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February 27th Poker news ... Gambling Poker Room at gamblingpokerroom.com
OVERALL STATS FOR WORLD SERIES OF POKER RELEASED
POKER NETWORK CLOSING AFTER TEN YEARS IN THE BUSINESS
The International Poker Network started Bicimotos by Boss Media a decade ago will soon be closing as part of the GTech group's strategy to focus on regulated markets, using the software for clients in often ring-fenced dedicated environments.
Many of the industry's top brands have been members of IPN at one stage or another in their development, but the trend toward national regulation, and the desire of many operators to work within legalised national systems, has created new business demands and models.
This has resulted in brands either moving on or adopting dual platform strategies.
Owner GTech is a major international business, and it is anticipated that the shutdown of the IPN will be carried out in a professional manner that takes the welfare of players into consideration, and that the closure will be efficiently communicated.
PARTY POKER'S NEW SOFTWARE READY TO GO
Party Poker's much-discussed software revamp is slightly behind schedule but is ready to go and will be implemented later this (September) month, according to company sources.
Opinions based on the testing phase vary on how dramatic the changes are likely to be, with some experts opining that the new offering will be more an incremental improvement than a revolutionary development, and others holding the view that the changes are more fundamental and significant (see previous InfoPowa reports).
Bwin's last set of results, posted last week, saw CEO Norbert Teufelberger commenting:
"This [Agile system] change in our working practices has been instrumental in ensuring that our new PartyPoker product is ready for launch, firstly into the dotcom environment and then into our core nationally regulated markets.
"The launch will reposition the PartyPoker brand ahead of the opening of the US market and revitalise the product, ensuring that it more than meets the expectations of today's recreational digital consumer."
LOCK POKER IN STATEMENT ON TRANSFER POLICY (Update)
Player-to-player money transfers at Lock Poker are now subject to a new policy restricting any withdrawal until 15 percent of the amount has been generated as rake.
In the wake of widening publicity on its slow-pay and player-to-player restrictions, Lock Poker management broke its silence late Thursday with a website statement that advised:
"Through a detailed investigation over the past few weeks the Lock security team uncovered a large group of persons that were abusing the P2P transfer policy and creating a large network of mule accounts to move and withdraw funds without any play at all taking place.
"To deal with this situation a policy change was put into place to clear out the backlog of withdrawals by accounts with little to no play and increase the speed of withdrawals for players taking actual winnings.
"Lock has introduced a new cash-out policy for transferred funds which requires a player to accumulate at least 15 percent in GGR on the funds received via P2P transfer before these funds are cashed-out. Put simply, for every $100 of transferred funds to be withdrawn, $15 of rake or fees will need to be accumulated beforehand.
"The policy change was put in place explicitly to put an end to money laundering via Lock's player transfers. Players withdrawing winnings are not affected.
"Lock will continue to process withdrawals and work to reduce all withdrawal delays over the coming weeks.
"A large amount of mis-information has been spread recently on various poker news sites and forum postings about player funds being lost in recent banking scandals; none of this is true."
Meanwhile, the publication Gambling911, which is seen in several quarters as supportive of Lock Poker, carried a short article detailing comments which appear to have been made in an exclusive interview with Lock CEO Jennifer Larson, but which has not yet been fully published.
The article quotes Larson as saying that her company is working to find new payment processors to speed up payment times, and that some improvement will soon become apparent.
Larson explained: In terms of slow payouts there are a number of reasons for this. There was a group of people who were buying and cashing out players bankrolls and not playing at all - this was a large volume and was causing legitimate players' cash outs to be delayed, as the scheme was using accounts incorrectly marked as belonging to affiliates.
The other main reason is that Lock [is] one of the largest poker sites that continues to serve players in most States in the US. This means that all Lock payments processors must be discreet as the DOJ has shown repeatedly that it likes to seize the players funds."
That in itself raises questions as to how Lock Poker and its Revolution network has managed to evade DoJ action despite openly attracting US punters.
Larson uses a pipe analogy to explain that the enterprise has the money but not enough pipes to get it through to players timeously in the United States. Again, that does not explain delays in payments to non-US players.
The feeling that Lock Poker is in damage control mode, and there may be more going on in the background than is at present apparent, is inescapable. For example, the company's denial that it was impacted by the Cyprus banking scandal is questionable, given that one of its major payment processors is registered in that location.
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