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IGT Poker Network to Close

Earlier this week, PokerUpdate exclusively revealed that iGame is set to leave IGT and move to the Microgaming network. News broke today that all skins on the IGT Poker network, formerly known as Entraction, will be forced to find new homes by December 11.

IGT announced yesterday to eGamingReview that it would “consolidate its product development” due to the “change and uncertainty in European market conditions [diminishing] the expected returns in certain real money wagering products.” IGT plans to focus on a handful of key, legal markets only.

IGT acquired Swedish-owned Entraction in May 2011 for approximately £70 million ($108 million). However, liquidity has diminished. The network pulled out of markets such as Canada, Israel, Norway, Russia and Turkey last year; as a result, operators like BetVictor have set up secondary skins on other networks like Microgaming.

The IGT Poker network now sits outside the top 20 on PokerScout’s traffic rankings after once being in the top 10. It is the worst performing European network in the last twelve months, losing more than 50% of its cash game traffic.

Equity analysts tracking IGT, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, say the company plans to write off its £70 million purchase because “offloading it in a sale would prove too difficult.” Bwin.party has had trouble selling Ongame, and IGT would face a similar hurdle divesting Entraction, analysts highlight. IGT shares are down 30% from their year-to-date peak in January.

IGT Poker skin iGame told PokerUpdate earlier this week that it had “finalized an agreement with one of the world’s leading poker networks to join its poker platform.” iGame, whose brands include 24hPoker and Pokerihuone, is one of the largest skins on the network.

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