One of the oldest online poker networks closed its doors this week. The IGT Poker Network call it quits after nearly ten years in the business. The network started out as a single skin called 24hPoker. The poker room took on several partners and created the B2B Network. The network was popular among bonus players due to their great bonus structure. European players enjoyed the ability to play in euros. The network was later renamed Entraction.
International Game Technology, commonly referred to as IGT, purchased the Entraction Network for $115 million in 2011. The network was renamed again, this time to IGT Poker.
The network started into what seemed like an instant nosedive after the sale. The traffic decline was partly attributed to the banning of several countries by IGT. These banned countries included Canada, Israel and Turkey. IGT eventually also banned players in Australia, Spain, Belgium and Cyprus. Players in the U.S. were already banned. These moves removed many potential players from the network’s liquidity and affected traffic to the point that the network could not recover. Traffic dropped by over 50% due to the banning of so many countries and continued its slow decline.
IGT announced in September 2012 that they would close the network due to the regulatory difficulties in Europe. The network was set to close in December. This week the closure was finalized. Most skins had already moved on to other networks including Microgaming, Ongame and Revolution Gaming. Traffic had fallen from about 800 peak players to about 40 peak players over the course of three months. This was due to many skins leaving the network before the official closing date.
Some players have reported issues receiving their money from an IGT skin. Pokermambo is reportedly slow paying players. Some players have waited over a month for a payment. This would not be the first time there were payment issues on the IGT Network. Purple Lounge abruptly closed earlier this year. Players never got paid their balances. Purple Lounge had just recently migrated to IGT from Microgaming.
IGT still intends on using the software that they essentially paid $115 million for in the Nevada online poker market. IGT was one of the first companies to receive a license. Online poker has yet to go live in Nevada but is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2013. IGT also intends on using the software in other states as they regulate online poker.