Online Poker News: PokerBros ‘misunderstanding’; partypoker software development; WPN shares product roadmap; 888Poker’s “pure” poker formats; Dutch online gaming delayed

In this column, we deliver you the latest and most interesting online poker industry news from across the world and all platforms.

PokerBros Apple Store disappearance just a ‘misunderstanding’


A short moment of panic ensued in the U.S. poker world on 27th August when the popular PokerBros mobile app was suddenly pulled from the Apple Store. The social app allows users to set up and administer private poker clubs, but was suddenly not available anymore “due to unexpected circumstances”.

Many poker players remembered the horrible times of Black Friday and feared another platform will be taken away from them. U.S. players are deprived of good online poker opportunities and PokerBros had filled a meaningful void for many players.

PokerBros was very active in replying to concerned tweets, making sure everyone knew it was just a temporary error for the Apple Store. Then people started posting screenshots of Android pop-ups about “local regulations”.

After a lot of discussion on social media about these social apps in general, PokerBros issued a statement last week provided exclusively to PokerIndustryPRO clarifying that the app was taken down due to a “misunderstanding”.

“The App was removed from the US App Store as a result of a misunderstanding on Apple’s part,” said Clodagh Hansen, Head of Marketing at PokerBros, to PRO. “It was reinstated on September 2nd.”

Crisis averted, game on.

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Partypoker discussing further software development

Rob Young took it to Twitter, saying that he was having a meeting with the partypoker leadership about future software developments. In a poll, he asked the community which site currently had the best poker software.

Of about 10,000 votes, 60% voted for PokerStars, 22% for GGPoker, 10% for partypoker, and 8% for other.

What exactly this poll will be other than a popularity vote, is not clear. There are many different factors describing the quality of a site and the fact that PokerStars gains a clear majority of the vote can’t really have any kind of weighing in a business discussion about tech developments.

Partypoker is already putting a lot of effort into copying PokerStars wherever they can, and this poll might just result in more copycatting instead of real innovation.

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WPN shares product roadmap on Trello

Road Map ACR

GGPoker has famously made it a public affaire to share their development plans on a Trello board for everyone to see. Now US-facing offshore online poker network Winning Poker Network (WPN) has also unveiled a product roadmap with public access.

Transparency is great. Customers feel better if they are being kept up-to-date on development plans, but what other benefit does it have to publicize your business plans?

WPN must feel very secure in their market just as GGPoker seems to do as sharing development roadmaps could trigger faster and bigger competitors to steal the show and to act in a more speedy and efficient way.

“We’re a poker site, built by players for players,” said Michael Harris, a representative for Americas Cardroom. “So, naturally, inviting players into our world makes perfect sense.

“Our public Trello board lets anyone see what we’re up to, where we’ve been, and where we’re going. We designed it in-house, complete with graphics to make things visually interesting,” Harris added.

If you want to take a look what WPN has planned, click on this link.

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888Poker adding “pure” poker formats


888Poker has jumped on the freezeout train. The poker operator has been very quiet during the Corona poker boom and is in general a fairly neglected and sometimes slow competition in this game.

Many poker sites have recently been changing selected events to freezeout tournaments in order to favour recreational players and level the playing field. This discussion has been going for over a year.

Now, 888Poker announced a set of new daily tournaments, freezeout and with reduced rake, dubbed “The Classic” which are currently being trialed in the dot-com market.

“We decided to introduce a series of daily tournaments for buy-in levels from $5 to $100 offering classic poker tournaments, with really good, ‘pure poker’ formats,” an 888poker Executive told PokerIndsutryPRO.

“While the guaranteed prizes of such tournaments are not going to be as high, we believe the format of these tournaments will have a real appeal for player.”

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Dutch online gaming launch delayed

Online gambling in the Netherlands was initially supposed to launch on 1st January 2021, but in November 2019, the gambling regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) pushed back the launch date to 1st July 2021.

This is the same date as their neighbours Germany have scheduled a revamp of the gaming laws for. Dutch regulation might be waiting to see what Germany is doing to align some of the details.

In a letter to the lower house of the Dutch parliament, Minister for Legal Protection Sander Dekker had originally announced the two months delay. In June, Dekker had warned of further delays, as preparations to launch were disrupted by coronavirus pandemic.

“I do not rule out the possibility of a slight delay,” he said. “I see some room for manoeuvre there.”

Some of the new online gambling regulations mean that bonuses will be restricted and players and operators will be barred from advertising gambling-related services between 6am and 9pm. This is very similar to the planned German restrictions in summer next year.

The European Commission is to approve these regulations for the Remote Gambling Act now set to come into effect from 1st March 2021, and the market to open for business on 1st September.