03/21/2012 : BIG CASINO CLOSES AMID CONFUSION
Players left in the dark for six days
Last Friday online players at Big Casino, a Viaden-powered operation licensed on the Isle of Man, reported that the depositing facility on the website was inoperable, although all other services appeared to be working.
Enquirers were assured by Support that the fault was a technical glitch that was being attended to.
Two days on with no change, and players were getting suspicious – such ‘technical glitches' in the past have been followed by unexpected shutdowns, and the lack of communication from either operator or software provider was ominous.
With player stress levels mounting, a spokesman then appeared on some message boards suggesting that the problem was more a management decision, with the issue residing with Viaden rather than the casino and intriguing but unexplained hints of a ‘restructuring'.
Whatever the cause, management remained silent and no formal public statement was made as the issue drifted into a new week without any explanation beyond more message board posts advising "…there are going to be some major changes in the company: structure, ownership, etc. BigCasino won't be restructured. All changes will affect only Viaden. Players money are in safe (sic)."
On Wednesday – six days on – players at last started receiving email notifications from the casino, albeit giving them scant notice:
"This is to inform you that BigCasino.co.uk is ceasing operations on 1 April, 2012.
"You have positive outstanding balance on your account, however it's not sufficient to meet the minimum withdrawal requirements. You can wager this money till 1 April, 2012, and in case of a win you can withdraw the money via one of the available methods.
"If you have any questions or need assistance withdrawing your funds, don't hesitate to contact our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org
"If you have any active bonuses, the bonus money will be cancelled automatically and all the wagering requirements will be nulled so that you can withdraw your funds immediately."
It is understood that others impacted by the closure, namely affiliates, will be looked after. All affiliates who earned commission in March will be paid within the next 7 days, and a Viaden spokesman has given an assurance that if BigCasino is re-opened under a different name brand with the existing player database, the referring affiliates will be compensated.
The reasons for the Big Casino closure have not been disclosed, but Viaden still has white label casino ambitions and an Isle of Man licence, along with the aforementioned "…major changes in the company’s structure and ownership."
Was this handled well and in a structured and professional manner?
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