Players in Romania can now access the GGPoker network thanks to a joint venture with SkyWind Holdings, known as WindGG.
The new site, PlayGG.ro, will be operated by WindGG, a company owned by GGN Europe (GGPoker’s parent company) and SkyWind Holdings. The collaboration has allowed PlayGG.ro to receive a local gaming license from Romania’s National Gambling Office.
The launch means Romanian poker players will get localized products and promotions. They’ll also get access to GG’s international network so they can play against people around the world.
GGPoker continues expansion
Going live in Romania means that GGPoker has launched locally licensed platforms in three European countries this year. The company received a Belgian gaming license in September before becoming one of the first international operators to launch a regulated poker site in the Netherlands.
Romania has a larger population than both of those countries and, while its poker community may not be as strong, it’s a growing market producing strong players such as 2018 Goliath winner Florian Duta, and WSOP and EPT champion Alexandru Papazian.
The move also allows GGPoker to better leverage its relationship with Daniel Negreanu. Although he was born in Canada, Negreanu’s parents were Romanian, and he grew up speaking the language. Local players, therefore, support him like one of their own. As noted in Monday’s press release, Negreanu will be the face of PlayGG.ro and engage with local players both online and through various promotions.
Building a Romanian stronghold
Launching a site in Romania is another coup for GGPoker, and not just because it expands the company’s European footprint. It’s a coup because the move means GGPoker can now challenge PokerStars on another national battleground. PokerStars temporarily exited the Romanian market in 2015 following the introduction of new regulations. It re-entered with a gaming license soon after, and has been the country’s standout poker site ever since.
With GGPoker’s entry into the market, Romania could now become a key market for both operators as they look to dominate locally and, more importantly, internationally.
PokerStars still has the edge when it comes to international rankings, with a seven-day average of 6,000 players and a 24-hour peak of 9,746 compared to GGPoker, which comes in with a seven-day average of 5,800 and a 24-hour peak of 8,277 players, according to PokerScout.
With a brand new European license under its belt and a growing list of high-profile tournaments, including the Super Millions, GGPoker is in a strong position to challenge PokerStars heading into 2022.