13-Year Reign Ends as RedKings Closes Online Poker Room

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RedKings Poker and Sports will close their virtual doors on April 28 after almost 13 years in the business.

RedKings Poker closed
RedKings has closed its online poker room and sportsbook as the gaming market continues to evolve. (Image: RedKings.com)

Announced at the end of last week, the shock closure will see new registrations suspended and existing players transferred to fellow MPN site, Betsafe.

As well as moving accounts, RedKings players will have until April 28 to complete any outstanding bonuses. After the closing date, uncleared offers will be removed from a player’s account and not transferred to Betsafe.

Market Forces RedKings to Close

Other than a message posted on RedKings’ homepage, the operator hasn’t explained why its poker room and sportsbook are closing. However, what we do know is that RedKings Casino will remain active.

Although poker sites such as UltimateBet have come and gone due to internal issues, the latest closure can be seen as a sign of the times.

Looking at it in context of online gaming as a whole, poker has lost ground in recent years. Even the market leader PokerStars has gone through a major shift over the last five years.

Since being acquired by Amaya for $4.9 billion back in 2014, the online poker site has become a much more diverse platform. As well as adding casino games, PokerStars is becoming a major player in the sports betting arena.

Alongside its own output, the operator recently completed a $4.7 billion takeover of Sky Betting and Gaming.

For PokerStars in particular, these acquisitions have also shifted the focus of its poker products. Although it still offers the largest selection of tournaments and cash games, the number of non-traditional options has increased.

Lottery-style tournaments are, perhaps, the most prominent example of how operators are now adding casino elements to their poker games.

Online Poker is No Longer All About Poker

This drive to diversify and attract more gamblers is fueled by the statistics.

In the UK, online poker revenue reached £107 million/$140 million in 2018. In contrast, revenue from online slots alone topped £2 billion/$2.6 billion.

With markedly more money to be made from casino games and sports betting, poker operators have been forced to adapt. For the leading brands, this has meant more crossovers and a greater focus on non-poker products.

However, for smaller poker sites such as RedKings, the only viable option, it seems, is to drop online poker and put all of its efforts into casino gaming.

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