5050poker, a poker room on the Microgaming Network, has closed over what is apparently a dispute over a new network rule that imposes a limit of two tables per player for customers on certain skins.
On June 14, 5050poker published a press release that stated that Microgaming had “unilaterally changed its network rules” limiting players to playing at only two tables, down from the previous limit of ten.
However, it states that the new rule “affects primarily only a few gaming operators” on the network, and that it was “another example of several discriminatory measures taken by Microgaming in order to get rid of unwanted gaming operators (whose players mostly belong to the category winning players).”
It is unclear what the unilateral decision is, but certainly any 2-table cap is not network wide: Pokerfuse has confirmed that Ladbrokes and other skins are not enforcing a 2-table maximum.
On June 15, Microgaming responded with their own terse statement, claiming that it was suspending all action on 5050 due to “material breach of its contract,” adding: “The directors of 5050Poker Ltd have been aware of the breach since 14 June 2012. Game play will be reinstated once the breach is satisfactorily rectified.”
Today, 5050 issued a second press release, adding only that negotiations with another poker network are underway. It also added that there were additional demands “for guarantees that directly made it impossible for 5050poker to remain in the network.”
Neither Microgaming nor 5050 were available to respond to media inquiries.
According to player reports, customer service representatives have been informing players that withdrawals have been temporarily suspended.
5050poker is a subsidiary of Poker Holding AB, public company listed on the Stockholm NASDAQ OMX. It holds a license to operate under the LGA. At the time of publication it is still listed on the LGA site as holding a “Class 1 on 4” license.
The dispute coincides with the recent announcement that Microgaming plans to adopt a new rake allocation system for skins, which aims to incentivize operators to attract more recreational players to the network.