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Latest on Microgaming US Casinos

By: Adam Baker, Saturday April 23rd 2011
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Even after the UIGEA was enacted in 2006 Microgaming online casinos continued to function in the United States as before. However, when the Kentucky domain name seizure broke out in 2008 Microgaming officially withdrew from the American market. Many Microgaming online casinos completely closed down shop in the United States. However, some Microgaming casinos completely withdrew only from those states where online gambling was explicitly illegal. In other states these online casinos stopped accepting new American customers but continued accepting bets from existing ones.

Now because of the action taken by the US Department of Justice against some poker online gambling sites, it appears that the remaining US Microgaming casinos are doing a rethink. There have been messages from players and affiliates at online casino forums that Microgaming online casinos have announced their exit.

One senior affiliate advised his players, "It is with a heavy heart that I have to tell you all that all MG US facing brands are shutting down as of 12 AM. I know some are concerned about withdrawing money and how this will affect payouts, the truth is right now I do not know." He added that the decision had been taken by Microgaming and therefore the casino operators had no option but to comply. The affiliate appeared sure that the players who had balances with the online casinos would be paid. However, since the Microgaming online casinos do not have any processors in place the process of clearing dues could take a few weeks.

The list of Microgaming online casinos that have announced closure has been compiled from the posts made by the players. The online casinos of the Fortune Lounge group such as 7 Sultans, Platinum Play, Royal Vegas and Vegas Palms are included. So are online casinos of the Jackpot Factory group like All Jackpots and All Slots. Other casinos named at online forums include Villento, Rich Reels, River Belle and Maple Casino.

The departure of these well-established and professional brands from the American market will create a vacuum. One option is that the operators of these brands license software from providers like Realtime Gaming and Vegas Technology, who still appear to be comfortable with the US market. This is what happened earlier in the case of online casinos like Intertops and Doyle's Casino. Alternatively, the online gambling vacuum may be filled by less respectable fly-by-night operators. The second eventuality will be harmful for the players.

The blow hot blow cold scenario for legalization of online gambling in the United States seems to be cold for the moment. Congressman Barney Frank's reintroduced bill HR1174 is bound to be blocked by a Republican Congress. The state online gambling bills seem to be in hibernation. The only silver lining is the Washington DC initiative.

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