Poker’s home address on the web might soon be moving thanks to .POKER, an upcoming generic top-level domain (TLD). Afilias, the second largest Internet name registry in the world, will manage the introduction of the TLD in three phases beginning with the “sunrise” period.
This 30-day span running February 5th to March 7th gives eligible trademark holders the ability to obtain .POKER addresses. Following the sunrise, the “landrush” will occur March 9th to April 9th, allowing the public to apply for certain addresses.
However, if two applications are received for the same .POKER site, it will be awarded to the highest bidder. After the landrush, open registration will commence on April 21st.
Roland LaPlante, chief marketing officer for Afilias, says of the new TLD, “Poker is one of the most popular games on the Internet today, and now there is a dedicated space on the Internet for all aspects of poker.”
While industry giants like PokerStars, PartyPoker, 888poker, and others will likely secure .POKER addresses, it remains to be seen whether poker fans and players will take a liking to the new ending.
Exclusively for Poker
According to Afilias, .POKER will cater exclusively to the card game community. In a press release the company says, “.POKER is the perfect web address to stack the chips in your favor and set your poker website apart from the rest!
A domain name is a strong way to let users know what your site is about and .POKER sites will grab the attention of poker fans, players, and organizations … So why use a “wild card” top-level domain when you can choose .POKER?”
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) overseas and manages all Internet domains on the World Wide Web.
Generic privately sponsored domains, the category in which .POKER falls into, was first proposed in 2008. The idea was to make addresses available for specific industries.
Thousands of Internet domain registries and tech companies submitted applications, with the first new generic top-level domains going live in 2013.
Bet or Fold
Internet poker has grown exponentially over the last decade without .POKER, so skeptics might be wondering what advantage the new offering will provide.
Reluctance to jump on-board is justified considering the web’s abundance of top-level domains. There are thousands of poker sites online, but there’s also millions of pizza spots around the globe, and few to none have a .PIZZA web address.
And that’s just one example of the many seemingly useless TLD offerings.
When was the last time you punched in one of these TLD endings into your browser:
.BLACKFRIDAY .HORSE .PHARMACY
.VODKA .NINJA .WTF
However, there have been successful examples of TLDs in the past, .INFO, .ORG, and .ZIP to name a few. The .POKER domain will provide those late to the online poker craze the chance to potentially secure a more attractive site, but it will also provide scammers with the option to snatch up well-known entities should trademarked companies fail to buy their .POKER address.
As with everything on the constantly changing Internet, only time will tell whether .POKER will be embraced.