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Kevin Smith

Two Microgaming Casinos Shut Down

21 January 2003

Having two of its sites close down probably wasn't the way Microgaming Systems Ltd. wanted 2003 to start.

But the company, a leading supplier of online gaming software, finds itself in damage-control mode in the wake of Challenge Casino and Music Hall Casino abruptly shutting their doors.

The two sites both closed this week and have not issued public statements about the matter. All inquires have been directed toward Microgaming and auditing firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

An official with Music Hall Casino told IGN that all of the casino's registered users received an e-mail over the weekend informing them of the closure of the site and of how to claim funds they are due.

Microgaming issued a statement saying that both sites were operated by the same owner, Fortune Wheel Services Limited, and that the shutdowns were done by the owner's "own discretion."

The company said it decided to intervene on the behalf of players, knowing that "there are still outstanding amounts (of money) owed to players."

Many I-gaming suppliers in the last couple of years have required new licensees to put a certain amount of money in escrow in case the site closes without notice. It is unclear whether such an account was set up for Fortune Wheel. Officials with Microgaming were unavailable for comment on Tuesday.

Microgaming said all requests for funds from players will be handled by PriceWaterhouseCoopers. The firm has created a special e-mail account for those players at and will be accepting requests until Feb. 21.

"PWC will receive player claims with a view to verifying the correctness thereof, and advising of any amounts that should be paid," the company said in a prepared statement. "This process is entirely under the control of PWC, and Microgaming will not be involved in any way."

While the source of the money being used to payout players remains unknown, Microgaming did say that an undisclosed amount of money has already been placed in a trust and will not be under "the control or ownership of Microgaming." The company added, "PWC will advise the trustees of any amounts that should be paid."

Microgaming also advised players that the process for addressing claims usually takes two to three months.

Two Microgaming Casinos Shut Down is republished from
Kevin Smith
Kevin Smith