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Kevin Smith

Sunny Group's Post-Microgaming Life Begins

4 April 2002

Tensions remain high between I-gaming software provider Microgaming Systems and virtual casino operator Sunny Group, but both sides appear to be going their separate ways after the termination of their partnership and ensuing public quarrel.

Sunny Group reported last week that it has severed ties with Microgaming because it suspected Microgaming had rigged its random number generator. Officials with Microgaming, meanwhile, claimed that they cut the relationship off because Sunny Group had missed several payment deadlines.

Sunny Group also alleged the Kahnawake Gaming Commission and Mohawk Internet Technologies (MIT) were in collusion with Microgaming to prevent Sunny Group's technical support personnel from securing the company's servers after the split was publicized. Sunny alleged that one of its employees, per a request of Microgaming, was physically removed from the MIT hosting facility.

Regardless of which side is right, Sunny Group has taken its business elsewhere and is up and running using software by Playtech.

For Playtech the signing of Sunny Group continues an upward trend during a time when many of the company's competitors are seeing a slowdown in business. Elad Cohen, Playtech's CEO of Marketing, said the Sunny deal is a sign of how his company continues to become a force to reckon with in the online gaming business.

Cohen said Playtech won't get in the middle of the Microgaming/Sunny Group dispute. He made it clear that differences between the two parties are staying between them.

Cohen said Sunny Group sought Playtech at a tradeshow and talks progressed from there. When Sunny saw the newest version of Playtech software, he said, the decision to switch suppliers was made easy.

"It is really a next-generation product," he said. "It isn't what people are used to having in the last five years in this industry. It looks at things through a totally different perspective."

Meanwhile, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission (KGC) has called for a full review in light of the allegations made by Sunny Group.

"The commission will review the facts surrounding any allegations made by permit holders and take the appropriate regulatory action," KGC Chairman Alan Goodleaf said.

According to Goodleaf, neither Sunny Group nor Casino Fortune (the company's signature online casino) notified the commission of intentions to switch software suppliers or leave Kahnawake, as required by the commission and outlined in its Interactive Gaming regulations.

With Playtech as a new supplier Casino Fortune is now run out of Antigua.

The KGC said notice and permission from the commission is necessary for permit holders to change their control systems, including gaming software, and/or to terminate their permits for the purpose of relocating to a new jurisdiction.

"The KGC's regulations were created to protect consumers, and the KGC has a responsibility to provide this protection by assuring that permit holders satisfy any obligations to players while operating in Kahnawake before allowing an operator to switch software suppliers or to leave," Goodleaf explained.

In light of the situation, the commission ordered that the Sunny Group's equipment and control systems be preserved offline on MIT premises. The equipment will be held until Sunny Group can provide proper notice to the KGC of it software switch and move to Antigua, at which time the commission will take the necessary steps in accordance with its regulations.

Sunny Group's Post-Microgaming Life Begins is republished from
Kevin Smith
Kevin Smith