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Michigan Sends Cease and Desist Letter to Bovada

Written by: Michael Savio
Published June 5, 2024
6 min read
Michigan Sends Cease and Desist Letter to Bovada

Michigan has taken a significant step towards pushing out unregulated sports betting operations.

The Michigan Gambling Control Board (MGCB) sent Bovada, a popular offshore sportsbook, a cease-and-desist letter demanding they close their platform in the state. The letter gives the unregulated operator two weeks to close their platform in Michigan. If they do not comply, the state promises to pursue legal action. 

“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,” the letter states. “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.”

Bovada operated in the state’s gray market for years before the Wolverine State legalized sports betting on December 19. Michigan took similar actions against Stake.US, VGW, and PredictionStrike at the beginning of the year, and all three have since shut down. 

Bovada has yet to make any official response and is still operating in the state.

Bovada Could Choose to Ignore the Request

While the MGCB’s letter hints at further legal action, their options could be limited. Since Bovada is offshore and unregulated, they would need to involve the US Justice Department to attempt any action. Even if they do, there is no guarantee they could force Bovada to exit.

Bovada has agreed to close down in Delaware, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, and New York, but its US market is quickly shrinking. Michigan represents a significant market, which Bovada likely won’t want to forfeit. Aside from the loss of revenue, it would likely lead to more states taking similar action, pushing them out of the American market altogether.

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Michael Savio

513 Articles

Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid and has turned that into a successful career. He cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams along with his Alma Mater Arizona State. He specializes in baseball betting, but has experience in football, basketball, and hockey as well. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children.

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