Following emailed advisories to affiliates by several Microgaming-powered online gambling groups that new US signups would not be entertained from November 10, we asked a senior Microgaming spokesman for comment on the issue. He explained as a point of departure that as a software provider the Isle of Man based company does not dictate policy or corporate strategy to its licensees, all of which are independently owned companies.
Regarding the ban by licensees, he said: "Several of Microgaming’s clients, who represent most of the US licensee business, last week decided that the current commercial uncertainty of investing in business from the United States no longer justified accepting new player registrations. The US share of business has been declining for some time, and a number of licensees have already intimated to affiliates that they will no longer be taking US play.
"That is a decision for individual licensees, who act in the best interests of their companies
"Play from certain US states was in any event not accepted by Microgaming licensees, and has not been for some time.
"In the light of these decisions, Microgaming did not believe the volume of remaining business warranted the remainder of US-facing licensees keeping their systems available for new registrations, given the technical difficulties of maintaining an effective screening for all circumstances. After discussions with these remaining licensees, Microgaming will from today [November 10 2008] be implementing the decision not to accept new US registrations.
"Microgaming is confident that its licensees will be dealing with their players and affiliates in a fair and reasonable manner. In any event, industry player protection bodies such as ECOGRA will be prepared as usual to assist any players who have complaints.
"Microgaming cannot comment on the order for seizure of domain names by a court in Kentucky, as the matter is in the hands of lawyers."
The comments confirm earlier reports reaching InfoPowa that the initiative for the ban originated with licensees discouraged by the continued and possibly worsening uncertainties of doing business in the United States. The fact that licensees are independent of the software provider and make their own policy and business decisions perhaps also explains why some licensees have told affiliates that they will cease doing business in the USA from December 1, whilst others have not.