One of the largest online poker networks, and also one of the most disappointing in terms of performance, is about to undergo a massive restructuring according to industry rumors and statements sent to several poker affiliates. Before I get into the future of the IGT Poker Network let me first talk a little about its past: IGT purchased the Entraction Network back in 2011, and has basically let the network fall into disrepair, doing little to promote the poker rooms on the network, or to revamp the software. Because of this, IGT has seen cash-game traffic plummet over the past year and is now looking to focus on specific “legal” markets, and on their social gaming platforms.
According to an E-Mail that was forwarded to me, iGame Malta poker rooms on the network will be switching networks by the end of 2012, leaving IGT for a yet undisclosed poker network. This shakeup comes on the heels of the massive changes at the iPoker Network that included creating two separate tiers (causing several skins to merge with larger skins) as well as the addition of Everest Poker to the network. It’s safe to say that the online poker world is in a volatile period right now, wedged between Black Friday, European Gaming legislation, Nevada legislation, and potential US regulation.
Here is a look at the E-Mail detailing the iGame Malta decision to leave IGT for greener pastures.
In continuation to the recent move from IGT poker networks´ turn-key solution to operate under our own gaming license, we are pleased to announce that we are taking the development of our services further, by finalizing a services agreement with one of the world´s leading poker networks.
In This means that iGame Malta will in the nearest future switch the poker services provider for its sites 24hPoker.com, NoiQ.com, Pokerihuone.com and iGame.com and for the database of close to 1 000 000 players by leaving IGT´s poker network. This will secure our players the access to the top of the line poker software, good liquidity and continuity.
The cooperation with Relax Gaming Network and the Fast Poker product, as well the other software providers will continue as before.
Yesterday PokerFuse.com received the following message from an IGT representative on the matter:
As part of our regular business process, we have been evaluating our resources, products and markets from a commercial and compliance perspective. As a result, we are consolidating our product development, allowing us to combine a number of locations and focus on the most attractive opportunities. We remain focused on our interactive casino/slot offering, which has experienced steady growth, and look to integrate the Entraction products into our overall set of platform offerings.
Change and uncertainty in European market conditions have diminished the expected returns in certain real money wagering products. As a result, we are consolidating our product development. We are maintaining our options for future changes in market opportunities – This decision is purely focused on our European dotcom business and does not impact future decisions regarding entry into new markets as regulation, taxation and commercial opportunities arise.
As of now it seems that the future of the IGT Poker Network is very bleak, but it also appears that rooms on the network are taking the appropriate steps to safeguard their players and their company assets. We will keep you updated on this breaking story as more details emerge.