Barrière Poker has decided to bring its commercial activities to an end in France’s regulated online poker market but will continue working in a B2B capacity as it seeks to utilise to the technical platform it has developed over the last three years.
The company’s consumer-facing site barrierepoker.fr will close down on 30 September, the group said it had not been able to compete with many of the sites who had been operating in France prior to the market regulating in 2010.
The company, a joint venture between French lottery operator Française des jeux and casino group Lucien Barrière created shortly after France’s market opening, will now focus its efforts on B2B activities.
In a statement, the company said, “Before the law regulating the market (May 2010), a number of operators had already established their positions for several years with French players, gaining business experience and consolidating player databases. From this point of view, the lack of market growth did not lead to a redistribution of the cards in favor of the new French players like BarrièrePoker.fr.
“The company draws the lessons from an internet market sensitive to economic conditions and structurally bearish for over a year now, with (its performance) worsening quarter after quarter.”
Latest ARJEL figures show that stakes for online poker, in particular cash games, continue to drop, with player numbers also in decline for the sixth consecutive quarter.
Staff will be reallocated across FDJ digital projects and Barrière Poker will now seek to expand its B2B activities internationally, specifically in the US, where it has an agreement to supply Caesars Interactive Entertainment with its poker technical platform.
“(Holding company) LB Poker has evolved throughout this period as a technology player in France and abroad,” said the group. “From a company founded just a few weeks after the market opening, LB Poker has created a best-of-breed technology platform which it has exported. The (Caesars-WSOP) partnership opens up the prospect of the company using its technology in what could become the largest poker market in the world, the US. That is why the company will focus on the development of these technology assets in the global B2B market.”