Last week, we heard that the former Bodog Network would be accepting new countries under the Bodog Poker brand. Then came word that the Bodog Network had been purchased by a Hong Kong investment firm and would officially be rebranded as the PaiWangLuo Poker Network.
What do we know about them and should you jump on this PaiWangLuo train?
A Brief History of the Bodog Network
It’s easy to get confused about the various ownership changes and brand names, so let’s look at a brief history to get things straight.
Bodog was the original brand that started it all in the late 90s, with an independent poker room launching in 2004. In 2011 after Black Friday, Bodog transferred its American players to Bovada in what was announced as an ownership change to Mohawk. Bodog, Bodog88 (the Asian facing arm of Bodog) and Bovada were the sole poker rooms on the network through 2015. In 2016, in what appeared to be an attempt to segregate U.S. sports bettors from the poker pool, U.S. poker players again moved. This time players were transferred to Ignition Casino, which is owned by Lynton Limited. The U.S. sports bettors stayed on Bovada.
The new PaiWangLuo Poker Network brand name is listed on the group’s official website, which gives details on the three poker rooms that call the network home.
Not much is known about the new group that owns the PaiWangLuo brand. The press release and website are both light on details and the brand was not known before the Bodog Network purchase was announced last week.
Despite the lack of transparency, we wouldn’t say this is cause for much concern. The move seems consistent with other somewhat mysterious ownership changes in the past. Nobody really seems to completely understand who owns what, but the network and U.S. facing poker rooms have always been among the most-respected poker rooms still accepting play from U.S. players.
Today, the new Pai Wang Luo Poker Network consists of the following three poker rooms:
|What poker rooms are on the PaiWangLuo Poker Network?|
|Poker Room||Countries Accepted|
|Ignition Casino Poker||United States|
|Bodog||Canada, and recently Latin American countries including Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Columbia, Mexico, Venezula|
|Bodog 88||China, Vietnam and other select Asian countries|
All brands work with affiliates under the Betting Partners brand, which include Bodog, Bovada but also some slot and bingo brands: Cafe Casino, Downtown Bingo, Joe Fortune and Slots.lv.
With the ownership changes, seems to be a renewed focus to move into other countries. Eight Latin American countries were announced last week and there could be more on the horizon. This will be excellent news not only for players in new countries, but also in countries that are already available on the network.
So What Should We Call This Network?
It’s officially called the PaiWangLou Poker Network, but feel free to call it whatever you would like. We would imagine that if you use any of the legacy names for the foreseeable future, you’ll likely confuse others less than using the new name.
PokerScout, one of the biggest websites that tracks the industry currently refers to the network simply as “Ignition,” presumably because the vast majority of the traffic comes through Ignition. Kind of like how the PokerStars network is referred to as PokerStars even though it technically features Full Tilt on the network as well.
The Bodog Network was certainly the most common name cited after the U.S. players went to Bovada, but did fracture a bit after Bovada U.S. poker players went to Ignition Casino.
Regardless of the confusion, PaiWangLuo Poker Network is the official name now, so if you want to be proper, it’s best to go with that. Although, we’d prefer the PWL Network catches on (like it did for MPN) as that arguably rolls off the tongue a bit easier.