government’s razing of the competition as it clears way for the large Nevada casino corporations to dominate under a proposed federal poker regulatory scheme.