PokerStars Reportedly Exiting China, Macau, and Taiwan

PokerStars may be exiting the China, Macau, and Taiwan market, suggests an email posted on the Two Plus Two poker forum yesterday. In an earnings call last week, the parent company Flutter Entertainment did note that it switched off a small number of jurisdictions.

Is PokerStars Withdrawing from China, Macau, and Taiwan?

PokerStars may be withdrawing from China, Macau, and Taiwan markets today, September 1. According to an email posted on the Two Plus Two poker forum yesterday, PokerStars may be withdrawing from the listed markets. The email was sent from “Stars Support” and it informs the customers in those countries that the operator is withdrawing operations. The message did not include any details regarding a possible reason. Currently, there is also no official response from PokerStars as well.

The posted message from “Stars Support” also outlines relaxed methods for withdrawing funds, making it easier for players to receive their money. The message says that the minimum withdrawal amount for wire transfer is decreased to $50 in China, Macau, and Taiwan. Players from China and Macau can also withdraw their funds with MuchBetter even without previously depositing with that payment method. On the other hand, players in Taiwan can use Skrill and NETELLER to withdraw their funds even without previously depositing with those payment methods.

PokerStars off to a Good Start of the Year

In an earnings call last week, Flutter Entertainment which is PokerStars parent company revealed this year’s financial results. Keeping in mind that the COVID-19 pandemic closed casinos, many of the punters kept playing online. As a result, PokerStars (The Stars Group) showed exceptional results for the first half of 2020. According to the earnings call, in the pre-COVID-19 period, the revenues grew by 24%. However, the company did note that a decrease was observed of active sports fans when the sports were disrupted.

On the other hand, looking at the second quarter, PokerStars active customers increased considerably. Some 70% increase in daily active customers was observed and this according to the company is remarkable.

Further to the earnings call, Flutter Entertainment said that a small number of jurisdictions were identified and the company “switched these markets off”. With that in mind, the parent company Flutter Entertainment may be looking to avoid legal issues in China, Macau, and Taiwan considering that online poker is yet to be legalized in those countries.

The company did say that £65 million ($87 million) in annual contributions will be reduced. However, this decision may prove to be beneficial in the long run, avoiding a large scale legal argument. “Across the remaining divisions, detailed reviews are well underway to determine our brand, product and technology strategies,” added Flutter Entertainment.

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