A new niche was created last year when online poker affiliates began offering access to multiple networks using the same software. The best known brand doing this is Muchos Poker. These poker rooms allow players to easily move money between a number of online poker networks without having to use an ewallet. There are many reasons why this might end in disaster.
Poker in Venice
Poker in Venice has gone out of business. The site is still accepting new players and it appears that the banking system is still live.
Poker in Venice accepted groups of players through affiliates. These players were offered access to six different networks. These included Ongame, InstaDeal, Merge Gaming, Revolution Gaming, Enet and Play2B. Players would deposit into Poker in Venice by credit card, debit card or ewallet. The money would then be transferred between these skins when a player wished to move their play to another network. Players could also cashout through Poker in Venice.
In addition to affiliate deals, there are several skins. These include 4Donk, PokerXE and Howdy Poker. The latter posted an announcement on their site warning players not to deposit that read:
Don’t make any deposits!
Howdy Poker are sorry to announce that PIVGAME LTD which we are a whitelabel solution under, have decided to transfer all players to the Play2B network. All players will receive an email very soon with all information on how to proceed and how to get their bankrolls. Howdy Poker never had access to player funds, only PIVGAME had access to them. Therefore if you wish to contact LGA, you have to mention PIVGAME, since they are the licensee. For further support, please contact: [email protected]
Poker in Venice reportedly demanded this notice be removed and it is no longer on the site, but may be found in a June 1, 2013 Google cache.
The Malta Lotteries and Gaming Authority has done nothing for players that got stiffed in the past. Pokerfuse describes it as A Rubber Stamp in EU Clothing. Remarkably, the Poker in Venice network warns players when one of their offers are not licensed in Malta due to the loss of regulation. For example, the Cake Poker review page states:
Notice: Please note that you when you are playing on the Cake Network you are leaving the Jurisdiction of Malta and therefore not protected by Maltese law.
Now these players are not getting paid by Poker in Venice. Players that contact the company are told that their funds have been transferred to Play2B, one of the former partner rooms. Players will be required to rake 75% of their balance before requesting a cashout. Players must agree to these terms in 10 days or the funds will allegedly be forfeited.
Muchos Poker was once a whitelabel partner of Poker in Venice on a number of networks. This ended in October 2012 when Poker in Venice ended the contract unexpectedly. These players were forced to stay on Poker in Venice, but then were told the money was held by Muchos Poker. Many reports show these players were never paid.
Muchos Poker was later banned from the iPoker Network. The reason for this is not clear.
This is not to say that Muchos Poker is in trouble. It is only that their business model is susceptible to issues created outside of their system, which is a cause for concern. The Poker in Venice dispute and ultimate failure is an example of potential problems that may affect players in the future.
Multiple Platform Networks Are Glorified Affiliates
Most skins operated through networks like Poker in Venice and Muchos Poker are through affiliate agreements with actual online poker operators. The affiliates use an advanced payment system that is similar to cashout anytime, a prominent marketing tactic used by the now defunct Rake Reduction. Players are subjected to far more liabilities than signing up directly to just one of these rooms. For instance, if a single online poker room fails to pay the multiple platform affiliates, the entire system can crash. There can also be problems if one of these poker rooms is late on clearinghouse or affiliate payments. It is hard enough to run a single online poker room, much less one that spans seven networks.
Multiple platform operators also suffer from attracting winning players. The latest push by online poker rooms to attract recreational players makes winning players less valuable. This makes multiple platform skins less attractive, especially when the lack of player loyalty is considered.
Players outside of the United States have access to sufficient payment processing options. The convenience of moving funds between rooms instantly through an affiliate is not a reason to choose one of these multiple platform affiliates over a direct signup to a poker room.
Does Not Include Two Skin Sites
Several online poker rooms offer two skins. These include Betsafe and Poker Heaven. These operators have a long history of paying players.
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