partypoker’s ring game traffic has dropped to a two-year low, according to PokerScout.com. The site may have the lion’s share of online poker in New Jersey, with over 40 percent of the market through its relationship with the Borgata, but that’s just a drop in the bucket in the whole global scheme of things.
In fact, it might be cause for concern for the company that while the rest of the industry appears to be recovering from the summer slump, the party is still over for this site.
bwin.party had a bumpy 2013 when revenues across all gambling operations fell by 19 percent, to â‚¬652.4 million ($888 million). Several factors may have been to blame, such as ISP-blocking in markets such as Greece, the decline of the poker market in France and Italy, and the migration of its players to its new technology platform in 2012.
However, now that the company has implemented the new platform, it should be reaping the benefits.
“2013 was a challenging year for our business,” admitted CEO Norbert Teufelberger recently, “but it also marked a turning point as we increased our focus on regulated and to-be-regulated markets, began to roll-out new and refreshed versions of our mobile and desktop products, and commenced the transformation of our technology infrastructure through the adoption of the Agile development methodology.
“Having streamlined the shape and size of our business we now have the foundations to return our business to sustainable growth,”he added.
And yet, New Jersey aside, bwin.party’s poker operations continue to shrink, despite the company’s claim that its new software has been well received. The new platform offers a range of features inspired by social gaming, with “missions” and “achievements” becoming a big part of the player experience.
However, bwin has been slow to adopt other popular innovations, such as fast-fold poker and lottery sit-and-gos. Teufelberger also conceded that bwin had fallen behind many of its competitors in the adoption of mobile technology, the most significant growth-driver of the last few years.
bwin.party’s last annual report showed that poker revenue had fallen 35 percent to â‚¬114.6m. Daily average players dropped 39 percent to 47,400 during the year, while new player sign-ups dropped 55 per cent to 177,300. While the-once mighty partypoker used to be the market-leading online poker company, in 2005 floating on the London Stock Exchange for a staggering Â£4.64 billion, bwin.party now derives less than 18 percent of its total revenue from its online poker operations.
However, the time and money that partypoker has invested in the US, rebuilding its brand and developing the market-leading poker site, may stand it in good stead for the future as America slowly opens itself up to regulation. As numbers falter in Europe, Teufelberger has said that the US is a key priority for the company, describing the opening up of new markets as a “significant business opportunity.”