Coral Poker surprised the online poker world over the weekend, announcing a sudden jump from the iPoker Network to the partypoker Network. In fact, there was no formal announcement on its website, just an e-mail sent to customers. Coral Poker will shut down its iPoker operations tomorrow.
The e-mail reads as follows:
We’re making big changes: Coral Poker are joining the GVC PartyPoker network, the safest and most established poker network in the world.
These changes won’t affect your cash balance, but unfortunately they will reset your Poker Points and Bonus balances.
Points, Bonuses, Golden Chips & Free Spins will remain in your account until 23:59 on 3rd December, 2019.
Coral Poker Team
Naturally, even if players are not bothered by the move, they are perturbed about losing all of their loyalty perks. Online poker rooms often make some arrangement to have benefits carry over in some form to a new site/network, but they do not have to. Many, if not most, Coral Poker players will not even see the e-mail before finding out that their points, bonuses, etc. are gone. I know I had a separate poker e-mail back in the day and did not check it very frequently.
It does seem that Coral might have had at least a partial change of heart, as one poster on 2+2 received a message from the site saying that “Points, Bonuses, Free Spins & Golden Chips will remain in your account for now – we’ll be sure to give you another heads up when we’re all set..
It was not immediately clear what that exactly means. Perhaps the site is at least giving people a bit longer to do something with their loyalty benefits, but there is no indication that they will carry over to partypoker.
Coral’s re-opening on the partypoker Network is not expected until later this month.
While the move is quite sudden – especially announcing it on a Saturday when the iPoker version of Coral will close on Wednesday – it really shouldn’t be that much of a surprise. GVC Holdings, the parent company of partypoker, acquired Ladbrokes Coral in 2018. It is only natural that the company would want to have its poker brands under the same roof.
Ladbrokes, which has a separate skin, is expected follow Coral in the first quarter of next year.
Don’t cry too much for Playtech’s iPoker Network, though. While it is losing Coral and Ladbrokes, it is gaining Russia-based Red Star Poker. Red Star announced its exit from the Microgaming Poker Network (MPN) just a couple weeks ago. MPN is shutting down completely in May 2020; expect more migrations in the coming months. The iPoker Network believes it will be bringing over additional MPN skins.