Quite a few online poker websites were left with financial woes when the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006 was passed into law in the United States, forcing them to leave the most lucrative online gaming market in the world. Combine those revenue losses with a global recession that affects poker players as much as people in other industries, and online gaming is experiencing some tough times. As happened with Bugsy’s Club only weeks ago, PokerRoom.com has decided to close its poker room after nearly ten years of operations.
PokerRoom.com was one of the first online poker rooms to emerge in 1999, several years before the much-recognized poker boom of 2003. And though it had a loyal European player base, the combination of the pull from the U.S. market and the emergence of many other online poker sites hurt the bottom line for PokerRoom.com. The site was purchased by Austrian gaming company bwin in 2006 under the Ongame umbrella of companies, and ultimately, bwin made the decision to close PokerRoom.com as of Tuesday, April 14.
In a note from the PokerRoom.com news team, the personal announcement on the site read, “Well folks, after almost ten years of fun and games, it is with a heavy heart and a tear in my eye that I have to announce that this is it; as of 11:00 CET today, Tuesday the 14th of April 2009, PokerRoom.com will no longer be open for online poker… As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end, and with the closure of PokerRoom comes the expansion and growth of bwin Poker. The huge amount of PokerRoom players who have migrated to bwin just proves that when one door closes, another one opens.”
Players were able to empty their PokerRoom accounts with a funds withdrawal or transfer their monies to bwin, where special bonuses awaited them for trusting the newer site with their poker business.
The poker industry is not immune to the global recession, or to the merging of businesses in this highly competitive market. While online poker sites that have continued to cater to U.S. customers, like PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, have thrived and actually built their player bases to include scores of newcomers, others have struggled and failed to stay viable, much less successful, in the volatile state of affairs.
For those PokerRoom.com players and others who wish to check out bwin, one of the sites that is growing and remaining competitive in the market, there are bonuses that await. Download bwin Poker now and use the bonus code “STAN500” to qualify for a special $500 bonus on your first deposit.