Partypoker To Return to 21 Gray-Area Markets; Removes Withdrawal Fees
Partypoker is set to reenter 21 markets in Europe and South America under the guidance of its new owners, GVC Holdings. Many of these markets are from countries that partypoker exited during April 2013.
GVC Holdings, who completed the reverse-takeover of partypoker's parent company bwin.party digital entertainment plc this month for £1.1 billion, has a proven track record in gray-area markets, which are countries where online gaming is neither clearly legal nor illegal. In 2012, GVC and William Hill joined forces to acquire Sportingbet in a deal that saw GVC take most of the sports book's gray-market operations and William Hill take on its Spanish and Australian arm.
On the other hand, partypoker has shied away from so-called gray markets having stopped servicing players from the following countries in April 2013:
The move to reenter gray markets could have a negative impact on partypoker's license in New Jersey.
Under the terms set out by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), GVC has to undergo a strict licensing application process if it wants to continue operating in the Garden State. The DGE is allowing partypoker to continue its operations in New Jersey due to its partnership with the Borgata while it comes to a decision.
However, GVC's CEO Kenny Alexander has hinted in the past that New Jersey may not feature heavily in his plans. Speaking to Gaming Insider in December, Alexander said:
"If we get a New Jersey license, the idea would be to run the US business differently from BwinParty. It's been losing a lot of money. I think it makes sense to have some options. If the US was to open up properly, we would be in there and if it's not losing us any money, we can see what happens in the US. But if we don't get a New Jersey license or if we think the US business is going to continue to lose money, no matter what, then we would take us out of the US."
Fees Removed for Neteller, Skrill, and Webmoney Withdrawals
In a move that is sure to delight partypoker's customers, the company has removed the fees associated with withdrawing to e-wallets Neteller, Skrill, and Webmoney with immediate effect.
Prior to the changes, partypoker customers using either of these three withdrawal methods faced a limitless 3-percent charge when cashing out from the site, meaning if someone won the weekly $150,000 guaranteed Main Event's $27,000 first-place prize and withdrew the full amount, it would cost them $810 to receive the funds.
Partypoker scrapped the fees for several withdrawal methods in July 2015 when it made cash-outs to MasterCard, Visa, and bank transfers free of charge, bringing them in line with Kalixa Pay, gopay prepaid MasterCard, ClickandBuy, and Paypal.