The PartyGaming white label Internet casino operated on behalf of UK television network ITV is to close on May 3rd, according to communications sent to players last week.

The message advises players:

"We have very much appreciated having you as a player and hope you have enjoyed the experience. You can continue to play until the service closes on 3rd May. After this date please proceed to cash out any remaining funds in your ITV Play Account as soon as possible, as we will be closing the accounts at the end of October 2009. Any unclaimed monies at that time will be donated to charity.

"Please note that any outstanding bonuses will expire at approximately 05:00 UK time on 1st May, 2009. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause."

The communication goes on to advise customers that ITV Casino is powered by PartyGaming, and suggests they give their business to the PartyCasino.com website, where they will be welcomed using the same log-in and password as they use at ITV Casino.

No reason for the closure was given, but it is possibly connected to the network's financial struggles in a difficult economic environment.

Although ITV is the biggest commercial television network in the UK, it has had a tough time with disappointing results in 2008, which prompted chairman Michael Grade to inform shareholders: “Current conditions in the advertising market are the most challenging I have experienced in over 30 years in UK broadcasting. This is reflected both in our financial results for 2008 and the tough actions we are announcing.

“Our priorities have to be aligned to the changed economic context. The Board therefore recognises that the 2012 revenue targets set in 2007 are no longer appropriate and we are focusing on our core business as a producer-broadcaster, on reducing our costs and on cash generation. Our audience share target remains unchanged."

Launched in 2007, the casino carried the benefits of PartyGaming's software and experienced management, together with the safety of certifications from player protection and standards organisation eCOGRA, industry body EGBA and licensing from Gibraltar and Alderney.

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