Bwin.party to Terminate WPTPoker.com Site Operations
Bwin.party has announced that it will cease real-money online poker play as offered through its WPTPoker.com site on June 3rd. WPTPoker.com previosuly offered its services to several, but not all, European jurisdictions. Bwin.party acquired the online site as part of its larger acquisition of the World Poker Tour, which it purchased in 2009 from WPT Enterprises, Inc.
No reasons have been given for the closure of WPTPoker.com, which was operated as a minor skin on the PartyPoker network. The news was communicated to WPTPoker.com players via direct e-mail, and has not even been announced in a formal presser on bwin.party’s corporate site. Industry speculation has the WPTPoker.com site as one of the latest victims of the ongoing cost-cutting measures being taken by bwin.party in an attempt to remain solvent. Bwin.party itself continues to remain in serious sales discussions with at least two major competitors, 888 Holdings and GVC/Amaya.
Here’s the terse message about WPTPoker.com’s pending closure that bwin.party mailed to the site’s players:
bwin.party has made the decision to focus our online poker efforts entirely on our lead brands: partypoker and bwin poker. This has resulted in the decision to close our WPTPoker.com site.
Please be aware that we are unable to move any balance directly from a WPTPoker.com account to a partypoker.com account.
The poker room will cease to run from June 3rd however players will have a further 3 months to withdraw their cash balance. During this period we will remove withdrawal limits. The fee will not be waived.
We understand the frustration and apologize for the inconvenience.
We also appreciate the time that players gave to WPTPoker.com. Thank you.
Any further questions or concerns should be directed to the team at [email protected].
Separately, bwin.party has also published a brief FAQ related to the pending closure at WPTPoker.com, detailing what will happen to outstanding promotions and partially-earned bonuses. Here’s the bulk of that FAQ notification:
Q. Why is WPT Poker closing?
A. Unfortunately the business has decided that WPT Poker should close.
Q. Will WPT Poker re-open at a later date?
A. No. There are no plans of reopen WPT Poker in the future.
Q. How can I withdraw my funds?
A. Log in to your account, click on the Cashier menu and select the withdrawal option.
If you experience any problems please contact our Customer Care Team for assistance: [email protected].
Q. Is there a minimum/maximum I can withdraw?
A. For a 3 month period, starting 3rd of June, you will be able to withdraw any amount from your account*.
*standard withdrawal fees apply
Q. I have an account with partypoker, will I be able to transfer my funds there?
A. No, there’s no linkage option to your partypoker account.
Q. What happens to my Points?
A. Players should spend their points before June 3rd. Unused points will be lost if not used before 3rd of June 2015.
Q. I am half way through releasing a bonus, will I be compensated?
A. No, any bonus or part of bonus, that has not been fully released before 3rd of June 2015, will be forfeited.
‘Tournament tickets’ and ‘Tournament dollars’
Q. What happens with my tournament tickets and/or tournament dollars?
A. Unused Tournament Tickets and Tournament dollars will be converted to cash upon closure.
Numerous European players affected by the closure have protested the terms dictated by bwin.party, including the forfeiture of remaining but unearned bonuses and the lack of balance-transfer capabilities to accounts on PartyPoker, the network’s dominant site.
Several high-voltage complaints include accusations that bwin.party has significantly raised the price (in loyalty points) of items available through the store, while giving players no alternative method to spend or exchange those points, making them worth only a few percent of their prior or advertised value. One such complaint was lodged publicly at the PokerFraudAlert forums by a disgruntled WPTPoker.com regular, “3BetLight,” in which he accused bwin.party of raising store prices to the point that it made previous WPTPoker.com play equivalent to a paltry 3% rakeback rate, thus costing a player loss of thousands of dollars in accrued loyalty-points value.
Bwin.party spokespersons have not responded publicly to these or other complaints.
Separately, the closure of WPTPoker.com does not look as it will have any effect upon the ongoing operation of ClubWPT.com. ClubWPT is a subscription-based site that is available to most US- and Canada-based players. ClubWPT does not offer real-money play, but instead offers about $100,000 monthly in cash and prizes to winners of its play-chip offerings. Acc