Microgaming is a well known casino software company that also owns a large online poker network. The Microgaming Network places in the top ten online poker rooms in terms of cash game traffic. While the network is home to many well known brands, it has also been home to many rogue sites over the years. Many industry observers feel that Microgaming poker rooms are neither safe or secure.
- Large player traffic
- Above average quality of games
- Social, recreational player focused
The first big name that failed on the Microgaming Poker Network was BetHold’em. While this brand is not well known by itself, it was under the WWTS umbrella. Players under these brands were bailed out by Bodog. This issue seemed like no big deal at the time but would prove further underlying issues with Microgaming.
In 2006, Microgaming licensed a company called Tusk Investments to help them expand the network to include white label skins. A white label is a turnkey site where the site operator is more of a marketer. The white label provider designs the website, logo and software color scheme. The operator develops a marketing plan.
The Tusk marketing scheme involved giving players rakeback deals that violated network rules. Players were allowed to receive more than 30% of their rake back. This caused a rift between Tusk and large Microgaming partners.
Tusk Investments Seal of Approval Suspension
On February 15, 2008, eCommerce and Online Gambling and Assurance (eCOGRA) suspended the seal of approval for Tusk Investments. This went virtually unnoticed in the online gambling community. Tusk Investments closed two weeks later citing that they were out of cash and would go into liquidation.
Players received about a nickel on the dollar. It appears that what few assets were left was spent on the liquidation process. The most well known skins involved with Tusk Investments were Battlefield Poker, Aceflush Poker and Arctic Poker.
This situation angered players. These players felt that Microgaming must have known the liquidity issues with Tusk Investments. This was especially true since Microgaming was heavily involved with eCOGRA at the time. Microgaming claimed no responsibly for these losses even though they held the clearinghouse on the player funds as they were won, lost or raked.
There was also anger among white label Tusk owners. Microgaming referred some of these skin owners to Tusk Investments as they wanted out of the business of licensing smaller skins. Tusk Investments was supposed to resolve this issue. Instead, Microgaming referred players to Tusk but refused to get involved when these same owners got stiffed when Tusk went bankrupt.
Other Failed Licenses
Tusk was not the only scandal on the Microgaming Network, two other major licensees failed under the watch of Microgaming.
Eurolinx was a favorite among bonus players. Eurolinx offered players incredible bonuses and promotions to draw them to their skin. They offered several reload bonuses a month with generous terms. Many players were getting more in rakeback than they actually paid in rake. The business model was impossible for Eurolinx to sustain. The site failed in 2009.
Eurolinx acquired BetonBet earlier in 2009. They destroyed that previously respected brand in the same bankruptcy. Players have yet to receive anything from either site’s implosion.
Ladbrokes left Microgaming in December 2013. Unibet left the network in January 2014. This affected Microgaming traffic.
While there are some respectable brands on the Microgaming Network, players should be aware that if there is ever an issue with a site they will not get paid. Microgaming has made it clear through previous actions that they have no concern about paying players if one of their skins implodes.