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Sportsbook.com Becomes Sportsbook.ag

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Jun/07/2011
Sportsbook.com Becomes Sportsbook.ag

Sportsbook.com, the largest online betting site in North American in terms of overall volume, is the latest online gambling website to move away from the .com domain name to a .ag extension.  In fact, Sportsbook.com’s website URL automatically moves users to the Sportsbook.ag site when one types the .com extension into a browser.  Not only that, Sportsbook.ag now ranks atop Google search for “Sportsbook.com”.  They are also promoting the new domain on the home page of their website.  Sportsbook has been a long standing sponsor of the Gambling911.com website for many years now.

For those of you who think this is all a big waste of time, it’s not.  A law was recently passed in the US that basically allows law enforcement to seize .com and .net domain names if they are found to be in violation of US laws.  Both extensions are US-based. 

While the initial rationale for this law stemmed from illegal copyright infringement websites, US law enforcement has expanded its efforts into the online gambling sector beginning with seizures of the domain names for the three largest US-facing Internet poker rooms:  PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and UB.com. 

A separate investigation conducted by the US Attorney’s Office out of Baltimore had initially sought to seize funds from those three sites.  Instead they snagged a lesser- known online gambling brand, BetED.com, as part of a payment processing sting operation.  They decided to seize the BetED.com domain last month along with 9 domains belonging to the Bookmaker.com group. 

Bookmaker already had already switched over to the .ag extension even before the seizure notice appeared on the Bookmaker.com site, thus averting a run on the bank.  Customers were notified of the change within hours. 

Bodog followed suit the next day by forwarding to a .eu site.

The industry as a whole will likely begin extensive Search Engine Optimization and public relations efforts to educate gamblers about the .ag and .eu extensions. 

While the .com sites still remain the most popular worldwide, the trend seems to be moving away from this extension, especially in light of law enforcement efforts of late.  Country-specific domains like .co.uk are becoming more popular.  There is also an increasing trend towards typing in website names to Google Search as opposed to entering the URL directly in a browser window. 

Sportsbook.com had initially elected to use the .co.au extension for Australia but scrapped those plans after about two days.

- Chris Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

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