The far reaching implications of online poker rakeback

From a player perspective, rakeback is just about the best loyalty reward out there. After all, it rewards good players who generate a lot of rake, but it also rewards weaker players in direct proportion with the rake generated.
The poker room offering the rakeback deal should also be happy, because the players are more likely to stay loyal, and keep on playing for long after their bonuses will have been redeemed.

Yet still, there are poker rooms and networks that refuse to offer rakeback, or go even further and start a crusade against all those offering it, as if it were God knows what sort of evil setup. Note that some of these very networks offered rakeback themselves in the past, and then suddenly turned around bit the hand that fed them while they were small and vulnerable.
Anyway, what is the reason why some online poker operators hate rakeback so much? On one hand, there’s certainly an element of greed. By offering rakeback they give up money they could just as well retain for their own use, but greed is certainly not all there is.

A lot more serious issue is player migration. Poker networks gave the individual poker skins a lot of freedom regarding rakeback in the past, and that meant that each and every one of these operators would establish his rakeback offer and conditions independently. That led to the different skins trying to outbid each-other within the same network, which then reduced the revenue for all of them, and caused a chaotic player migration from one skin to another.

This way, a network pretty much ruined the revenue potential in its pool of poker players for itself, something which didn’t make any sense from their perspective. Note however, that all the while, the players had only to gain from the whole situation.
That is the main cause that most of the haters proclaim that rakeback is evil, and in this respect it is indeed to them, but never for the players.
Anyway, the value-generating potential in rakeback and cashback offers (which only surfaced lately, as an alternative for rakeback, but run on the same principles) is far too big for some to ignore. Even some of the biggest online poker rooms out there appreciate this potential and they continue offering rakeback.

A possible solution for those who still want to reap its benefits without getting stung by its side effects, is network-controlled rakeback. The poker network will assume absolute control over the rakeback offered by its various skins, and thus player migration will hopefully be halted. Also, mind you that the different cashback deals on offer from various poker rooms are basically rakeback under a different name. As they say, if it looks like rakeback, smells like rakeback and moves like rakeback, chances are, it is rakeback even if it has a different name.

 

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