12/23/2011 : IS POKER ROOM BRAND ABOUT TO STAGE A COMEBACK?
For the last three years little has been or heard of Bwin's PokerRoom brand, but that could be about to change…
One of the pioneer online poker brands, Poker Room, could be about to stage a comeback after an absence of three years, if a tweet from a Bwin search engine optimisation specialist this week is to be believed.
Bwin’s SEO manager Josef Rantamäki, tweeted, presumably in a tease marketing move: “Wow! www.pokerroom.com will be relaunched and once again offer real money poker games."
The teaser was immediately picked up by the ever-alert folks at the Pokerfuse online poker information portal, but little expansion on the news could be obtained from Poker Room parent group Bwin-Ongame.
Originally launched in 1999, Poker Room became a popular ad powerful brand, but was a casualty when the UIGEA was passed in 2006, compelling parent network Ongame to exit the US market. The brand soldiered on for another three years in the non-US market before it was shut down in 2009 and its playerbase transferred to Bwin.
In more recent times, Bwin merged with Party Gaming to create the world's largest online gambling operational group, with Party Poker the dominant interest in the online poker sector, which led to a decision to sell Ongame, and the forthcoming transfer of Bwin poker fans to Party Poker.
Could a resurrected Poker Room be part of a planned re-entry into the US market by Bwin.Party.Digital? The group recently formed a partnership with US major land gambling firms MGM and Boyd Gaming in anticipation of a possible US legalization of internet poker.
Another possibility could be that the addition of a revitalised Poker Room may make the purchase of Ongame – already on the selling block – more attractive.