On Friday, PartyPoker announced that it will no longer be charging for withdrawal fees for most of its options effective immediately. MasterCard, Maestro, Visa, bank transfers, Kalixa Pay, goplay prepaid MasterCard, ClickAndBuy, and PayPal will now be free of charge, with the site absorbing any costs into its overhead.
Players using these methods should be pleased, as who wants to pay for something when they could have it for free? Also, many of the site’s competitors already do not charge for these withdrawal methods.
PartyPoker Director of Games Golan Shaked believes it is important to strive to give players what they want. “Listening to the players is central to our ongoing strategy. When we started our Poker for the People campaign, withdrawal fees and our loyalty store were the two hottest topics raised at our live player forums,” said Shaked in a statement to the media.
You may have noticed that e-wallets such as Skrill andNeteller weren’t included in the list of withdrawal methods. PartyPoker currently charges 3% of withdrawals to its customers, which can add up quickly for players who are used to moving their bankroll around from site to site.
Shaked implied that Skrill and Neteller fees could also be removed in the future. “Our poker team has been working hard and we’re really pleased to have addressed these two issues, but there’s still work to be done,” said Shaked. “We will continue to look at ways to eliminate withdrawal fees from the small number of payment processors who currently charge a premium for their services.”
Another complaint being addressed is the timing of withdrawals. While PartyPoker isn’t known to be slow paying out its customers, it is also not as fast as some of the other industry leaders. According to Shaked, PartyPoker is striving to move from the middle of the pack to one of the leaders in processing withdrawals.
“Finally, we need to expedite the withdrawal process by shortening the time it takes to verify player winnings and identity. Our customers can look forward to seeing further significant improvements in the near future,” said Shaked.
The timing of this announcement is rather curious since PartyPoker is in a state of uncertainty, with the company likely being purchased in the near future. It seemed like a deal was all said and done in the middle of July, when it was announced that 888 Holdings, the owner of 888 Poker, purchased bwin.party for approximately $1.4 billion. This announcement only fueled the fire for GVC, the owner of Sportingbet, to offer a competing bid of around $1.6 billion.
The good news for players is that PartyPoker seems to be addressing concerns despite the likelihood that ownership of the online gaming company will change sometime soon.