Pure poker operations must be tearing their hair out when they read that of all the gambling channels, poker is the only one that seems to be going backward in terms of growth. Expansion is still occurring in regions like Latin America and Asia, but declines in the core markets of North America and Europe are dragging down the whole sector. These up/down waves are cyclical, obviously, but it must really frustrate poker companies when they see something like bingo leapfrogging them on the growth charts.
So is bingo the new poker? Hard to think there might be a tubby accountant named Chris BingoDabber waiting out there to capture the public’s imagination and spur the growth of celebrity bingo games on TV and the like. Could PokerStars be hedging their bets by registering domain names like BlueHairedBingoStars.com? Would FullTilt follow suit with FullPruneJuice.com? Possibly, but for the moment, the pure poker companies have bigger fish to fry.
During poker’s boom years, pure poker operations engaged in an ill-advised buying spree, gobbling up small poker rooms and duct-taping them to their existing infrastructure, then hurriedly moving on in search of the next acquisition. While these additions may have been appeared seamless on the surface, on the back end it resulted in a dog’s breakfast of software coding, not all of it up to contemporary standards of security. Now that the poker market is contracting, the buying binge has abated, but the resulting hangover from all that overindulging is giving these companies the mother of all headaches.
Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet were perhaps the most prominent of the companies that have been embarrassed by their security breaches, but they were far from alone. Rumors of ‘super users’ are currently being spread about Cake Poker, and company reps are finding it difficult to respond with anything that will set players’ minds to rest. Undoubtedly, these types of stories will continue to appear in poker forums, at least until poker operators admit they have a problem and root out all the suspect code lurking under their noses. And until they reassure the public on this issue, they will continue to have their clocks cleaned by bingo. Read more.