Details have emerged on last week’s story regarding the software switch made by the much-criticised Grand Prive online casino group. Updates on the story carry the surprising revelation that the group’s previous longtime software provider, Microgaming, was apparently not informed of the intention to change and was abruptly denied access to the online casinos concerned.
When we contacted a Microgaming senior exec shortly after news of the change broke, he was as surprised as the player community. After making some enquiries, he subsequently confirmed the severance, saying that his company had been denied access and would now have to consider software licence termination processes.
Top management at the player protection and standards body eCOGRA, where Grand Prive held “Safe and Fair” seal accreditation for many years, was equally taken by surprise and had received no intimation of the move to another software. Whilst an official statement has yet to be made, it would appear that the removal of Grand Prive’s eCOGRA accreditation is inevitable, as the software to which it has changed – BetonSoft – does not hold an eCOGRA Certified Software accreditation.
Even affiliates appear to have been kept in the dark by the impending move. Expressions of surprise were posted on several web sites monitored, indicating that if affiliates were advised of the shift it was perhaps on a very selective basis.
Why the switch was made, and in such an apparently covert manner right before a long weekend, is the subject of much conjecture.
Grand Prive’s protracted war with affiliates over the manner in which it shut down its affiliate program in December 2008 appears to be the most popular theory, with affiliates surmising that extensive blacklisting and adverse search engine comment may have brought about a need to create the new ‘bet’-prefix domains.
Others suggest that behind-the-scenes pressure may have been applied by Microgaming, which seems unlikely judging by the reaction of that company’s senior executives.
In the absence of some sort of official comment from Grand Prive, the reasons for its abrupt change remain open to speculation.