PokerStars Exits Austria

PokerStars Exits Austria

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

After revealing last week that it will be launching an online poker offering for players in the American state of New Jersey from March 21, PokerStars has now exited the Austrian market due to regulatory changes.

PokerStars had offered online poker to players in Austria via its France-regulated client but recently sent an e-mail announcing the closure of this service for those located in the central European nation.

“We are writing to inform you that, due to the latest change in legal framework in Austria, starting at 10:00ET on March 1 we will stop allowing players based in Austria to play on the site,” read the e-mail from PokerStars, which is owned by Montreal-based Amaya Incorporated.

“Your account will remain open and accessible and your funds can be withdrawn at any time to your registered bank account. Any tournament tickets or T€ balance will automatically be converted into Euro when you visit the cashier. You are welcome to use your StarsCoin to purchase cash rebates or any other items from the VIP store with the exception of online tickets.”

The news caused quite a stir in the online poker community and led one Austrian poster on the 2+2 forum to speculate that PokerStars could have been required to hand over additional gaming duties on top of what it was already paying in France if it stayed in Austria.

According to poster ‘DebtsNBooze’, staying in Austria would have seen PokerStars required to pay an extra 20 percent tax on all gaming transactions from Austrian punters on top of the 37 percent share of gross gaming revenues it already hands over to the French government.

Tags: PokerStars, Amaya Incorporated, 2+2, StarsCoin, Austria, France, New Jersey