Bovada, which ranks as the largest online poker site in the United States, will no longer be accepting new players from the states of Delaware and Nevada, the company has announced. Players in these states cannot create a new account and are presented with a three-sentence apology notification when they attempt to do so. Delaware and Nevada are two of the three states that have passed laws to allow for state-regulated online poker (with New Jersey being the third, of course) and recently made a pact to connect the states to share poker room traffic.
So Long and Thanks for All the Fish
Players within the states of Delaware and Nevada join those in Washington, Maryland, New York, and New Jersey as those who cannot make new accounts or make deposits at Bovada. If they attempt to do so they are given this note:
“We are sorry. We do not accept registrations from your state. For more information please contact us.”
The silver lining here is that existing players in these two newly affected states do not appear to be blocked from the site, should they have a balance in their accounts. The bad news for these existing players is that while they are able to play with real-money funds at Bovada poker tables, they are not able to make new deposits. There is no news about the withdrawal policy as of yet in light of this change, but there appears to be no change.
Garden State Blues Stated in May
The third state that allows for state-regulated online gaming, New Jersey, suffered the same fate just last month. Bovada pulled out of the state after receiving cease-and-desist letters sent to the company that operates the popular site. It stands to reason that a similar pattern might have formed in Delaware and Nevada.
Bovada’s Place in the United States
At the time of this article’s publication, according to popular industry watchdog site PokerScout.com, Bovada was the most popular poker room in the United States. The site has more than triple the traffic compared to the next highest poker network.
According to the site’s data, here are the top five poker rooms:
#1 Bovada: 1,350 7-day average
#2 Merge: 425 7-day average
#3 Winning: 260 7-day average
#4 Chico: 260 7-day average
#5 Equity: 160 7-day average
The bad news for players in regulated states is that Bovada follows the trend that Equity, Winning, and Merge all started previously in 2014. All of those poker networks now no longer accept players from “iGaming States” (i.e., legal and regulated) moving forward, and in some cases simply banned players altogether and forced them to withdraw immediately.
What’s the Alternative?
For those players in Nevada or Delaware, there are some alternatives to look at. While it does not come close to having the traffic of Bovada, there is WSOP.com, which gets about 140 players for its 7-day-average and is currently running some nice promotions for the World Series of Poker. Nevadans – and those visiting the state – can also enjoy Ultimate Poker, but the traffic is paltry at best, ranking in at just 55 players for a 7-day average.
Back in July 2011, Bodog announced that a deal they had with Morris Mohawk Gaming Group (MMGG) would terminate at the end of that year and all customers were then transferred to the new Bovada name. The United States Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Agency eventually seized the Bodog.com domain name in February 2012, despite the fact that it was inactive. Bodog was originally founded as an entertainment brand back in 2000 by Canadian entrepreneur Calvin Ayre.