GVC’s flagship poker brand partypoker will withdraw from a few markets that the company considers not to be fully regulated. Deposits are no longer accepted from December 1, and all games will be halted on December 17.
Partypoker to Pull out form Several European Markets
As a part of a wider purge, online poker room partypoker will withdraw from a number of ‘grey markets,’ under its parent company’s, GVC Holdings, new strategy, which will forego participation in any jurisdictions where cut-and-dry rules about iGaming, sports betting and poker have not been set down.
Starting today, Tuesday, December 1, players will no longer be able to make deposits in all affected countries, which include Poland, Norway, and Montenegro for the time being, says Poker Industry Pro, a respected poker media outlet.
Moving forward, partypoker will suspend all games on each of the country’s websites starting on December 17, while players will still be able to access their funds and withdraw them.
Any cashback owed to players will be distributed back to players on December 23, although loyalty points, tournament dollars and any remaining tournament tickets will be purged on December 17, the website informs.
Exiting the ‘Grey Market’ Scene
Partypoker is just one of the brands to streamline its approach to markets that have not been fully regulated. While technically GVC and partypoker have not breached any laws, the parent company wants to ensure that compliance is at the core of its operations moving forward.
GVC has recently rebranded as Entain in an ambitious new bid to break with the past and consolidate its leadership position as a leading iGaming, sports betting and poker operator.
The company’s CEO Kenny Alexander has acknowledged the difficulties that lie ahead in the form of regulatory headwinds in the United Kingdom, but said that GVC is prepared to enact all necessary changes to its model to stay competitive.
In an interview for the Financial Times, Alexander said that GVC already generated 96% of its revenue from fully-regulated markets. Meanwhile, GVC is focusing on expanding in the United States and the quickly-expanding sports betting industry.
To this end, GVC has joined forces with MGM Resorts and debuted Roar Digital, and specifically the BetMGM brand. Partypoker received an approval by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) to join the Keystone State as one of the available poker operators and expand the partypoker US network.
Presently, PokerStars remains the only online poker site in the Keystone State, but this may soon change should GVC decide to act. Earlier this year, the brand returned to Italy, under a new online poker license.