by Hillary LaClair, Senior Editor
Following the Kentucky domain seizure, Microgaming has made a major decision in pulling its online casinos from the U.S. market altogether. The decision to exit the U.S. has sent shockwaves through the industry, and some believe it is a political ploy by the company. While this is disheartening for many U.S. players, Real Time Gaming and Vegas Technologies expect to gain a great deal of customers.
Real Time Gaming powers such popular online casinos as Cherry Red and Rushmore Casino, while Vegas Technologies powers Online Vegas and Golden Casino among others. Because casinos that use Microgaming will no longer accept U.S. wagers, the American market will have to move somewhere.
The Kentucky ruling had only made the stipulation that the 141 internet gambling domains block Kentucky residents. Microgaming initially blocked the several U.S. states that have criminalized gambling, but have made the final decision in exiting the whole market.
“With this new administration coming into power in the U.S., the online gambling issue will be one that will be reviewed. The likely scenario is that current laws are changed to include legislation to regulate the online gambling industry. Microgaming might feel that by pacifying the U.S. today, they will position themselves for licensing in the future,” commented Bradley Strench, an internet gaming analyst from the United Kingdom.
Real Time Gaming and Vegas Technologies have not said one way or the other whether they will follow in exiting the U.S., but they stand to benefit a great deal from the loss of Microgaming.
“I think that other software companies can really take advantage of this situation. The customers are there, it is just a matter of how much these companies want to push the envelope in America,” Strench continued.
Another online gaming consultant, Brian Avelent commented, “With everything going on in America right now, any company who takes the stance of continuing to accept new U.S. customers could have it pay off in a big way. The government is in transition and the new regime will be focused on reform, not conviction.”
Microgamin has won several awards over the years, including Best Software Supplier by Casino Player Magazine in 2001, Best System Provider by Gaming Express Magazine and Gambling Online Magazine’s Players Choice Award in 2002, Gambling Online Magazine’s Top Casino Software Award in 2003 and Gambling Online Magazine’s Top Casino Software and Editors Pick Awards in 2006.
Up until its decision to leave, Microgaming was home to thousands of U.S. players. Online casino operators such as the Carmen Media Group, Fortune Lounge Group, Ladbrokes, 32Red, Fairground Gaming, Vegas Partner Lounge and Golden Star Lounge are among the many who use Microgaming software.
Robert Foote, the lead attorney representing Kentucky in the domain seizure case cited Microgaming on more than one occasion, and this could be the reason for its exit.
“He has it out for Microgaming,” said Joe Brennan Jr. of iMEGA. “Nobody seems to know why they keep bringing them up.”