Merge Poker Site BluffRoom.com Closing Down
BluffRoom.com, a Merge Gaming skin regulated by the Maltese LGA, will close soon, pokerfuse has learned. Affiliates have been unpaid for two months, but player funds should be safe.
Information given to pokerfuse indicates that player funds are actually held by the Merge cashier and are not physically owned by Bluff Room itself, which should mean that players will get their money back.
It is understood, however, that affiliates are in a different position, as the money owed is from the poker room itself. Whether they get any money due will depend on the financial position of the operator.
Bluff Room is owned by IG & Partners Ltd, which also owns the ENET skin Bluff Gaming. This effectively closed at the end of August and its players were transferred to the main Enet site. “Liquidity problems” were cited as the reasons for the shutdown. Although deposits were transferred, players had to rake an amount equal to any withdrawal until they have paid enough rake to cover their balance.
It is unclear what will happen to Bluff Room player accounts. In similar situations the accounts have been transferred to a new skin with minimal disruption to players, although it is possible that players may find themselves in the same situation as those from Bluff Gaming, unable to cash out without first having to rake a minimum amount.
The Maltese Lotteries and Gaming Authority has not yet withdrawn any of the several licences held by IG & Partners. Bluff Room is the latest in a series of LGA regulated rooms to close in the last few months.
IG & Partners is an 18-year old company founded in Italy. It is headed by Edward Saliba and offers a range of outsourced gaming services and products packaged into turnkey solutions. Marketing Manager Gabriella Calapaj summarises what the company aims to provide:
The best service a client can desire is to have a high quality turnkey product complete with sportsbook, live casino, poker, skill games and all surrounding services such as legal, risk management, customer support and marketing, which play an important role in such a competitive market as that of gaming.
Within this corporate mission, the ownership of two poker skins does not look like a natural fit. The company is exiting the business of providing gaming services directly to customers and concentrating on services to the industry.
The hope for affiliates who remain unpaid is that IG & Partners will value their industry reputation high enough to step up and produce the money that their subsidiary owes.