The decision last week by Microgaming licensees to exclude all new US player registrations from November 10 (see previous InfoPowa report) has been widened to include a bar on progressive slot action and Flash games for US residents.
The move was announced this week to marketing affiliates on the Brightshare program, which handles the Jackpot Factory online casino and poker room group, and takes immediate effect. It is unknown at this stage whether other MGS licensees intend following the Brightshare example.
Emails to affiliates from Brightshare advised as follows:
"On Wednesday all Flash and progressive play will be blocked for US players. This includes:
* Progressives in Viper
* Flash play as guest / Real / demo by US players, based on IP. This includes the Flash links Brightshare provides to affiliates
* Play for fun only fun casinos won’t be blocked"
Thus far US players have not been directly informed of the moves, although many affiliates have posted the emails on Internet player message boards as an advance warning.
Emails posted by affiliates last week revealed that the Grand Prive group and at least one other major online casino group are contemplating a full exit from the United States market on December 1st.
And this week, another affiliate communication – this one from Doyle's Poker Room was posted, indicating that the company – presumably in opposition to changes in US policy – intends quitting the Microgaming Poker Network. The email contained the following passage:
"DoylesRoom.com has been informed by its software provider that effective Monday November 10th, 2008; they will no longer be accepting any new players from the United States of America. Existing players from the USA will not be affected by this and will be able to continue playing; therefore, all affiliate revenue generated by these players will be honored. This measure does not affect affiliates located in the USA.
"Based on the above, DoylesRoom.com has decided to continue its marketing efforts in the USA and the rest of the world, and to this end we are quickly working towards migrating to a new software platform that will support our efforts to provide security and stability to all USA players and affiliates. Once we migrate to this new platform, our retention department will contact all those new players that tried to join during this transition and help them access the account they attempted to create and by doing so, all affiliate tracking codes will be still attached to each players’ account.
"Currently, we are negotiating with multiple software providers. As soon as a decision is made, we will send you another email with all the details."
Earlier this week (see previous InfoPowa report) a Microgaming spokesman said that the block on new US player signups had been implemented at the request of licensees apparently discouraged by the growing uncertainties of carrying on a professional business in the United States. There was no comment on the Flash and progessives ban at the time, and player speculation is now growing that major licensee groups will extend these bans to a full bar on US players at some stage in the near future.