If you watched the World Series of Poker (or any professional poker tournament on television for that matter), you’ve probably seen all the big poker companies imploring wannabe poker players to visit their .NET websites instead of the flagship .COM sites.
I believe it’s due to US law regarding poker and gaming websites, where American citizens aren’t allowed to play poker online with real money. As a result, they aren’t allowed to market/advertise this “illegal” activity (this is all my thought and not necessarily fact). As a result, the poker companies promote the a .NET version of its brand which offers practice poker for fake money as well as tips and educational material.
The hope is that the players will realize the real action is found at the corresponding .COM and they’ll visit that website in the future. I would imagine they probably also don’t mind that some people only really pay attention to what comes before the extension, like Poker Stars or Full Tilt Poker, and they will directly navigate to the .COM instead.
Now that the .CO Registry has successfully launched and sold over 600,000 domain names, I am wondering if it would be a good idea for these poker parlors to ditch the .NET and switch to .CO. The advantage is that people are familiar with “CO” as an abbreviation for company, and because of it’s close proximity to .COM, it would align better with the .COM.
Of course, it could cause some type-in confusion, but that’s probably not a bad thing for the poker companies.