Online gambling software outfit Microgaming has officially terminated the contract of its former online poker network skin 5050Poker Ltd. “with immediate effect.” In a statement released Monday, Microgaming claimed to have given the Sweden-based 5050Poker “over a week” to rectify a previously unspecified material breach of its contract, which Microgaming now says involved “the non-payment of monies owed to cure [5050Poker’s] overdrawn network clearing account.” With 5050Poker having “failed to respond” to this opportunity to make things right, Microgaming claims to have had little option but to sever ties.
Word of the skin v. network spat began earlier this month, when 5050Poker publicly complained that its stable of rakeback-reaping grinders had seen the maximum number of playable tables cut from 10 to two. (Most observers viewed this as Microgaming seeking to reduce the network’s number of net-withdrawing players ahead of the introduction of a new rake structure designed to encourage skins to attract more recreational players – a strategy the Bodog Network’s Jonas Ödman suggested Microgaming should follow over two years ago). Microgaming followed up with its notice that it was suspending 5050Poker for the material breach, which led to 5050Poker announcing it was establishing a balance sheet “for liquidation purposes.”
5050Poker’s last communiqué with the outside world suggested it was considering “making financial demands” of Microgaming for the damage done to its accounts. The most recent financials published on the 5050Poker website indicate a net loss of SEK 215k ($30.4k) in the first quarter of 2012, which it blamed on Microgaming having “unilaterally changed the network rules” to punish skins that fed a disproportionate number of winning players into the liquidity pool. At the time, 5050Poker’s board was said to be considering various options to “remedy the unsatisfactory condition.” 5050Poker’s current assets were listed as SEK 7.67m ($1.09m), with player balances accounting for SEK 5.1m ($722k) plus cash of SEK 617k and receivables of SEK 1.95m.