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Mel Molnick behind Bodog closure?
It appears the person behind Bodog.com's sudden closure is none other than Mel Molnick, CEO of the Home Gambling Network of Nevada.
Molnick, notorious for past disputes with Ladbrokes.com, Betsson.com, Betinternet.com and CasinoWebcam.com, claims to have a patent on the method which online casinos use to run their businesses.
Earlier this month Molnick managed to win a patent infringement case against Bodog.com and on Tuesday the site was taken offline. Immediately the company opened NewBodog.com and business continued as usual. This explanation was left on the Web site:
"The problem is the direct result of a dispute over the ownership of the Bodog.com domain name," said Bodog owner Calvin Ayre. "We are fighting this dispute and are confident that we will win. In the meantime, other than the change in URL, it is business as usual."
Although PokerListings has not received confirmation from Bodog that it is indeed Molnick with whom they are in dispute, it is assumed he is behind the problem.
Method patents are a somewhat controversial and often challenged type of patent that cover process instead of a physical product.
Some critics of the patent have said that it refers only to when a live dealer is used over the Internet, and although Web sites did originally use live dealers via webcam that practice has generally been discontinued.
Molnick is in a unique situation because he has nothing against online gambling but has been a thorn in the side of such businesses for years.
A story in the Las Vegas Sun in April gave the 63-year-old's opinion.
"When I first got my patent people said, 'You must be living in a spaceship. You're a crazy old man,'" Molnick said. "I'm going after the big boys now. These people have made millions off my patents and I'm going to make them pay."
Molnick will face an uphill battle because most online gambling Web sites are located offshore and would likely try to get around U.S. law.