A new dot-poker domain extension has just entered the first of its three-phase release.
Known in the online industry as the “sunrise” period, the initial launch will give holders of a registered poker trademark the first shot at purchasing one of the new extensions.
This period will run from February 5 until Mach 7 and precede the “landrush” phase. During this stage of the release members of the public will be given the ability to register their interest in certain domain names.
However, in the interests of fairness, any dot-poker extensions on offer won’t be available for purchase if more than one person has their eye on it.
In circumstances where more than one website owner wants to purchase a dot-poker extension, a live auction will be held and the winning bidder will be given the license.
Once this period comes to a conclusion on April 21, potential domain names will go on sale in the same way as any other premium extension.
For example, if you were a website entrepreneur with an affinity for London, it’s now possible to purchase a dot-London extension such as www.ILove.London.
However, unlike standard domain name extensions such as dot-com, top level extensions such as dot-London have a higher price. In fact, for this particular example, the dot-London extension on its own would be $53 and that doesn’t include additional fees based on the length and desirability of the domain itself.
As yet it’s not been disclosed how much a dot-poker extension will cost when they go on general sale, however, the company in charge of the initial sales, Afilias, believe the new extension will be extremely popular.
“Poker is one of the most popular games on the Internet today, and now there is a dedicated space on the Internet for all aspects of poker,” said the Robert LaPlante, Afilias’ Chief Marketing Officer.
What does this mean for the online poker world? At present it’s unclear whether or not many of the top operators will decide to use the new extensions.
However, given the fact that a number of sites already use the word “poker” in their names, a dot-poker extension could look a bit odd: e.g. PokerStars.poker, 888Poker.poker or partypoker.com.
Of course, some of the sites with multiple interests could rebrand, but this is unlikely if they already have a strong industry presence. In terms of the wider ramifications for the game, the new dot-poker extensions could see a wave of new poker focused sites spring up.
Any increase in the number of sites covering poker would certainly help the overall strength of the industry and, therefore, translate into greater revenues.
Moreover, the fact that poker has recognized as a popular enough industry to have its own domain extension is also fantastic for the game’s image.
Although this move alone won’t convert every naysayer, it should certainly help sway those that are ambivalent towards poker.