IGT has completed its protracted shutdown of the Entraction Poker Network, with the last few remaining skins disconnected earlier today. The shutdown completes a withdrawal from the market for Entraction announced three months ago.
Entraction’s shutdown followed a loss of player liquidity prompted in part to parent company IGT’s pursuit of a Nevada (US) online poker license, for which the company was approved this year. IGT paid approximately $115 million for Entraction in May of 2011, before shifting course and pursuing other business opportunities.
One of the those opportunities remains a future, legal US online market. In order to assure Nevada regulators that IGT adhered to national regulatory frameworks elsewhere, the company pulled its services from 20 other countries worldwide, in a move that severely curtailed player liquidity, and may have geo-blocked more than 50 countries altogether.
In a September statement, IGT CEO Patti Hart acknowledged the effect of the market transition, noting that online poker had “shifted from dot-com to dot-country. There’s less profitability and the product becomes less interesting.”
IGT continues to offer its sports-betting and online-casino products in several European markets.
IGT also continues its investment into social-networking/gaming opportunities. The company purchased Seattle-based DoubleDown for $500 million in January of 2012, with the site currently ranking an estimated third for play-chip online poker players, behind Zynga Poker and PokerStars, according to tracking site PokerScout.