Online players and local Cypriot news agencies have reported that PokerStars may be planning to leave the country’s gaming market.
PokerStars Leaving the Cypriot Market, Say Outlets and Local Players
Greek and Cypriot local news have reported that PokerStars plans to quit the Cyprus online gaming market. Besides local news agencies, many Cypriot online players also confirmed the rumor. According to players, it’s been a few days they haven’t been able to participate in tournaments or bet with real cash. The topic is also discussed in online poker forums where users reportedly received an email notification from PokerStars that the operator is suspending its Cypriot operations.
As per users reports, they will have until May 4, 2021 to withdraw their funds. The e-mail also included instructions for users who cannot withdraw their funds to contact the PokerStars customer service team for assistance. In addition, some users from the Cypriot region reported that PokerStars software can no longer be downloaded.
Has PokerStars Decided to Withdraw Because of Gaming Laws in The Country?
The island of Cyprus is split in a Greek and Turkish region. The Cypriot 2012 Betting Act deemed betting exchanges and online casino operations as outlawed. This effectively made PokerStars’ operations a gray market, and this might be one of the reasons why the company has decided to quit Cyprus. Another reason for the company’s decision might as well be the Greek players that are joining the Cypriot market. With the help of a simple VPN, Greek players can register in Cyprus PokerStars, thus evading on paying taxes for their winnings.
Upon expanding their market, PokerStars did encounter a hiccup in the United States. Some years ago, PokerStars was one of the operators that were banned from the country. Following a recent deal valued in billions, The Stars Group teamed up with the Irish Flutter Entertainment. Given the bitter experience in the US market, there is high chance that leaving the Cypriot market is a planned move following the recent deal. With this recent move PokerStars might as well be protecting its shareholders, thus cutting on loose ends that might result in losses for the company.