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networks

ONGAME

Founded 1999
Owned by Amaya Gaming
Software Ongame
Structure Public Traded Company
License Gibraltar
Skins 26 Ongame skins
Live Tours GSOP
US Accepted Not since UIGEA
Former Names PokerRoom & PokerNetwork

 

Ongame founded in 1999 was originally called PokerRoom.com. The software consisted of 3 different platforms as late as 2003/2004.

One platform made it possible to play in the browser another was downloadable and a third had a few other games that the main platform did not have and worked with Mac and Linux operating systems. The platforms were sometime during 2003/2004 merged into one.

PokerRoom was one of the first online poker rooms to provide multi-language support which catered to Danish, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Russian and Swedish players.

In 2005 PokerNetwork was renamed Ongame Network and was established as a software supplier for other operators with 8 operators and roughly 3.5 million registered players on the network.2

 

PokerRoom & Ongame Sold for $570 million

PokerRoom was one of the first major sales in the history of online poker. Betandwin.com now called bwin.party acquired Ongame incl. all its properties among PokerRoom.com for $570 million3. The Swedish founders of PokerRoom / Ongame later launched GNUF.com with limited success. However the two founders Oskar Hörnell and Claes Lidell have with their great achievement secured their names will be on the list of most successful businessmen in the history of online poker.

PokerRoom had been running 10 years when bwin announced the closure of PokerRoom on April 14, 2009. Players with money still left in their accounts were encouraged to play at bwin.

Ongame could in July 2010 present Betfair as a partner on Ongame. Betfair who previously was using their own software decided to close it down and join Ongame instead.4

 

Ongame Merged with Bwin

Ongame Statistics

Bwin was part of the biggest merger the online gambling industry has ever seen. On the 31st of March 2011 the merger between Bwin.com & Partygaming.com was completed. Bwin's shareholders were given 51.6% of the 852,271,0262 shares issued in the astonishing $1.76 billion deal.5

Ongame is impeccable when it comes to signing major sports books. Recently they presented SportingBet & Paradise Poker on the network which is one of the largest sports books in the world.

SportingBet & ParadisePoker could no longer offer poker to their Canadian costumers since Boss Media signed a deal with the Canadian government to host their ring fenced network and thereby promise not to allow Canadian players on the International Poker Network (Boss media)

Ongame was sold to Amaya Gaming in November October for €15 million. The plans for Ongame was at the time of the purchase unknown. Amaya gaming Group Inc. (TSXV: AYA) headquartered in Montreal, Canada, is a online software company providing gaming solutions on various platforms. Amaya Gaming was formerly known as Chartwell.8

 

 

Since Ongame became a network in 2005 there have been rakeback offers available on almost all skins. In 2007 that changed since Ongame banned rake back all together.

NextPoker owned by Rakeback.se was kicked off the network in November 2008. It was acquired by Betfriends which later got acquired by Betsson. NextPoker was kicked off the network because they repeatedly violated the network rules by offering rakeback to its poker community.

The major rakeback problems led to Ongame changed its formula on how to calculate and divide rake between the players and ultimately the poker rooms. The changes happened in July 2010 and resulted in the rake would no longer be divided equally between the players contributing to the pot but instead baed on the win-rate of the players.

The system is called ‘Essence’. All players are divided in three categories: Sharks, Grinders and Fish. We have been asked not to post the exact formula publicly by our source. What it means is if you are a fish (losing player) you get a majority part of the rake distributed to you. This assures that the poker rooms with losing players get more of the rake generated from its players and thereby the value of the fish increases for the operators. The fish benefits from this because they earn more cash-back than the sharks.

This 'Essence' rake system tries to stabilize the ecosystem by keeping fish alive longer while winning players gets rewarded less than before. 'Essence' is the most proactive measure that we have seen to solve the rake back problem in a constructive way and we consider it a milestone in the online poker history.

 

The rakeback policy of Ongame is clear. It is strictly forbidden and all operators on the network are encouraged to use the same VIP Loyalty program, The money paid to players is not called rakeback but cashback but in reality the same thing.

Despite the great efforts by Ongame the poker rooms and sports books on the network is known to offer some of the highest under the table rakeback deals online.

The ‘Essence’ model have increased the income for poker rooms and sports books with a large amount of losing players but the network has failed to get rid of the illegal rakeback deals. It is our impression that Ongame will have a hard time getting rid of the problem since most of the operators on the network are sports books with external cashier systems making it impossible for Ongame to monitor if players are rewarded more than the official loyalty program allows.

 

 

 

BetonBet left Ongame in July 2006. It was later bought by Eurolinx and was put into liquidation in the summer 2009.
Mansion briefly joined the Ongame network after having failed with its own software. Mansion joined iPoker in October 2008.
Bet24 was acquired by Unibet in the summer of 2012 and migrated with the Unibet.

 

party.bwin owns the poker room bwin

 


Wikipedia.org September 7, 2011

2 Ongame.se October 13, 2011

3 Pokerjunkie.com 2009

4 Gambling911.com July 12, 2010

5 PokerHistory.eu September 13, 2011

6 Poker.org June 8, 2011

7 bwin.party.com June 30, 2011

8 chartwellgames.com October 1, 2012