Major online poker operator Party Poker has decided to pull the plug on some generous VIP bonuses starting from the second quarter of this year, according to various gambling news outlets.
The main change is the axing of the site’s highest tier loyalty level, Palladium Elite. Also on their way out are any extreme bonuses that essentially equate to a 30-50% rakeback (and up to a 65% rakeback when combined with regular promotions). The rest of the VIP structure including Palladium, Gold, Silver and Bronze levels are expected to remain.
The move is in line with the strategy that Party Poker’s Gibraltar-licensed parent company, Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment articulated in recent corporate communications: namely, to divert more effort and resources to the retention of recreational players.
Other recent changes along those lines included the move from – and sale of – Ongame, the ditching of nosebleed tables, as well as bringing in fast-fold poker. This latter move proved to be very popular with those who like to play online poker in the UK and even beyond.
Palladium Elite players as well as holders of any bonuses that are on the company’s deathlist are advised by Party Poker to cash their points in by the end of March.
What may be disappointing to Elite members could be good news to Palladium players, as they will have access to a higher top bonus. The personalized services of Platinum Elite, however, are not expected to be migrated down, but would be dropped altogether instead.
Party Poker made it clear that they saw these moves as a thorough strategy to improve the overall gaming experience. In the words of the released statement, “the change will allow us to manage our poker room more effectively and ultimately allow for fairer distribution of bonuses across the network.”
With the changes planned in the UK gambling laws to entice gambling companies to return from offshore locations, as well as the slight downward tendency in the popularity of online poker, it is also a logical move for the company to place a heavier emphasis on making itself more attractive to recreational players.
Besides this rebalancing, players can also look forward to a brand new software being released sometime in the second quarter.