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Online Casino News - July, 2008

Sudden Closure of Online Casinos Tied With Owner's Death

 

 

  Seed Newsvine

by Devon Chappell, News Staff Writer

July 9, 2008

There's a good chance you've heard of Crystal Palace Casino and the Crystalisle group of online casinos. Not going so far to say this group of gaming sites existed off of cheating their players, it is fair to say that Crystalisle had a spotty reputation - and was certainly not the best at customer relations. Case in point was the recent shutting down of the network's main online casinos following the untimely death of the group's owner, Warren Cloud.

Understandably, the group has been faced with a huge dilemma and certainly must consider the prospects of shutting down following the death of its owner. However, without any prior warning whatsoever, nine of the eleven online casinos making up the group were abruptly taken off-line, leaving only a message on the homepage of each website stating, "This website is no longer available. Please check this space often for more information and updates". Well, that was a couple of days ago and still no update.

Fortunately enough, current players have been sent an email with more details regarding the situation. Better late than never, I suppose. In the message, players were informed the entire network of online casinos would be shut down on July 31, 2008.  Those players with active balances have until the closing date to withdraw funds and/or play out remaining balances. As for those players who still have to meet bonus wagering requirements, July 31 is the deadline for doing so.

What the group is calling a "matter of goodwill", players who are not able to play through all of their bonus or make a withdrawal request by July 31, will have a fourteen day extension to contact customer service for processing a withdrawal. For those players who have not met their bonus wager requirement, no winnings from bonus funds are permitted to be cashed out.

After July 31, all remaining balances will be confiscated by the casino. Perhaps just one more token of the inadequate management of this gambling network, several industry reports are criticizing the manner in which Crystalisle is handling the situation. First off, July 31 is not enough time for players to get their accounts in order, especially considering the ill communication and lack of publicity thus far regarding the shut down.

This is another case in point why regulation is the key to protecting players. The irony of the situation is that most of the players calling these online casinos home reside in the U.S. Well, if the U.S. had mandated regulations in place, you can bet these players would be treated appropriately and in due course. However, that simply is not the case. And not to badmouth RTG casinos (because quite frankly, Online Casino Suite wouldn't has never thought twice about reviewing and recommending any online casino from the Crystalisle group), there are indeed some excellent RTG powered online casinos out there - just not the Crystal Palace group.


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