Microgaming is one of the top software providers in the online gambling world. They’ve developed some of the most popular online casino games and have the largest game library in the industry (800+).
That said, Microgaming slots and table games seem like great options. The only problem, though, is that they’re not available to some countries.
This list includes the US, which hasn’t been able to play on Microgaming online casinos for years. Meaning, people in the US can’t play their slot games. Why is this the case?
Find out as I discuss more on this software provider and why they ultimately chose to pull out of America.
What Does Microgaming Do?
Microgaming is mainly known for their online casino games. They produce slots, table games, and specialty games.
Their slots are especially popular. They offer some of the biggest progressive jackpots in the internet gaming industry.
Mega Moolah has paid out the largest jackpot in online slots history at $21.7 million. Other games like Major Millions and King Cashalot also have huge progressive jackpots.
Microgaming provides customer service, banking, games, and more for interested parties.
If you look around the gaming world, you’ll find sites that exclusively feature games from Microgaming. These online casinos are using Microgaming’s turnkey solution.
Microgaming Blocked Some States After the UIGEA
Microgaming launched the world’s first online casino in 1994. As a pioneer of internet gaming, they operated at a time when no country had specific laws regarding online gambling.
Therefore, Microgaming could operate freely in any jurisdiction. This includes the US, which was by far the most lucrative gaming market at the time.
However, Congress began taking issue with internet gaming in the late 1990s. A series of discussions over the years led to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) in 2006.
The UIGEA makes it illegal for businesses to accept payments related to unlawful gambling. Under this law, an online casino commits a felony by offering their services to a state where such gaming is illegal.
Some software providers and internet casinos left the US after the UIGEA was signed into effect. These gambling businesses were just as concerned about payment processors drying up as they were about the legal effects.
Sure enough, many banks and payment processors, such as Neteller, stopped serving US-facing gaming sites. However, a few payment solutions remained in the market.
Microgaming initially took advantage of these limited payment processors to continue serving Americans. Microgaming also blocked residents of Washington state, where online gambling is a felony.
Due to the legal language of the UIGEA, Microgaming felt perfectly comfortable continuing to serve the rest of the US. After all, the majority of America treated (still treats) internet gambling as a grey area.
Kentucky Domain Name Seizure Deals Another Blow
Again, one of Microgaming key services is to provide the tools that one needs to open and run online casino. This setup gives operators some degree of freedom under the Microgaming brand.
However, Microgaming and many of its operators left the US after an incident involving the state of Kentucky. In September 2008, Kentucky Judge Thomas D. Wingate seized 141 gambling-related domain names on behalf of the Bluegrass State.
The state’s Public Safety Cabinet and Justice Department pushed for this action. They argued that online gambling sites were illegally serving their residents, as per terms of the UIGEA.
Microgaming.com was one of the seized domain names. They were able to successfully get their domain name back, but the incident convinced them to vacate the US afterward.
A few independent Microgaming casinos continued operating in America. They served states that didn’t have a defined stance on internet gambling.
The company and its licensees now use geolocation to determine a player’s location. Any player deemed to be within the US will be barred from downloading Microgaming software and loading such games through browser-based play.
You can still get around this issue by using a proxy server. A proxy masks your IP location and makes it appear as if you’re playing from another country.
If Microgaming finds out that you’re an American, though, they’ll confiscate your winnings. Therefore, you’re taking too big of a risk by using this software from America.
Whom Does Microgaming Serve?
This provider may not serve US residents anymore, but they have a broad range of other clients. They’re licensed in 20 other jurisdictions across the world.
Most of these markets are found in Central America, Europe, and South America. Microgaming has a particularly heavy presence in Europe, where they cover countries like the UK, France, Italy, and Spain.
They still serve some grey markets that don’t have a hardline position on internet gaming. For the most part, though, Microgaming stays within legal bounds these days.
You’re guaranteed to be allowed to use their software if you’re from any of the regulated markets that they serve. Some of Microgaming’s slot machine games that are offered in legal jurisdictions:
- Avalon (I & II)
- Break Da Bank
- Cool Wolf
- Game of Thrones
- King Arthur
- King Cashalot
- Lucky Leprechaun
- Major Millions
- Mega Moolah
- Terminator II
- The Rat Pack
- Thunderstruck II
- Tomb Raider
Will US Players Ever Be Able to Play Microgaming Slots Again?
Unfortunately, you still can’t use Microgaming’s software from anywhere in the US at the moment. But hope is on the horizon.
A few states have legalized and regulated online casino gaming at the time of this writing. They include Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
Delaware hasn’t had much luck with their internet gaming due to their small size. New Jersey, however, has progressively seen more and more revenue since legalizing online casinos in 2013.
Pennsylvania, which is larger than the Garden State, could potentially have even more success when their internet casinos launch.
PA and future states that legalize online gaming will be looking for licensees. Microgaming could potentially be one of them in the future.
This software developer has yet to get into New Jersey or Delaware. But they have a chance with PA and future markets.
Microgaming has played by the rules ever since completely vacating the US in 2010. They’ve also avoided legal clashes with US states, beyond the Kentucky domain-name seizures.
Only time will tell if Americans will ultimately be able to enjoy Microgaming slots again. But I wouldn’t rule it out from happening within the next few years.
Microgaming has long been one of the most popular developers of online casino games. In fact, they were the first provider into the game and remain one of the best options today.
One thing that separates Microgaming from other developers is their wide range of options. They offer over 800 games, most of which are slots.
Another aspect that helps Microgaming stand out is their jackpots. Mega Moolah has broken the record time and time again for the biggest online slots jackpot. Major Millions and King Cashalot also offer seven-figure prizes sometimes.
They left the US to avoid potential legal consequences. They also wanted to leave open the chance for returning to America one day.
None of the current states with legal online gaming have licensed Microgaming yet. But the company still has an opportunity to get in later, especially with more states considering internet casinos.
For now, though, they’ll be happy with continuing to be one of the biggest international providers of online casino games. Microgaming currently serves over 20 regulated markets and will expand upon this number as more countries legalize the activity.