Despite the problems caused by the UIGEA and the economic downturn the online casino industry is thriving. Yet every now and then there is news of some online casinos shutting down. This is because even in the best of times it is the fit that survive and thrive. Online casinos that have not taken the right steps at the right time are doomed to fail.
The first of the two casinos to close down was one of the first online casinos, Lasseters Online. The imposition of the UIGEA hurt many online casinos that were dependent on American traffic and Lasseters was one of them. But whereas other casinos made the right moves to attract traffic from Europe and elsewhere in the world, Lasseters did not do so. This lack of overall vision and the stuck in the mud attitude of the owners was the cause of Lasseters downfall. In fact for the discerning online players it was not a question of if but of when. Lasseters suffered a loss of $15.5 million last year. Lasseters International, the owners of the online casino, refused to inject funds because they were not convinced that things would improve. The review by an independent auditor made the same recommendation. The surprising aspect about Lasseters is that its sports betting portal is not closing down. So those online players who liked Lasseters can nurture a teeny weenie hope that that the online casino will make a comeback should the environment improve.
The second of the online casinos to close down, LazerWager, was one of the latest entrants on the Internet. It was launched in September 2007 with more hype than the heralding of a maharajah. It was touted that the management team had “more than 50 years combined online gambling experience”. The team included people of the caliber of more than 50 years combined online gambling experience who had worked with organizations like BetOnSports, Evolution Software, and Nine.com. But the expectancy of professionalism never materialized. Online gaming industry watchdog InfoPowa began to voice concerns over the promotions offered by LazerWager.
There were even complaints of slow payments, which are poison to any online betting establishment. Unlike Lasseters, which had announced in advance that it would be closing down, LazerWager shut abruptly by presenting a notice on its site without any warning. Also unlike Lasseters, LazerWager has shut down its sports betting operations as well. The notice in substance said that problems in processing payments have led to the freezing of their assets and therefore no further transactions are possible. LazerWager has apologized to its vendors, advertisers and its players and said that it would be informing them of the status of their accounts. Reading between the lines this implies that the payments may take a long time to come if they do come at all.