The wall is down. A RedKings representative has confirmed to PokerAffiliateSolutions that Ongame has desegregated their player pool and will now allow all Ongame network skins to provide players access to the full Ongame player pool. The move is likely a reaction to recent shifting of major poker rooms on the network.
The segregation of player pools, which was not previously announced or widely known, segregated micro-limit and other cash games. Under the old rules, large European brands such as Betfair, Paf and Betsson had access to their own player pool while these rooms and other smaller skins such as RedKings shared a general Ongame player pool. The arrangement, which is believed to begun in early 2012, was similar – but not identical – to the iPoker segregation which led to iPoker1 and iPoker2.
The revelation comes on the heels of two major Ongame skins leaving or announcing their intention of leaving the network. In the middle of December, bwin left for Party Gaming, while earlier this month Betfair announced they would leave Ongame this summer and run a dual platform for the next six months. Traffic is down 33% since the departure of bwin but up approximately 10%-15% since mid December.
The future of Ongame remains unknown to industry observers, although the network did finally find a buyer last year. The Ongame asset — previously held by bwin.party — was sold to Amaya Gaming, a Canadian company.
Barring another major poker room departure, it is likely the network can sustain their current liquidity — that is, until this summer when Betfair leaves. Despite the pending departure of another large skin, Ongame will still be home to a couple dozen poker rooms including Betsafe/Betsson, Paf and Red Kings. That will likely put them around the level of Merge Gaming and above smaller sites such as PKR and Boss.
We have six months to find out. In the meantime, now is a great time to promote poker rooms such as Red Kings, with players now able to enjoy more games and more action.
Please stay tuned to PAS for further developments on this story.
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