Business in the online gambling industry was good for most, bad for others this week as World Series of Poker ace Johnny Chan closed the doors of his Ongame-powered poker room Chan Poker.com, but several new ventures were launches by other industry stalwarts.
Chan Poker.com, owned by 10-time WSOP bracelet winner Johnny Chan closed after two years in operation. The 2006 WSOP extravaganza in Las Vegas was used as the launch platform for this promising venue but the advent of the UIGEA months later clearly did nothing to help the business.
Players were told earlier this month that the doors would close on August 21st with an immediate cessation of depositing services and the site taken offline. Customers were assured that all financial obligations would be met, and they were urged to make their withdrawals as soon as possible.
"For those that wish to continue playing online poker, know that we are actively seeking a partner to provide a new home that will honor your player point balances," the closure notice advised. The player database for this established business will no doubt appeal to operators who remain active in the industry.
Chan's personal plans for online activities have yet to be confirmed, but there are sure to be poker sites who will seek his endorsement and participation.
Fellow poker guru Doyle "Texas Dolly" Brunson, on the other hand is expanding his online operations with the announcement of the launch of an online casino to complement his popular Doyles Room.com poker site. Doyles Room Casino.com has received the full ‘big casino' treatment from gambling software provider Microgaming, and is jam-packed with an unrivaled selection of streaming live dealer games, some of the biggest progressives on the Web, video poker, authentic five and three reel slots, arcade slots, baccarat, blackjack, and both American and European table games.
Brunson's personal involvement will as usual create the right buzz for this new operation, and the publicity blurb promises healthy promos and cash back insurance of up to 30 percent on casino losses.
Less well known is Plex Gaming, a Malta and Curacao licensed group that includes PokerPlex, BingoPlex and now, launched this week, CasinoPlex.com, powered by Playtech with financials via Fintradex Ltd.
The new operation is managed by CEC Management and is probably another of Playtech's white labels, offering a range of casino games that includes Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat, Craps, Caribbean Stud Poker and Pai Gow Poker, together with progressives, slots, arcade games, video pokers and Asian games.
Casino Plex accepts EUR, GBP and USD currencies and provides a wide variety of Payment Methods for players around the world.
The company runs its own Casino Plex Affiliate Program offering affiliate commissions of up to 40 percent.
Over at the Merge-powered and Aussie owned Jam Poker.com, players are promised an improved gambling experience following the installation of the v.4.4 software upgrade, just released following extensive beta testing. Some of the new features players will experience include new games, such as Euchre, a new lobby design and improved in-game functionality.
The site also offers Texas Hold'em and Omaha, as well as a variety of Stud and Draw poker games, together with classic casino games such as Blackjack, Backgammon, Roulette, Caribbean Stud and Video Poker. JamPoker currently offers the option of three different sign up bonuses to new players, including a 300 percenter maxed at $300.
Players at Jackpot City's subsidiary Wild Jack Mobile Casino will be able to purchase credits and charge them directly to their mobile bill to play the award-winning casino mobile games following a deal this week with Vodafone in the UK.
In an important move to exclude underage gamblers, Vodafone UK will verify each user's age through its customer records before accepting deposits, a move that will help prevent minors from gaining access to the service.
While playing, gamers can view account balances and use the banking section within the game.
Powered by Spin3, this mobile casino was one of the first of its kind in the UK when launched, and works on over a thousand mobile handsets. With 14 games ranging from Microgaming's Roulette and BlackJack to the progressive jackpot slot Major Millions, Wild Jack is capitalising on the growing trend to mobile gambling.
Microgaming will also be powering a new, and as yet unnamed online casino for the Australian based Casino Rewards group in the near future, the company has disclosed.
November 2008 is the launch target date for the new operation, which will join the group's BlackjackBallroom.com, CasinoClassic.com, CaptainCooksCasino.com and some 15 other award winning online gambling establishments, to bring the total number of Casino Rewards venues to an impressive 19.
The new operation will probably follow group policy in offering over 280 games at each casino and different themes to suit every taste.