PKR Poker, the world’s first 3D poker app for iOS and Android, has closed its operations after running into financial difficulties. Customers looking to access their accounts at the start of May were unable to do so for 48 hours, before being abruptly notified that the site was shutting down. That meant a halt of all deposits and withdrawals, leaving players with funds in their accounts in the lurch.
These players will likely be unable to withdraw their funds until PKR’s administration applications have been heard by the Court of Administration Orders. Of concern to these customers will be recent instances of poker sites going into administration and not paying out players with positive balances.
Competition Takes its Toll
PKR Poker was one of the most innovative mobile betting apps in the online gambling market when it burst onto the scene 2006, drawing a network of players from around the world thanks to its innovative 3D interface. Yet, the app always faced stiff competition from more established – and renowned – products from the likes of partypoker and PokerStars, which promoted their service heavily through sponsored poker professionals.
More recently, the growing popularity of bitcoin poker rooms looks to have contributed to PKR’s downfall. Lower rake and banking fees are available for poker players gambling with the cryptocurrency, while easier accessibility is also a drawcard. Due to online gambling regulations, PKR was limited to operating in certain countries, leading to a largely European user base. Apple regulations played a role, restricting the app’s availability globally. Customers could avoid these hurdles at bitcoin poker apps such as BetOnline, where players are accepted from anywhere in the world, including the massive US market. The digital currency does not reveal the location of its users, increasing its appeal.
Cards Stacked Against PKR
There were other factors that contributed to PKR’s demise, too. Virtual reality poker rooms have increased in prominence recently, in many respects rendering 3D poker obsolete. Additionally, whether utilized on an iPhone, Samsung Galaxy or other mobile device, PKR’s 3D poker app was notorious for eating up phone batteries. Sadly for customers and PKR employees, the company’s failure to combat those challenges led to its demise.