BREAKING: Hopes that PKR brand will be sold on to new buyer

  • Administrators of closed PKR site looking to sell brand on to new buyer
  • Second option would be a sale of the player database
  • Site filed for administration last week after suffering ‘financial difficulties’

Administrators appointed to handle what happens next with pioneering online poker brand PKR have said they are looking to sell the site on to new buyers as a priority.

Pkr-administration-opinion-piece
There was a lot of affection for PKR.com, and hopes are that the famous brand can survive in some form after administration.

If that fails, the administrators said in a statement they will sell the player database and ‘certain assets’.

Registered players for PKR.com are fearing for their deposits. A blog post by the Microgaming Poker Network (MPN) last week suggested deposits were not guaranteed, and that it would be up to the administrator to decide how they would be repaid. PKR exclusively used the MPN, although Microgaming is simply a supplier to the site, and does not operate any part of the business, nor is it responsible for player deposits.

The appointed firm is RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP and has been appointed Joint Administrators of PKR Limited and PKR Technologies Limited. Casinopedia asked RSM about the likelihood of players getting their money back. They responded by saying they could not comment at this stage of the process.

The appointment was made by the High Court in London yesterday (May 11).

Hopes for a PKR sale

PKR had customers from the UK and overseas.

David Taylor, one of the joint administrators, said: “In the first instance, the Administrators will be actively seeking a buyer for the business and assets as a whole. Alternatively we will seek a buyer for the player database and other assets. In accordance with their statutory duties to creditors, the Joint Administrators will seek to maximise realisations for the benefit of all creditors. This process may take some time and we will endeavour to keep account holders updated on progress via the pkr.com website.’

Although the company was registered in the Channel Island of Alderney, a self governing British dependency, the court said that its ‘Centre Of Main Interest’ is in England and Wales. As such the appointment of administrators was made according to the laws of England & Wales, under the UK Insolvency Act 1986.

Questions, including from concerned players, can be emailed to [email protected] The administrators are expecting a lot of emails and so have warned about delays in responses.

PKR timeline

May 3: Site goes down to players at approximately 5.30pm BST. A message on the homepage cites ‘maintenance’ and apologizes for the inconvenience.
May 5 (AM): Casinopedia breaks the news the site continues to be offline, two days after the first message.
May 5 (PM): Amid brewing speculation, PKR.com admits it is down due to financial difficulties. A post later in the day states that PKR will have to file for administration. Players become concerned for deposits.
May 11: High Court appoints administrators for PKR Limited and PKR Technologies Limited.
May 12: Administrators announce they are looking to sell the business on, or the player database and ‘certain assets’.

Background to PKR

PKR made its name for allowing players to play poker in a virtual reality setting. Its selling point is that it uses animations on players during play, which can incorporate some of those tell-tale character traits to offer a more realistic game.

The site launched in 2006. It reputedly had five million users in 2012, and in December it launched a virtual sports betting platform to players. That was after a live casino launch in August 2016.

The changes were part of a ‘radical’ overhaul of the site, to expand its offering, according to then CEO Chris Welch.

OUR VERDICT

Let’s hope the administrators can do the business and get PKR sold on. It is an iconic brand in the online poker world, and one which deserves a second chance. The question is, in a highly competitive and maturing market, who will want to gamble on taking it on?

Players certainly have their own ideas where PKR went wrong, but PKR offers something which no other site does, so surely a fresh approach could revive it?

And for players, let’s just hope those deposits can be recovered.

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