French online gambling operator Betclic Everest Group has decided the country’s regulated online poker market cannot afford to support two poker sites.
This week, Betclic Everest informed players of its EverestPoker.fr site that the site would be closing as of May 31. However, the site’s players will be migrated to the company’s other French-facing poker site, Betclic.fr, which operates on the same platform, starting April 28.
According to emails sent to players by Betclic Everest CEO Isabelle Andres, there was “no logic” in one company maintaining two poker sites in a market that has demonstrated such disdain for operator profits.
Besides, Andres suggested the Everest Poker players would enjoy the Betclic site’s additional options of horseracing and sports wagering, particularly given the UEFA Euro 2016 football marathon that kicks off June 10.
Migrating isn’t mandatory, obviously, but Betclic has promised to honour the VIP status and Summit Points of those who agree to the switch. For those who opt not to switch, Betclic will honor all withdrawal requests. For those who are currently in a coma or trapped under something heavy, all Everest Poker accounts that remain open after May 31 will be automatically refunded, albeit not until sometime in October.
Everest Poker will continue to operate outside of France for the time being, but the French pas de deux may have the Betclic Everest braintrust thinking about achieving similar cost savings in other markets.
The French regulated poker market saw revenue decline 4% in 2015, the fifth consecutive year of dwindling returns. France has been a cruel mistress for most poker operators, as Winamax, PokerStars.fr and PartyPoker.fr are believed to control 90% of the market. Everest Poker’s exit leaves the market with just nine active sites.