The owner NextPoker.com, Abbantina Malta Limited, has reacted strongly to an announcement by Bwin Interactive Entertainment AG that it had excluded the virtual casino and poker room from its OnGame Network.
Vienna-based Bwin stated earlier this week that it had expelled NextPoker.com for ‘repeated violations of the rakeback policy’ and ‘in order to further clarify its intentions and standpoint regarding a rakeback-free poker network’.
“NextPoker.com has repeatedly violated the terms and conditions of our rakeback policy and we, therefore, see no solution other than to exclude them from our poker network,” said Kevin O’Neal, Press Officer for Bwin.
“This action is seen as a regrettable but required step towards our vision of operating a rakeback-free network.”
However, Abbantina stated that Bwin’s allegations are ‘totally false’ because it operated on OnGame through a ‘white-label’ agreement with Redbet Limited.
“Ongame’s announcement is totally false and we are considering legal action as a result of this announcement,” read a statement from Malta-based Abbantina.
“It may be noted that NextPoker.com is not the first and most likely not the last operator to leave OnGame.
“NextPoker.com is owned by Abbantina Malta Limited and operated on OnGame until October 31, 2008, through a ‘white-label’ agreement with Redbet Limited. Thus, Abbantina never had a direct contractual relationship with OnGame.
“On July 31, 2008, Abbantina terminated the ‘white-label’ agreement with Redbet for various reasons. The notion that OnGame terminated NextPoker.com’s agreement is, therefore, doubly false. In any case, from what we understand, OnGame is still holding players’ funds as a result of the termination. We trust that players’ funds will be returned without delay.
“NextPoker.com launched on OnGame in the summer of 2007 in the hope of joining a major rakeback-free network. It soon became clear that OnGame was far from rakeback-free. Big incumbent OnGame operators continued (and continue to this day) to offer rakeback to end customers through special agreements with OnGame and, at the same time, a vicious bonus war had broken out, pushing down the margins of mainly small and medium-sized operators on OnGame.”