Microgaming Licenses Software to BetwareBy: Joan Peppin, Thursday May 20th 2010
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Microgaming has now revealed that it has licensed its software to Iceland based software developer Betware. Betware currently specializes in state lotteries. This announcement was made after much speculation by the industry. In fact the manner of unfolding of events was like a murder mystery thriller.
On May 16 the Playshare-CasinoShare-Grand Mondial online casino group announced that it will be changing its software supplier from Microgaming. The new platform was not named. The message to the affiliates stated that the group’s US players would be moved to the new platform, which would be almost identical to Microgaming. The new online casino was to be called CasinoShare US and the migration was to be completed in a seamless manner by May 31. Soon other Microgaming online casino groups followed suit. The Casino Rewards group and the Players Palace group announced that they would be diverting their US players to CasinoShare US. At that time both CasinoShare and Microgaming declined to comment.
On May 17 CasinoShare US was live with over 300 downloadable games, most of them from Microgaming. The branded slots from Microgaming were not offered. The online casino did not identify the software supplier but was licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission.
Then on May 19 Microgaming broke its silence and announced that the new software provider was Betware and was its licensee. Betware has 14 years of experience in the online gaming software industry. Betware will offer its own products along with those licensed from Microgaming. Stefan Hrafnkelsson, Betware chief executive, said, "We are very proud and excited to be licensed to sell and market Microgaming’s casino games to growing markets. This agreement significantly expands our product offering, and provides our customers with a great opportunity to leverage on the fantastic success of the Microgaming brand." No mention was made of the consideration paid.
What is still in the realm of speculation is the reason for this move but the arguments put forward make sense. Microgaming stopped accepting new US players after the Kentucky domain name seizure case. However it continued to service its existing US customers. On June 1, 2010, the UIGEA rules go into effect. The heat will be turned on online gaming service providers after that. Microgaming does not want to be on the wrong side of the law in the United States. By this move Microgaming has severed all direct connections with the United States online casino market. Betware is an independent commercial and legal entity and would decide how to tackle the US market in its own way. As and when online gambling is legalized in the United States Microgaming would be free to enter it without any encumbrances of the past.
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