Affiliates remain the main source of player information on the plans of Microgaming licensees in the difficult US market. In the absence of player communications from the various MGS operators, players have come to rely on second hand information posted on message boards by affiliates, who have been directly emailed by their programs.

The latest such "hearsay' comes from affiliates of the BelleRock online casino and poker group. One affiliate was informed by email: "In the short term players will be able to continue placing wagers, however the long term view is to become 100 percent independent of US purchases and play, with our focus being solely on the rest of the world, where we are already getting the majority of our business."

Another affiliate posted an excerpt from a ReferBack affiliate program email which advised: "Please be advised that, with immediate effect ReferBack, representing Belle Rock Entertainment, is withdrawing from the USA and will no longer be representing any casinos or poker rooms in that market."

Yet another said: "We regret any impact that this decision may have upon you, and would like to reassure you that the decision was not taken lightly. Recent experience has seen the USA becoming less and less profitable as market conditions have become ever tighter, to the point that continued activity in the USA has become decidedly unattractive to ReferBack. At the same time, ReferBack has seen very substantial growth in other markets around the world, and is therefore able to assist affiliates wanting to re-focus or extend their marketing efforts beyond the USA."

The lack of direct communication with players by either software provider or operators continues to encourage widespread speculation and not a little frustration in the US and wider player communities.

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