Whatever Happened to Gammonline?
By Alex J. Coyne © Gifts for Card Players 2019
Backgammon and bridge are worlds apart, yet there are many players who cross over from one game to the next – whether they’re casual players or more serious world champions in both games, like the famed Kit Woolsey (who you might have come to know from BridgeWinners).
We took a look at the history of Gammonline, one of the largest (and arguably best) backgammon platforms out there and what happened to it.
Kit: The Man Behind the Gammon
Kit Woolsey was admitted to the ACBL Hall of Fame in 2005 – and similarly, to the American Backgammon Hall of Fame in 2015. Among other achievements, Kit Woolsey has also managed several North American Bridge Championships and United States Bridge Championships – and he’s also a prolific author, having written books on both games, including the well-received Backgammon Encyclopedia series in (so far) two volumes.
In addition to this list of accomplishments, Kit also started up Gammonline.
Gammonline.com was first started in 1999 – and sadly, is no longer available in its current form (or at its old domain). Presenting a place where backgammon players from all over the world could get together and play, it delivered thousands of games – many of which were played against Kit himself, of course.
It was one of the leading websites for money play at one point, too.
Somewhere in 2007, Gammonline was sold off to a company called Play65 – and the two options blended together with no further involvement from Kit.
Gammonline functioned as more than just an online backgammon platform: There was a magazine, too.Archival articles are still online, ranging from June 1999 through to November 2003. Click here to browse through what’s on BKGM.com – or click here to find the FIBS archive of Gammonline work with a few more links, including Match of the Month, Quiz Problems and subsequent Solutions.
Who was Play65?
Play65 was another standalone gambling operator owned by SkillEmpire. In end 2006, they ran into the same problem that’s hit money bridge: Legal participation in most of the world. In 2007, permission was granted to allow Israeli participants back to the site – which matters, since Play65 was an Israeli-owned venture at the time.
It would seem that Play65 also ran its course: News on the site hasn’t been updated since 2012, and despite the website claiming several thousand online users, it would appear that money backgammon through Play65 has come to an end. As well, Play65 requires software download and is available only for Windows.
As for Gammonline, if you visit the link to where the original Gammonline used to be, you can find what looks like an entirely new backgammon community – in Indonesian instead.
We thought it would be a good idea to see if there are any Backgammon apps out there. A site called AppGrooves has a list of the best 10 Backgammon games (updated Dec 2019) you can find it here ->