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Microgaming Under Fire for Online Poker Skin Scandal, Grand Prive Mess
Apr 9 2009 - 2:29pm
The well established and well regarded online gambling software and poker firm, Microgaming, has had its good name dragged through the dirt in recent months.
First, one of the company's online casino brands - the Grand Prive Group - decided to abruptly terminate its "life time agreement" with its affiliates. Grand Prive continues to operate and it still does so from the Microgaming platform apparently.
Now we are learning of an online poker group utilizing the Microgaming network that has just shut its doors.
"Anyone who puts their faith in a Poker skin with a name of ‘Mr Urban Poker', or ‘Privy Poker' is a tad naive. Regardless, many players did, and have consequently been abandoned and believed to be owed in the excess of $5.3 million.
"To summarize this long-winded, scandalous affair, several poker skins, who dealt with the company Tusk for their licensing and finances, and Microgaming as the operator of the Poker Network, have gone bust, and are unable to process payouts.
"Apparently, the blame lies with the company responsible for player account financing, Tusk, who have plunged into liquidation. It is estimated creditors only have $1.3 million available to refund players. Because they are not directly responsible, MicroGaming are refusing to process refunds. One Unibet representative deemed the constant undercutting in bonus deals and rakeback from the skins involved, along with affiliate player stealing, as the primary reason for faltering finances.
"So if you had a bankroll on ‘Privy Poker', it's highly likely it got flushed away."
Well Established Brands Having Tough Run in 2009
For years, Microgaming was among the most reliable of firms in the online gambling sector. The company even led the way last week in Amsterdam as part of an attempt to take control of the lucrative online casino affiliate sector.
"First they need to straighten out the Grand Prive mess," said one affiliate who wished not to be named. "It's hard to trust this group's motives when they keep silent about this injustice."
Microgaming is not the only long standing industry firm that has seen its reputation decline over the past few months.
Cryptologic, another of the industry originals, is currently embroiled in a "Board feud". Alleged mismanagement has resulted in the software firm losing some of its key clients including William Hill.
Crypto's ex-CEO, Javaid Aziz, demanded the firing of one board member. CryptoLogic sent a letter to Mr. Aziz on February 22 and provided him until 5:00 pm Eastern Time on February 23 to advise the company of how he intended to address "deficiencies in his requisitions".
This has not exactly played out well on the world stage where competitor, Playtech, has seemingly taken full advantage of Cryptologic's vulnerabilities.
Microgaming does not seem to have the same type of management issues as Crypto and can likely clean its reputation with moves to eradicate the Grand Prive group and assist players in getting paid by its "rogue" online poker skins. Failure to do so could result in further damage to the Microgaming brand name.
Crypto, on the other hand, seems way too entangled in management squabbling for any smooth sailing in the immediate future.
Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher
Submitted by C Costigan on Thu, 04/09/2009 - 14:11