Last week we told you about the IGT Poker Network’s (formerly the Entraction Poker Network) decision to shut down their poker operations in the near future, along with an e-mail sent out by iGame Malta informing its affiliates that their poker rooms would be leaving IGT for a new network. We now know the identity of the new home for 24hPoker.com, NoiQ.com, Pokerihuone.com and iGame.com, as iGame Malta has announced they will be joining the Microgaming Poker Network.
“We are thrilled to be joining the Microgaming Poker Network and securing for our players access to the highest quality poker software, good liquidity and a secure long-term future,” noted the Managing Director of iGame Holding, Tommi Maijala. “The experience of players is always our utmost priority, so joining the MPN is a very natural development for us.”
Also joining the Microgaming Network will be BetVictor (formerly Victor Chandler) one of the biggest bookmakers in the world, and along with the iGame Malta sites, one of the top poker rooms on the IGT Network. Andy Horne, Head of Poker at BetVictor, was quoted by PokerFuse.com as saying the following regarding the move to Microgaming, “We’re looking forward to consolidating our online poker business on the Microgaming Poker Network, where we’ve been serving customers in a variety of international markets since late last year. Providing the best poker experience possible is our top priority, and we’re sure that the MPN will continue to deliver in this respect.”
Microgaming is currently the seventh ranked online poker network/room in terms of real-money cash-game traffic, while IGT had slipped all the way to #25 on pokerscout.com’s traffic chart. The addition of the biggest skins from IGT will likely allow Microgaming to challenge OnGame (which is owned by bwin.party and is up for sale) and two .fr sites for a top 5 spot on the traffic charts.
In recent weeks and months the online poker industry has seen a rash of closures, mergers, absorptions, network changes, and more, as the market consolidates after Black Friday uprooted the old model the industry had clung to.
In addition to the above mentioned IGT sites moving to Microgaming we’ve also seen:
• Everest Poker end its run as an independent poker room and join the iPoker Network
• Several iPoker skins migrate their player bases to larger skins in the wake of the network creating Tier 1 and Tier 2 poker rooms
• Party Poker announce that it would migrate bwin poker players from OnGame to the Party Poker site in preparation for the sale of OnGame
• Poker Nordica and other sites have shuttered their businesses
• Lock Poker left the Merge Gaming Network and purchased the entire Cake Poker Network