Microgaming Waves Goodbye to Poker Network After 16 Years

September 20th, 2019 | by Kaycee James

It’s been a week a major announcements for the Microgaming Poker Network (MPN) after it disclosed information about bot activity and its impending closure.

Microgaming Poker Network (MPN) to close

The Microgaming Poker Network (MPN) will close its virtual doors in 2020 after 16 years in the business. (Image: MPN.Poker)

Despite being one of the quieter online poker operators, MPN has lit up the virtual skyline in recent days with some breaking news.

With Partypoker making its bot statistics public, MPN decided to follow suit on September 16. Releasing four years’ worth of data, the network showed that, on average, 7.43 percent of monthly active users have been investigated since January 2016.

MPN Still Tough on Cheats Despite Demise

Although MPN hasn’t provided an overview of the raw numbers, account closures due to suspicious activity amounted to 1.25 percent of the network’s userbase.

By shutting down approximately one in 80 real money accounts, MPN’s security team has recovered more than $1 million in player funds.

From that apparent positive, Microgaming’s PR team was back in action on September 20. Addressing the media before posting the announcement on its blog, MPN revealed it will close in 2020.

According to CEO John Coleman, the online poker network model doesn’t fit the company’s “strategic vision.”

When online poker was in its infancy, software suppliers such as Microgaming developed their own networks. Independent gaming brands would join them in order to take advantage of shared playerpools and resources.

However, as the industry has evolved, more sites have moved away from the network model. In 2013, Unibet Poker parted ways with MPN and followed the likes of PokerStars by becoming a standalone site.

Microgaming Moving Poker in New Direction

Although other online poker networks such as GGNetwork are still popular, Microgaming bosses no longer feel its service is viable. Going into more detail, MPN Managing Director of Poker Alex Scott said the decision wasn’t taken lightly.

“I’ve been carrying out an extensive review into the poker product here at Microgaming, with input from poker industry experts, independent consultants, and my colleagues around the world,” Scott wrote on the MPN blog.

With facts and stats at hand, Scott and the senior executives at Microgaming determined the current model needed to change.

“The conclusion of the review was that, for poker to be as successful as possible, we had to adopt a very different strategy and business model,” Scott continued.

Until a final date is determined, it will be business as usual across MPN’s collection of online poker sites. However, once the network closes, each individual room will have to take care of its own interests.

That may mean some of the smaller poker brands close their doors, while the likes of Grosvenor Poker and Betsson remain active. Whatever the outcome, MPN will cease to exist by the end of Q3 2020.

Despite the decision to shutter its network, CEO Coleman confirmed that this isn’t the end for poker at Microgaming. Although he stopped short of explaining his plan, he said the closure will allow the company to focus on new ventures.

For those at MPN, it’s the end of an era. But, for online poker as a whole, it’s just another example of the industry’s ongoing evolution.


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