In a desperate attempt to not lose players to the departing Lock Poker, the Merge Gaming Network will permit skins on the network to offer 35% rakeback to new players effective June 1.
Merge suspended rakeback in June, 2011, to new player sign-ups following the Black Friday debacle. But with Lock Poker leaving the Merge Network, purchasing Cake Poker, and launching the Revolution Gaming Network on June 1 with an industry-leading offer of 36% rakeback to players, Merge is forced to reinstitute its rakeback policy in an effort to hold on to its ranking of first-place among poker networks still catering to U.S. players.
Whether or not all Merge skins will partake in the new rakeback policy is not known at this time, but Aced, PDC Poker and Carbon Poker are among the skins that have confirmed their participation in the network’s rebirth of a contribution method rakeback offering, according to raketracker. Players who signed up with Carbon Poker during the one year that rakeback was not offered on Merge can contact support and request to receive rakeback.
In addition to rakeback, Merge is also planning a $100,000 Rake Race to its players that will commence in June. In light of Lock implementing a new VIP player loyalty program, a rake race of $1 million, and new tournament formats for its re-branded Revolution Gaming Network, its obvious that Merge is attempting to retain its share of the U.S. player market by its announcement of rakeback and rake race benefits. However, that ship may have sailed, as Merge will lose an estimated 40% of its player base from the departure of Lock. Not helping matters is the reputation Merge has developed as being slow in processing withdrawal requests.