For the last 15 years, Canada online poker players have relied on BetVictor to support their interactive card gaming experience. With limited prior notice, that experience was stripped away this week when the Gibraltar-based operator shut down its internet poker tables for good.
The poker site was officially closed on Wednesday, June 7, 2017. Players and affiliates were notified of the impending closure via email, just days before it happened. BetVictor has yet to release any public statement on the matter.
Fond Farewell to BetVictor Poker
BetVictor was among the top ranked operators on Microgaming‘s MPN network for Canada online poker players. Just recently, it was revealed that the company intended to leave MPN. It was naturally assumed BetVictor would be transitioning to a different international network skin. Now, the brow-raising truth of the matter is confirmed.
Canada online poker players and affiliates of the operator were informed of the upcoming closure, and provided important details as to how their funds would be managed. BetVictor assured everyone that all rake generated between June 1 and June 7 would be honored.
As for players withdrawals, members are encouraged to facilitate one of two options. Their balance can either be transferred to a BetVictor Casino / Sportsbook account, or withdrawn via the site’s standard payment methods. For poker players expecting to collect rake, they were encouraged to withdrawal their total balance on or shortly after June 7, fllowing final accreditation.
For affiliates of the popular Canada online poker brand, no significant changes will take place. BetVictor assured them that their affiliate accounts will not be closed, and that all due payments will be processed, per the usual timeline and methods.
15 Years of Canada Online Poker
BetVictor (formerly Victor Chandler Intl Ltd, and a few other past brandings), is one of the UK’s oldest gambling operations, dating back to 1946.
In 1998, prior to the company’s entry to the online gambling market, then-owner Victor Chandler Jr. made the unprecedented decision to move the business to Gibraltar, side-stepping the hefty gambling taxes imposed by the UK. Chandler set a revolutionary trend that’s seen hundreds of businesses, especially the online gambling variety, move their headquarters to the offshore tax haven.
It wasn’t until 2002 at BetVictor Poker opened its virtual doors to the interactive realm. Then in late 2011, following the historic downfall of online poker in the United States (Black Friday, April 2011), the brand added MPN to its existing Entraction poker skin, powered by IGT. The following year, IGT was dropped by BetVictor, choosing the Microgaming platform as its exclusive software provider.
The decision to eliminate IGT from its business model was never publicly discussed, but is widely believed to have been the result of IGT’s decision to exit ‘grey market‘ jurisdictions. The brand’s decision to convert exclusively to MPN meant Canada online poker players, as well as those in Israel, Russia and other major markets, would still be able to participate.
But alas, those days are over. BetVictor is the second MPN skin to shutter its virtual doors in the last month. Celebrated 3D poker room, PKR, did the same in early May. However, in PKR’s case, the company admitted insurmountable financial difficulties as the reason for its ultimate demise.
BetVictor does not appear to be in financial distress, and will continue to operate its online casino and sportsbook as usual. More likely, the company’s decision is based on maintaining a focus on the more profitable businesses in its portfolio.