Following parent company GVC Holdings’ new strategy, online poker room partypoker is readying to withdraw its operations from over a dozen of markets that the company considers not to be fully regulated. For the time being, Poland, Norway and Montenegro are among the market exits.
The decision stems from parent company GVC Holdings’ new strategy to only be in markets where online gambling is formally legal and regulated. Partypoker and GVC Holdings are actually focusing on the US markets in a bid to garner a larger share of the poker and the sports betting industry.
Players in Poland, Norway and Montenegro have already received messages about the company’s exit and those in other countries are being notified of the imminent closure of their online accounts.
Deposits have been suspended from Tuesday, December 1 in all affected countries, which include Poland, Norway, and Montenegro. Moving forward, partypoker will suspend all games on each of the country’s websites on December 17, while players will still be able to login and request withdrawals.
“Going forward, GVC, our umbrella brand, willingly operate in regulated, fully licensed markets [only],” explained Colette Stewart on the group’s public community discussion forum on Discord. “By mid-December, we will no longer offer our services across unregulated poker markets following a management business decision.”
Any cashback owed to poker players will be credited to their accounts by December 23, although any unused ticket, loyalty points or tournament dollars will be repealed on December 17.
Players From Affected Countries Will Miss Millions Online
The exit from the grey markets means that the poker players in affected countries will be unable to take part in the upcoming partypoker Millions Online. Recently, partypoker announced that the fourth iteration of the massive event will take place in February, with the first starting flight of the $5,300 buy-in Main Event running on Valentine’s Day, February 14. The second flight will be a week later, while Day 2, Day 3, and the final table of the event will all be on consecutive days after that.
Key Reasons To Exit Grey Markets
Partypoker is just one of the poker brands to change its approach to markets that have not been fully regulated. The move comes because the parent company GVC wants to ensure that compliance is at the core of its operations moving forward. GVC recently rebranded as Entain in a new bid to consolidate its leadership position as a leading iGaming, sports betting and poker operator.
The company’s CEO Kenny Alexander has acknowledged the troubles that lie ahead in the form of regulatory headwinds but said that GVC is ready to make all necessary changes to its model to stay afloat.
Alexander also said that GVC already generated 96% of its revenue from fully-regulated markets. Meanwhile, GVC is focusing on expanding in the US and the fast-growing sports betting industry.
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