Deja Woo: and Bodog Raids, Perfect Together (Video)

Written by:
Alejandro Botticelli
Published on:
Deja Woo: and Bodog Raids, Perfect Together (Video)

One would think that the Philippines government would have more important things to do than conduct a nonsensical raid on Bodog’s offices Thursday evening.  After all, that island nation was just hit with the worst typhoon ever recorded and the devastation is something few of us can grasp, not to mention that Bodog’s Founder, Calvin Ayre, just pledged $1 million to Typhoon Yolanda relief efforts.

Somehow, authorities in the Philippines found the time to interrogate employees of the popular international online betting firm for nearly five hours, as reported exclusively by through our stellar investigative team of Jagajeet Chiba and Jenny Woo.  And, it was all for naught. 

The more things change in the Philippines, the more they stay the same.

As it turns out, the warrant questions the company offering gambling products to local citizens on a “street level”, something Bodog officials were very quick to deny Thursday. sources have been shown documentation suggesting that former “Gangster Governor” Chavit Singson may have pulled some strings resulting in the raid on Bodog offices. 

This comes at a time when has reported extensively on Singson’s ties to individuals that Bodog alleges embezzled millions of dollars from the firm, former executives being among the “gang”.  At the very least, pictures have surfaced showing the former Governor posing with said individuals.

Coincidence?  You decide. is learning more details of what transpired during Thursday evening's hectic ordeal.  Some employees were sweating, others were crying.

“We just didn’t know what was happening,” a witness revealed to G911.

“The raiding party was 12 deep and only 4 of the group had ID,” stated another witness that was in the office at the time the documents were presented. “I read the questionable documents being thrown around by the authorities and they were referencing local gambling violations, however the company does not offer services to the locals.”

G911 was assured that all was now well at Bodog’s Manila office and it is business as usual (or unusual as we sometimes like to say about the industry as a whole).  Customers will not be impacted in any way but Thursday’s events do remind us of how politics in the Philippines need to step out from an ugly past.

A source on the ground tells us that’s coverage of what is now believed to be a multi-industry embezzlement scheme has peaked the interest of local press, hence we get a few not-so-happy high ranking officials, power hungry perhaps.  Then we get – you guessed it – a raid on a reputable company’s office.

Assassination Nation

Not a lot of people know that the Philippines actually borrowed the US constitution when they were setting up their current political system, which is great, except for the fact that American politics has become highly contentious and intensely partisan.

But in the Philippines, they're taking this to a whole new level. With more than 1,200 political assassinations in the last decade alone, the Philippines is one of the deadliest places on earth for politicians.

VICE Travel Magazine documented this recently via their new HBO show with intrepid reporter Ryan Duffy seeking out the nation’s most gunned-after candidates after he registers for re-election.

Singson himself has been the target of numerous assassination attempts.

One was a grenade attack.

“Eleven people were killed, but not me - luckily I was dancing with a fat woman at the time and she took all the shrapnel,” Singson reminisced.

Scroll Down for More – Watch “Assassination Nation” Below…

Singson has also admitted to his involvement in a Philippines political scandal tied to former President Joseph Estrada.

Singson said that he had delivered more than 400 million pesos ($8 million) in gambling payoffs from jueteng to Estrada. The governor said he began collecting and delivering the money in 1998, a few months after Estrada was elected president. He added that he participated in the payoffs until August 2000, and that the money drops were made in Estrada's office. He also said Estrada had received 130 million pesos ($2.6 million) from provincial tax revenues.

Estrada was put under investigation, but on 16 January 2001, a key piece of evidence was blocked in court, leading to protests in Manila.  This led to Estrada ultimately being placed in jail pending the investigation, leading the then Vice-President Gloria Arroyo to resume the presidency on January 20, 2001.

And while many insists the Philippines are doing everything possible to weed out government corruption, the events of Thursday evening tell us they have plenty more work ahead of them.

Bodog Unwarranted Raids Nothing New

For long time readers of the website, the phrase “Bodog Raid” may ring bells.  Few can forget the events of March 10, 2006 when Calvin Ayre’s elaborate Costa Rica compound ended up being the subject of a raid….and, yes, received some credit. Actually, it was like something out of a Laurel and Hardy skit.

It seems Costa Rican authorities, egged on by some of Ayre’s angry and envious neighbors, conducted extensive research into an event that was slated to take place that fateful night, research including exerpts taken from a article.

At the time of the raid, Ayre was hosting some 100 people while shooting the final episode of a "poker" reality series.  There were about that many law enforcement officials who jumped out of a bus to conduct the sunset raid.  Poker pros present included the likes of “American Pie” sweetheart Shannon Elizabeth. was cited in the affidavit after promoting the event, which authorities wrongly translated invited "models" to mean “prostitutes” (or putas).

Authorities said they were:  "investigating the premise and seeing models, many of them blonde, entering the compound, as well as many persons with American characteristics."

A drug dog was also brought onto the scene and thought it found something in the maid's room. What the canine found was the maid's underwear drawer. So the police went through every piece of underwear, one thong at a time.

Then the dog and trainer joined other officers at the buffet table after finding no drugs in the house.

Oh, and they also confiscated Ayre’ laptop.

And just like with the raid in Costa Rica, the party went on in the Philippines Thursday night. Filipinos always try to make the best of a bad situation.

“It’s not that we are celebrating being interrogated for five hours,” one witness tells  “But this is definitely a night for one, two, three or more stiff drinks after such a harrowing experience.”

- Alejandro Botticelli,

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