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Federal prosecutors shut down sports betting website Bodog.com

Federal prosecutors in Baltimore on Tuesday unsealed an indictment against online sports betting site Bodog.com and its principals, charging them with conspiracy to launder money and running an illegal sports gambling business.

Visitors to Bodog.com on Tuesday were greeted with this federal notice.

Prosecutors shut down the website Bodog.com Monday prior to the unsealing of the warrant. Prosecutors say Bodog has paid out more than $100 million in winnings since its founding in 2005.

“Sports betting is illegal in Maryland, and federal law prohibits bookmakers from flouting that law simply because they are located outside the country,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein in a statement. “Many of the harms that underlie gambling prohibitions are exacerbated when the enterprises operate over the Internet without regulation.”

Bodog offered online poker, casino games, horse racing betting and sports betting including professional and collegiate football as well as professional golf.

The two-count indictment alleges that Bodog’s officers moved funds from the company’s bank accounts in Switzerland, England, Malta and Canada to pay winners in Maryland and elsewhere and also to pay for advertising for the site. From 2005 to 2008 alone, prosecutors say Bodog spent more than $42 million on advertising.

The company officers face up to five years in prison for the gambling charges and an additional 20 years for the money laundering conspiracy charge. The company itself faces a $500,000 maximum fine on the two counts.