Entraction Poker Network’s shutdown process lasted 3 months and completed only recently when Interactive Gaming Technology (IGT), which owns the network, disconnected the last few skins on the network. The network shut down its offices at Stockholm in Sweden recently and was expected to completely close down by the end of 2012. Last week, Entraction sent termination notices to several of its skins.
Lack of player liquidity coupled with IGT’s attempts to obtain a Nevada poker license is the factor responsible for Entraction’s long-drawn-out shut down. In fact, IGT obtained a Nevada online poker license this year. Although IGT acquired Entraction Poker Network for around $115 million in May 2011, it had not taken much interest in the network, but had pursued other opportunities.
IGT is eager to grab a share of the regulated US online poker market. In its eagerness to get a Nevada poker license, it had shut down its online poker services in 20 countries just to prove to the regulatory body in Nevada that it gives top priority to complying with gambling regulations. The company is believed to have blocked players in over 50 countries from registering for real play. The network was closed to more than 20 countries, including Cyprus, Australia, Belgium, and Spain. In September, the network announced that it will block players from Norway, Canada, Russia, Israel, and Turkey from registering for real money poker play.
However, existing players were allowed to continue playing poker on the network, but more recently, Entraction announced that it “no longer allows customers from Canada” to play for real money. Players from Russia, Norway, Israel, and Turkey were also told that they can no longer play on Entraction.
Entraction is known for its rather strict compliance with gambling rules in various countries and its policy of staying away from gray markets. In September, Patti Hart, chief executive officer for IGT, admitted that the market transition has had its effects, adding that the company has “shifted from dot-com to dot-country. There’s less profitability and the product becomes less interesting.” IGT, however, continues offering online casino gaming and online sports betting in many European countries.
The company also invests heavily into social gambling opportunities. In Jan 2012, IGT acquired DoubleDown, which has its headquarters in Seattle. According to PokerScout, DoubleDown now occupies the third rank in the list of free online poker sites attracting the most player traffic, close behind PokerStars and Zynga Poker.