Saturday, August 22, 2009

Dodging bullets: Eurolinx bites the dust

The following message appears on the Eurolinx website:
  • MALTA – The Linx Media Group has today announced that it is seeking to put its businesses into liquidation and will cease trading with immediate effect. As yet, the Linx Media Group does not know how long this process will take, but it will provide updates on the situation as and when information becomes available and when liquidators are appointed.

This is a tragedy for the online gaming industry. Eurolinx was a popular cardroom on the Microgaming network. It had a reputation for running really good promotions and for looking after its players.

The warning signs came as early as April, when some players started reporting delays in withdrawals on 2+2.

I have played on Eurolinx for nearly a year, and did very well out of the rakeback, bonuses and a series of lucrative rake races via Rake the Rake. I noticed the 2+2 thread around the beginning of June, and was surprised as I had received a withdrawal without problems at the end of April. The thread concerned me enough to request a withdrawal of just about half my balance. After a number of emails, I eventually got my money in early July. The problems were appearing to persist, so I withdrew a further substantial part of my bankroll immedately. The latter withdrawal was received in early August after an email to RTR. It now looks like I may have been one of the last players to receive money from Eurolinx, and some of the players that were waiting since April never received their money. As it happens, I busted the few hundred dollars I had remaining on Eurolinx and so my balance at the time of liquidation was just $250 due to some rake races and rakeback. There is no doubt that I have been very fortunate to escape from this situation - at the time that I became aware of the problems I had nearly 25% of my bankroll on the site.

Some players are reporting losses in excess of $250,000. Some players had their entire bankroll on Eurolinx. Many are being put in very difficult personal situations due to this loss of money.

What lessons can be drawn from this debacle? Firstly, it is essential to diversify online money. It is a mistake to keep your entire bankroll in any one place, even Neteller or reputable sites like Pokerstars. I think I will be pulling a few $000 offline in the coming month partly to protect it, and partly to get it working earning interest.

Secondly, there are now legitimate concerns being raised about the way Microgaming is run. It is evident that Eurolinx was 'investing' player deposits on real estate and stocks, and was irreparably damaged by the financial crisis. One wonders how Microgaming is set up that its skins can be allowed to operate in this way without liquid reserves sufficient to cover player deposits. A number of Microgaming skins connected with the Tusk company collapsed last year, so there are now some serious concerns about the viability of Microgaming overall.


SNG Marnis said...

Wow scary, makes you wonder how many other sites may have invested money in stocks and property as they have had to deposit it somewhere, maybe offline'ing BR is good idea in current climate.

parttimebonuschaser said...

You did pretty well to get most of it off.

I think the most I have on any site is around 10% of my bankroll, and half my entire bankroll is cashed out

Anonymous said...

One of the Dueces cracked instructors had $246 or $296k on there, even Tom Dwan had $183k on there.

I've played on Eurolinx in the past but my mate, a regular there, was suffering withdrawal problems and decided to get out so I never reloaded.