Players in the United States on ISP Comcast took to the forums en masse last weekend to report connectivity issues on Bovada, Bodog’s US-facing online poker room.
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Bovada has recognized a problem and representatives have emailed players and posted on social media with temporary solutions. There has been no formal statement from the ISP yet.
The block appears to be at the Comcast’s Domain Name Server (DNS). The DNS is a database that maps a web address—like Bovada.LV—into the numerical Internet Protocol (IP) address—like 188.8.131.52. Top 10 online games no download.
It appears that Comcast has deliberately blocked access to Bovada.LV from its DNS, although mixed reports from players—some on Comcast reportedly have no issues, players on other ISPs also report problems—make it hard to identify the root of the issue. The slow propagation of DNS systems can cause further confusions.
Players have also reported problems logging in to the desktop client, indicating that gaming servers have also been blocked.
A tweet from Bovada indicates that the problem may not be limited to only Comcast:
Players using particular ISPs, such as Comcast, are still unable to access the site— Bovada Official (@BovadaLV) March 29, 2014
The workaround suggested by Bovada involves changing the DNS which players use to access the internet.
Yyou can still access the site with these workarounds: Update your DNS server by following the instructions here https://t.co/pE6YoG7scf— Bovada Official (@BovadaLV) March 29, 2014
It is quite usual for more IT literate users to use a different DNS, often the Google DNS; Players who are not tech savvy may be wary of making the change.
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Access also seems to be unaffected for mobile users who have switched off the WiFi option on their devices, according to support emails.
Comcast is reported to be the largest ISP in the US. If it has adopted a policy of blocking access to gambling sites the impact could be serious for those operators that continue to permit US customers to access online poker rooms. No similar problems have yet been reported by US facing sites other than Bovada.
At the moment it is not clear what the motivation for the block may be, or whether it originates as the result of legal advice.
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Players who have reported the issue to Bovada’s customer support have received an email which confirms the apparent block, suggests the DNS workaround, and ends by reassuring players that “any funds you have currently deposited remain safe. We will do our best keep you updated as we work through the issue further.”