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Bookmaker Starts Craze With .AG Domain: Originated as a Joke

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Jun/18/2011
Bmaker.ag

When Bookmaker.com had its domain name seized after one of its 132 websites got caught up in a Baltimore sting operation, the oldest established North American-facing bookmaker (set up off shore in 1985) seemingly found a novel way to get around the crisis by adopting a new domain extension:  .AG.

The .AG stands for “Antigua”.  Bookmaker was not exactly astute when it came to domain extensions, however. 

In a recent interview with Bookmaker CEO Mickey Richardson, he admitted not liking the domain name and not immediately realizing Antigua had its own domain extension. 

“After the domain seizures of the online poker rooms on April 15, we just sat around in a room trying to figure out backup domain name and someone on my team suggested .AG for ‘Attorney General’, then we realized .AG was the domain extension for Antigua,” Richardson tells us.

Antigua just happens to be one of the largest online gambling hubs in the world.  They have even filed grievances against the US for its prosecution of Web gambling companies. 

“Little did we know everyone would start using .AG,” he added.

Once the Bookmaker.com domain was switched over to BMaker.ag immediately after the seizures were announced late last month, a number of online gambling companies followed suit.  Some adopted the .EU extension as well from the European Union, which also supports legalized online gambling. 

Richardson admits the US action hurt in terms of confusing players who may have had the website bookmarked.  As far as customer confidence goes, Bookmaker did not miss a beat.

“I told my team that if ever we had our domain names seized, it was top priority to make sure the players get paid quickly if they request a payout so that they know their money is safe.”

There was only a minor run on the bank the day of the seizures and most of those players have since redeposited with Bookmaker after customers quickly realized the company would have zero problem paying out.  It also helps that the seizure took place during one of the slowest times of the year and the Monday after the Preakness Stakes race. 

Lately, Gambling911.com has begun to see many searches for Bmaker.ag via the Yahoo search engine.  Could this have the potential to be the new Bodog?  Some of us can recall back in 2001 Calvin Ayre after set up his Bodog.com brand many a bookmaker mocking the name.

“What kind of a stupid name is that?” an executive at the now defunct BetOnSports once said to us.   

Ayre would later go on to appear on the cover of Forbes Billionaire issue, thanks to Bodog.com. 

With a number of competitors bowing out of the US market for the time being, Bookmaker could potentially brand the newfound Bmaker.ag name.  It is a shorter variation of the word “Bookmaker”.  It’s also interesting to point out that the largest online sportsbook in the world is named “Bwin”.

Having a Caribbean domain extension is nothing new.  One of the oldest established online bookmakers taking business from the US is Wager.dm, based out of the island of Dominica.  The site has flourished on page two of Google Search for the term “Wager”.

These days more and more Web browsers are finding their favorite sites using search, Twitter and Facebook as opposed to actually typing in an actual domain.

Case in point, the most searched term coming into Gambling911.com daily is now “Gambling911” and all of its many variants. 

- Chris Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

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