01/11/2012 : Pokerscout reports an almost 10 percent surge in last week's traffic
The latest weekly numbers show that the industry benefitted from an unexpected 9.8 percent boost to traffic last week as a new year started, with the top ten sites mostly showing positive swings.
Pokerstars.fr was the only top site to show a decline, which has been attributed to its dispute with French players over VIP and rake calculation policies. The issue has seen many serious players boycott the site, instead giving their action to Winamax.fr, which recently overtook Pokerstars' French offering.
PokerStars.fr fell 10 percent for the week while rivals Winamax.fr and PartyPoker.fr booked gains of 10 percent or more. Pokerscout observes that the boycott may also be affecting sister site PokerStars.com, where the 5 percent weekly gain lagged substantially behind other top 10 sites.
Top gainer last week was PartyPoker, where traffic soared 29 percent, significantly outpacing the gains of its rivals. The increased interest in the site is probably due to a VIP rake race promotion which started on January 2 and runs until the end of the month. PartyPoker surged into second place on the industry leaderboard, again pulling past Playtech's iPoker Network, which still recorded a creditable 12 percent growth in traffic.
Pokerscout notes that Italian sites continued to enjoy substantial action, perpetuating a trend that has seen increases of almost 30 percent over the past fortnight and boosting Italian market share in the global online poker sector to 10 percent.
Last week's big movers and shakers included PartyPoker's success in reaching second place behind Pokerstars.com, displacing iPoker in its rise.
Pokerstars.fr dropped from seventh to ninth position, and was overtaken by Winamax.fr and the Merge Gaming Network, which respectively took the seventh and eighth slots.
The Peoples Network jumped from 14th to 11th on the list, overtaking iPoker.it, which slipped from 11th to 12th, whilst International.it climbed two spots to 13th, and Entraction improved its position from 17th to 14th.
Bodog Poker's decline continued, with the site dropping three places to 15th (something the franchise is likely to dispute), whilst Svenska Spel followed suit, dropping to 16th.
PartyPoker's French site also improved, moving up to 17th from 19th, but the Everest Poker operation slipped two places to 16th, with its French site losing two spots to finish 20th.
GTechG2's International Poker Network fared slightly better than in previous weeks, managing to gain one step up to 19th on the list.
Pokerscout updated its year-on-year statistics, showing that worldwide traffic – excluding Italy – has decreased by 31 percent due to US enforcement issues, a declining economic climate, and popularity issues regarding poker.
The top three .com sites, Pokerstars, PartyPoker and iPoker showed gains of 18, 21 and 9 percent respectively, with other big increases in recorded traffic coming from:
Merge Gaming Network (91 percent)
888poker (79 percent)
Bodog (60 percent)
Still in the doldrums were Full Tilt Poker and the Cereus Network with an almost complete loss of traffic, and the Entraction Network (down 52 percent), followed by IPN which has declined by 45 percent.
Standing out among the smaller operators is the Chico Poker Network (formerly Action Poker) which has grown a remarkable 252 percent, albeit from a small base, and Yatahay – up 82 percent.