888Poker continues to defy the odds, having increased its traffic by 128 percent in the past 12 months. This is due in part to 888’s move into the Italian market. Italy began offering 24 hour cash games over a month ago and the nation became the biggest online poker market in Europe.
The 888Poker traffic increase comes at a time when the overall online poker market is down a staggering 22 percent compared to last year. The events of April 15, whereby founders of three major brands were indicted by US law enforcement, have nearly crippled the industry. Executives of PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and UB.com were charged with money laundering and bank fraud in connection with the misrepresentation of financial transactions related to Internet gambling.
PartyPoker appears to be among the other beneficiaries of the action. Following the closure of Full Tilt Poker in late June, Party captured a good portion of that company’s customer base in addition to taking over the number two ranking of top Web card rooms.
Additionally, Party’s .fr website (PartyPoker.fr) has moved into the number 18 spot, up one notch, during an otherwise stagnant week that saw zero growth or decline.
- Chris Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher