Costa Rica-based online sportsbook BetCRIS has launched a new Elite Benefits loyalty program as a way of boosting its profile among online poker players. BetCRIS belongs to the Winning Poker Network (formerly Yatahay), which includes AmericasCardroom and other sportsbooks like 5Dimes and Bookmaker.eu. The six-tiered Elite Benefits program offers players a way to earn free entry into tournaments, poker vacations and various swag items. As players accumulate Benefit Points, they move up the Elite ranks, allowing them access to greater rewards. Unlike most online poker sites these days, BetCRIS utilizes the ‘dealt’ rake method of calculating a player’s point total, which should help attract even more multi-table grinders to the site.
Meanwhile, a game of he-said/she-said has broken out between Swedish operator Moore Games and Playtech’s iPoker network, on which Moore Games’ poker offering formerly resided. Moore’s poker site went offline on July 22, and a Moore rep named “José” subsequently posted a note on the 2+2 forum saying the site was offline due to a server problem on Playtech’s end. A few days later, a poster dubbed “ISILDRppN” posted a message he claimed to have received from José, in which José said Moore couldn’t get any response from iPoker, leaving everyone at Moore “so disappointed.” José went on to say that if iPoker “doesn’t come with a very good excuse and compensate both us and our players we will both change poker network and take legal actions.” Subsequent efforts to load the Moore site produced warnings that the site may contain malicious software, suggesting some form of hacking had taken place, but these warnings are no longer present.
A week after the site first went dark, Moore Games CEO Samir Mujagic told PokerFuse.com that iPoker had suspended Moore’s service without explanation. Mujagic blamed Playtech for Moore players’ inability to access their deposits, which he claimed were in Playtech’s possession. On Thursday, Playtech’s poker chief Roei Gavish issued a statement saying iPoker had suspended Moore from the network over “a material breach” of network policy. Gavish went on to say that Playtech/iPoker “NEVER holds players’ funds on its side. Payment systems are in the licensee’s domain. We’re making the efforts to audit our partners and ensure that players’ funds are safe, but it’s not in our direct possession.”
Moore players can once again access their casino and sportsbook accounts, and cashouts are available from those accounts. Players can transfer their poker balances to the other accounts and then use those funds to wager and withdraw any subsequent winnings, but for now they cannot withdraw the transferred poker funds themselves.