The world’s leading gambling empire Bodog has announced its newest online casino platform: Bodog.io. This Asia-focused brand is licensed by the Isle of Man Gambling Commission as explained in press release from Bodog from Thursday, March 23, 2023
Bodog.io is a casino-only operation; no poker room, sportsbook or racebook. What’s more, this organization eschews the use of fiat currencies – it does all banking and gaming in cryptocurrency. The only crypto coin currently mentioned on the site is the granddaddy of all cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin. User balances are apparently denominated in mBTC, or thousandths of a Bitcoin.
Despite the fact that this is a crypto-only website, users may still be required to complete identity verification. This is clear from the following sentence from Section 3.5. from the Terms of Service: “We reserve the right to use third-party verification services to verify your account information and identity, and you expressly acknowledge and agree that we may verify the accuracy of any information you submit against your official ID. “
Bodog.io is owned by Star Jar (IOM) Ltd. Information on this Isle of Man-based corporation is a bit hard to find. It appears to be just a holding company with no web presence other than Bodog.io. Most of the other gaming businesses under the Bodog umbrella are similarly owned by enigmatic companies that don’t really reveal much about themselves.
Unfinished casino site
There are indications that Bodog.io was thrown out before it was fully completed. For example, the website claims that you can “get a 100% casino bonus”, but there is no explanation of how this bonus works, or indeed the maximum amount of the bonus offer.
Similarly, there are references to table games and video poker on the website, but no titles are listed in these categories. There is not even a promotions page that is found in almost every other online casino.
A library of games
Despite Bodog.io’s assurance that “We offer over hundreds of slot machines, the best table games, and a new gaming experience every week,” the only type of games currently displayed are slots, and there are far fewer than even a hundred of them. To be more specific, there are currently only 27 titles displayed in the lobby.
There seems to be no download at Bodog.io casino. Rather, all games are in a responsive HTML5 format, ensuring cross-compatibility with a wide range of devices, including mobile phones.
Most of the titles currently visible in the lobby come from PG Soft or Pocket Games Soft, a development house with the cryptic, if tautological-sounding tagline, “Difference is Difference.” Other games were created by Wazdan and Habanero Systems.
Clicking on a game brings up a brief summary of the game, which you can expand to read more about it. You also have the option to participate in a practice game even if you haven’t created an account yet.
The casino management is quite tight-lipped about which parts of the world they transact with. In the help center we are given the vague statement that “Bodog.io accepts players from a number of countries in the Asia-Pacific region.”
By playing around with the account creation window, we were able to see which countries returned a “Sorry, the site is currently not available in your country” warning message. By default, the countries that did it no giving such notice are those from whom Bodog.io accepts clients. They are:
This list contains the large and relatively prosperous markets of Japan and Korea, along with future powerhouses India and Indonesia. There is indeed a lot of overlap with the area previously served by Bodog88 and Bodog India, now closed offshoots of Bodog that previously served Asian customers. Alas, Australia and China are missing from the list, possibly due to legal issues.
Cambodia is another nation in the Southeast Asian region that Bodog.io appears to be targeting. Algeria is the oddball here; we think this is probably just a bug in the account creation interface.
The list of countries with which the casino does business is completed by the troubled Ukraine and….yes, the almighty Kazakhstan!
Isle of Man licence
One of the legitimate strengths of the new Bodog.io brand is that it is licensed from the Isle of Man. There are perhaps a dozen common license seals in the online gambling industry and they vary greatly in reputation from those that are seen as little more than rubber stamps and those that carry the weight of powerful and trusted agencies behind them. The Isle of Man is one of the most respected of these jurisdictions.
Other sites in the Bodog group have been licensed by various jurisdictions. However, none of them are as well regarded as the Isle of Man license obtained by Bodog.io. This license is issued by the Isle of Man Gambling Commission pursuant to the Online Gambling Regulation Act 2001.
To remain in good standing with the Gambling Supervision Commission, a licensee must comply with certain regulations and follow specific guidelines. Among the obligations assumed by license holders are:
- Must establish a corporate presence in the Isle of Man with at least two local directors
- Must register players on servers located in the Isle of Man
- Pay £35,000 per year plus an application fee of £5,000
- Pay duty between 0.1% and 1.5% of gross gaming income depending on total income for a year
- Comply with all applicable advertising standards
- Follow anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism laws
- Keep player funds in separate accounts
Failure to comply with these – and other – responsibilities subjects the company to possible license suspension or cancellation, as well as refusal to renew a license when it expires. In addition, certain failures may make persons employed by the firm personally liable.
All of these factors combine to make the Isle of Man a notorious gambling regulator and one that is considered anything but toothless. Potential customers can certainly breathe easier knowing that such a trusted authority has seen fit to license Bodog.io.
Bodog and its affiliates provide excellent games
Bodog.io only serves those in a few select markets primarily in Asia. However, if you live in another part of the world, you may have access to other related sites that provide an even better gaming experience because they have been around longer and have more established game libraries.
American casino enthusiasts can choose from Slots.lv or Cafe Casino, and in fact Slots.lv accepts Canadians as well. However, these are casino-only sites, so Americans who want to play poker are better off joining Ignition, which has a casino and a poker room. Bovada goes one step further, providing residents of the United States with a one-stop shop for casino, poker and sports betting.
Canadians looking for all-in-one gambling can sign up with Bodog, which also serves certain Latin American countries. Australians have a choice of Joe Fortune for casino games or Ignition for a combo casino plus poker room.