BetClic Everest to Streamline French Operations, Close EverestPoker.fr Site
Citing the redundancy of having two prominent online-poker brands serving the limited and firewalled France online poker market, BetClic Everest has announced its plans to close the EverestPoker.fr site and transfer that site’s existing players over to the company’s Betclic-branded French site.
Both sites currently operate on iPoker’s France-only network, where they are joined by JOA-online and Unibet.fr. Poker-tracking site PokerScout estimates iPoker.fr to be the third-largest France-facing poker network, but at only 5% of the country’s runaway market leader, PokerStars.fr.
The closure was first disclosed to the company’s French players in an e-mail, then quickly confirmed by several Europe-based poker media outlets. The move is scheduled to occur on May 31st, 2016.
According to Isabelle Andres, the CEO of Everest Group-BetClic, the move will help streamline operations and maximize liquidity while allowing all of the former Everest Poker site’s players the access to greater gambling services on the Betclic site. Said Andres, roughly translated, “There was no reason to maintain both sites’ poker offerings in the French market. [By merging,] we keep all our incentives and are confident that our customers will benefit from poker on BetClic — a quality poker offering and an enriched experience with access to French sports- and horse-betting.”
According to the e-mail sent to players, the EverestPoker.fr poker tables will remain fully accessible for play until May 31st. Transferring players will be able to move or merge their accounts over to Betclic.fr with what the company describes as a “three-click” process. The online-trasnfer capability will remain availabile for several months, to at least the end of September. All loyalty-based benefits and programs are to be retained as well.
Parent company Betclic Everest also plans some “incentive migration mechanisms,” promotions that are designed to induce existing Everest Poker players to move over to the Betclic site. Included is €25 credit sports-betting bonus for VIPs, a matching play-through bonus of up to €500 for new depositors and transfers, and at least one other offer to be announced at a later date.
At least one change to the public face of Everest Poker will be the departure of well-known French poker player Fabrice Soulier as a paid spokesman for the EverestPoker.fr site. Soulier has already confirmed that his deal with Everest Poker will be ending and that he will not be continuing in a similar role with Betclic.fr.
Betclic and Everest Poker are perhaps the two most prominent brands of the five currently operated by Betclic Everest Group, which also includes bet-at-home.com, Expekt and Monte Carlo Casino. Betclic itself was founded back in 2007 in Paris by Nick Beraud and Eric Moncada, and operated as several years under its old Mangas Gaming umbrella. The company became Betclic Everest after a prominent merger with Everest Poker in 2010. Everest Poker is one of the online-gaming world’s oldest poker brands, having changed owners and networks on multiple occasions after being started up back in the early 2000’s.