Wednesday January 30,2013 : POKER SUBSCRIPTION CLUB NETWORK IN FINANCIAL TROUBLE
Business model didn't work out, admits Zen Entertainment
The Nevada-based online poker subscription club network Zen Entertainment has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to reports on the poker information site Pokerfuse Tuesday.
The report notes that Zen has admitted in its filing that its business model was flawed and was unsuccessful, failing to deliver a profit despite a 750,000-strong player base.
The filing also revealed that the company borrowed $16 million from stock broker and internet entrepreneur Ernest Moody over the past three-and-a-half years, and that for the past six months its efforts to sell its technology platform have been unsuccessful.
That could change, with the company currently in discussions with Swedish online gambling provider NYX Gaming Group, where it proposes that in return for a ‘rescue' investment of $695,000, NYX becomes the sole shareholder of what is left of the company, including its technology platform.
Zen's CEO, Marc Sperburg, said in the bankruptcy documentation that his company's business model had not been successful and "…shows no signs of become profitable in the future."
Sperburg bet – and lost – on the federal legalization of online poker in the United States, hoping that his free-play, monthly subscription platform could convert to real-money poker in a legal and lucrative new environment.
Pokerfuse notes that a number of well-known brands operate on the Zen network, including Nevada-licensed South Point Poker, which is reportedly developing its own real-money software FreeGoldPoker.com and Cardplayer Poker (formerly Spade Club).