Microgaming dismisses 5050Poker’s “fines” claim

Microgaming has dismissed former licensee 5050Poker’s claims that it was “fined” more than €150,000 and subjected to a simultaneous table cap without prior warning.

The board of the holding company of the now liquidated poker room this week blamed the fact they were only able to pay former players up to 15% of their money back on “false information” about the state of the business presented to them by management and auditors, and also on player funds being used in the operations and to pay €150,000 in fines levied by Microgaming “for having too many winning players”. 5050 claimed this money had  “incorrectly…been withdrawn from the players’ accounts.”

Microgaming has now however issued a statement that 5050Poker had not paid €150,000 in fines. Nor had Microgaming withdrawn any money directly from 5050 players’ accounts, as stated by Poker5050 Holding this week.  The owner of the Microgaming Poker Network (MPN) said that from April 2010 to June 2012, 5050 had been subject to a network-wide method of rake reallocation between operators aimed at correcting the imbalance in the poker network ecosystem. Microgaming added that this reallocation of funds between operators took place within the Clearing House Bank Account, “which at no time holds player balances from any Operator on the Network. MPN cannot access an Operator’s player accounts.”

The MPN owner also dismissed out of hand 5050’s claim that the two-table cap on the number of tables its players could sit it, that led to the “bank run” that finally pushed the room over the edge, had been introduced without prior warning.

Finally, Microgaming stated that it informed all operators on 4 May 2012 that simultaneous play on tables may be temporarily reduced to improve network ecology, with 5050 then informed in mid-May that it was to be hit with this restriction from June. Microgaming said that two other operators had been affected.

Microgaming first suspended gameplay at 5050 on 15 June for “a material breach of its contract”, and permanently terminated its contract on 25 June after 5050′s failure to rectify this breach, namely the “non-payment of monies owed to cure their overdrawn network clearing account.”

5050 first announced it was in trouble on 14 June, when it revealed its players had been restricted to two tables as opposed to the prior ten, “in order to get rid of unwanted gaming operators (whose players mostly belong to the winning players category).” On 18 June, 5050 announced it was preparing a balance sheet for liquidation purposes, after it claimed players’ confidence in 5050Poker had been irrevocably damaged “with major economic consequences.” Its licence was suspended by regulator the Malta Lotteries and Gaming Authority on 27 June, with the LGA establishing a player complaints procedure.

Casino Choice journalist

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