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Poker Domains: Why They Matter

Michaela McNamara

Poker Domains Why They Matter

When new domains are announced, companies bid for the rights to ‘hold’ the domains. This means that the company that purchases the gTLD ‘.poker’ will have final control over who can purchase a domain that ends in ‘.poker’.

The ‘.com’ address. A few years ago, this was the only domain that anyone really wanted. While there were options available such as the ‘.net’ or ‘.org’ address, they were generally seen as second-rate when
compared to ‘.com’. Today, the Internet is a much bigger place than it ever was before, and using a domain name has become even more important for a company that wants to prove itself seriously. That means it is harder than ever to get the ‘.com’ address you want, or even a ‘.net’ or ‘.org’. If you do a quick search for casino domains for sale, you find there are few ‘good’ names available, especially at an affordable price.

Luckily, there has been an influx of new domains, including a recent creation of over 1,900 new gTLDs (generic top level domains). One of the new domains included in this batch is the ‘.poker’ domain. Of all 1,900 domains, this is one of a few that is creating the most excitement. The way new domains are handled is slightly complex. When new domains are announced, companies bid for the rights to ‘hold’ the domains. This means that the company that purchases the gTLD ‘.poker’ will have final control over who can purchase a domain that ends in ‘.poker’. A company could choose to hold the domain strictly for its own use, or it could choose to sell individual domains with the ‘.poker’ prefix (i.e. In 2012, there were four companies vying for rights to hold the ‘.poker’ domain. These companies are Afilias Domains, Binky Mill LLC, dot Poker Limited and Dot Poker LLC. By doing some research into these names, including a whois lookup, experts believe that these are all large domain firms that control thousands of domains, and are now snapping up these gTLDs as they become available. It’s debatable, but these companies can (or cannot be) referred to as ‘domain squatters’ because they hold domains and sell them to small businesses at a higher price than the standard domain registration cost.

As of mid to late-2013, nothing has been officially decided about the future of the ‘.poker’ domain. Information provided by independent domain name information firms show a 2015 launch for the ‘.poker’ domain, so we are likely to find out more in the coming months.

So, why does this matter?

These are highly targeted and quality extensions, which could potentially cause a massive shift in how users search. If the new gTLDs become accepted, it gives poker affiliates the opportunity to acquire
premium domains with a highly targeted ‘.poker’ extension. While the ‘.com’ will always reign supreme, most poker affiliates cannot afford the expensive price tags for the ‘.com’ extensions they would like. The new domain system creates an opportunity for affiliates to acquire quality domains at more reasonable rates. This could eventually be extremely positive for big brands, SEOs and affiliates alike.
The interested firms have been engaged in a long and expensive bidding war, and it will continue for some time before the victor is decided. The final decision will be interesting for the world of online
and offline poker. Only time will tell how popular the ‘.poker’ domain proves to be and whether we see it become a common prefix for online poker websites and strategy sites created by lovers of the game,
or if it instead remains in limited use among only a few elite firms.


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