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Playtech Q3 Report Sees Online Poker Decline on the iPoker Network

Author: Neha Agrawal

As far as a good report goes, Playtech generally gets some of the best marks, however, their Q3 financial report is showing a rather black mark. The only decline in this otherwise perfect profit-bearing product is for online poker. The iPoker Network is not performing as it should, and could be, and revenues have declined by a remarkable 27%. This is even though overall revenues have sky-rocketed by 30% overall.

iPoker is not the only online poker brand having difficulty with turning revenues. This seems to be a new trend in the market, except for perhaps PokerStars, which company seems to be able to do no wrong. Even their recent re-launch of Full Tilt Poker does not seem to have cannibalized any business from this brand. It wouldn’t matter that much anyway at this point in time, because PokerStars now has Full Tilt as a sister-site, after buying the brand out of big trouble, for the small investment of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Some poker pundits believe that the decline in iPoker revenues are due to a recent split in the network liquidity pools. For some or other reason ipoker network has segregated the smaller skins from the larger operators, min an attempt to do what – we are not really sure. But perhaps other the big guys more liquidity, while shutting the smaller operators out in the cold. The effect of this could be attrition for the smaller guys as players migrate to the larger sites, because to the better liquidity. It is a well-known fact that the more liquidity a poker network has the better the prizes will be.

While it is too early for us to be able to measure the effects of the split, we have seen far too many online poker poor results to believe that the iPoker Network is the only one in trouble. The recent closure of Entraction by IGT after this company invested millions of dollars in this European business, is just too close to home.

We have the strange suspicion that either online poker popularity is bottoming out, or that brands such as PokerStars have just too much to offer that players don’t want to go anywhere else. Perhaps the iPoker network could take a leaf from the PokerStars book and start offering more innovative games, tournaments, live sponsorships and poker promotions. The problem could be as simple as growing the visibility of the brand.