Players with accounts on more than one of bwin.party’s Spanish regulated sites have suddenly had all but one of their accounts suspended.
As reported on Spanish news and community site Poker Red, affected players were emailed and informed they must choose which one of their accounts they want to keep open.
bwin.party’s compliance staff have been caught on the hop, apparently missing a crucial sentence in the Spanish Gaming Act which demands that “user registration must be unique for each operator.” In other words, each operator can only offer one account to each customer no matter how many sites they operate.
In Spain, both bwin.es and PartyPoker.es operate on the same PartyGaming plaform. For customers with both accounts, bwin.party has closed one—and the decision of which seems to be based on player activity rather than seizing the opportunity to move players to their primary PartyPoker brand.
On dot.com sites, the two brands reside on different networks—PartyPoker is independent, while bwin resides on the soon to be sold Ongame network. Bwin players are expected to be migrated onto PartyGaming platform this year.
Given that the decision in Spain was due to regulatory compliance, there is no reason to believe such one-account restrictions will also apply on dot.com when the transition takes place.
No advance notice was given to players even though bwin must have been given the Oct 1 deadline for the suspension at least a few days in advance. An advance press release, even with only 24 hours notice would have avoided the consternation felt by Spanish players who have flooded poker forums with irritated posts.