Betfair contacted players and affiliates today to announce that they would be leaving the Ongame Network and moving to the iPoker Network. Betfair meets the qualifications of the coveted iPoker2 platform. This is where the sports books and large skins that refer hundreds of new players each month are located. This is great news for Betfair players.
Unlike other network changes, Betfair will gradually move their players to their new network. Betfair will launch their iPoker version on or about January 21st. The difference with this move is that players will be able to choose between both networks as long as they sign up for Betfair before the company launches its iPoker platform. Players that sign up for Betfair after the iPoker launch will only be able to access the iPoker platform.
The dual platform for existing players will be available until mid 2013. The Ongame platform will then close for Betfair players and all players will be moved to iPoker.
Playtech and Betfair Already Partners
Betfair already has a relationship with the parent company of iPoker. Betfair uses Playtech software for their casino games. Playtech is the parent company of the iPoker Network. Betfair had also announced in September 2012 that they would join iPoker in regulated markets that are ring fenced and not available for Ongame Network players.
Betfair Poker Well Traveled
iPoker makes the fourth network that Betfair has joined over the years. Betfair Poker launched on the Cryptologic Network in 2004. Betfair left the Cryptologic Network in October 2006 just before the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act passed in the US that crippled Cryptologic. Betfair moved their players to the PokerChamps platform that they purchased.
Betfair was unable to improve the PokerChamps platform. Players complained constantly about crashes and other bugs. Betfair finally realized that managing their own network on an unpopular software platform was hurting their product and they moved their poker players to Ongame in July 2010.
Big Loss for Ongame Network
This move is more bad news for Ongame Network players. The network has been shedding players for years. The largest loss of players happened just last month when bwin players were moved to the Party Network as part of the sale of the Ongame Network to Amaya Gaming. Losing another major licensee could pose serious issues for Ongame’s traffic.
Past Betfair Issues
Betfair’s main business is a betting exchange. They match players and their wagers on sports and other events and take a commission on the action. They also operate an online casino and race book.
While the poker room has a great reputation, the casino and betting exchanges have had their share of problems. Betfair botched a promotion called Happy Hour. Players were offered generous promotional terms but when too many players claimed the offer Betfair retroactively canceled the promotion and refused to honor it. This action got them rogued at Casinomeister. Premium fees on betting exchange wins and Betfair applying them retroactively to some accounts has also drawn sharp criticism from players.
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