Unibet to Leave Microgaming, Become IndependentThursday, December 5th, 2013 by Ryan
Is it just me, or have we seen this type of news come out pretty often as of late? The more and more online poker rooms that end up popping up in the news, it seems that we see major moves being made by many of them. Why that is though, no one really knows, but you have to assume that it has something to do with issues that the online poker rooms are having with the networks that they work under. The decision for the most recent online poker room to step out and do this came from the Unibet Group PLC, which made the announcement on Tuesday that they are going to going on their own and becoming a standalone online poker room.
As mentioned in the headline of this news, Unibet was originally with the Microgaming Poker Network (MPN), and they are going to making their leave from the network in early 2014. The company has decided to pair up with Relax Gaming, which is a company that helps develop internet poker, casino games, and bingo. The company is based out of Estonia, and this just shows that Unibet is going to take all of the steps possible to become a popular online poker option for players out there, even though there is a ton of competition as always.
In a statement from the Head of Gaming at Unibet, Daniel Eskola, he said that the “environment in the online poker industry has changed over the years”, and also went on to say that the company has decided that “being part of a poker network is not sustainable for Unibet in the long term.” The statement continued with Eskola saying that “This project has given us the possiblity to start from a blank piece of paper and define everything we believe is important for a fun poker experience.” Eskola did say that the relationship between Unibet and Microgaming is still strong, and they are still going to offer the company’s Quickfire games through their online casino.
This is a move that we’ve seen happen often, but the key reason for doing it though is mainly so that the site can cater to recreational poker players. Most sites are doing this for that reason, and they want to make sure that they are offering a site for players who just want to go on to play to have a good time, instead of the players who are there to make specifically money, or possibly even make a living. On the new software that is being created by Unibet, they are going to let players change their screen names and avatars, and also gives players the chance to participate in different missions and earn achievements.
The Microgaming Poker Network will now be without Unibet, and currently they rank 10th in terms of cash game traffic. The have an average of 1,250 players in the last seven days, which puts them in a tie with Poker Stars’ French site, and 100 players behind Bodog’s online poker site. Bodog is the largest online poker room or network that still lets players from the United States join up. It’s going to be interesting to see what type of affect that Unibet leaving MPN is going to have on the numbers for future. Unibet is a big name in the online gambling world though, and MPN features other sites such as Betsafe, LadbrokesPoker, NordicBet, Betsson, and 24hPoker.
Unibet also invested €1.25 million to take partial ownership in Relax Gaming, which just shows exactly how dedicated and committed they are to making this change become a big one. It’s surprising still that they are leaving the network, especially since not many standalone online poker sites get massive with the exception of sites like PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and partypoker.
When Unibet begins to roll out their new software in 2014 and officially get things rolling we’ll be sure to keep you updated on how the site does, what the software itself looks like, and any other additional news that comes out from the site. On top of that though, we’ll know sooner than later how Microgaming responds from losing Unibet in terms of their numbers, and that will definitely be something interesting to watch.