PokerStars leaves Cyprus online gaming market

Online poker giant PokerStars leaves the Cyprus online gaming market. Players accessing PokerStars from the Republic of Cyprus have been unable to participate in online tournaments or play cash games on the platform for several days. About this, with reference to the Greek and Cypriot news agencies.

Cypriot players on online poker forums have reportedly received emails from PokerStars stating that the operator has decided to suspend access to its platform in the region. Account holders will be able to withdraw their funds until May 4, 2021. PokerStars also noted that those players who are unable to withdraw their funds by the above date should contact support to find out how they can access and withdraw their balance.

Why PokerStars left Cyprus?

There may be several reasons for PokerStars’ sudden departure from Cyprus. First, following the reorganization of the Cyprus online gambling market in 2012, the island’s regulator, the Cyprus Gambling Commission, was only allowed to issue sports betting licenses. This means that PokerStars worked in the gray zone for quite some time before finally deciding to leave the Cyprus iGaming space. And the largest online poker operator is actually trying to avoid gray markets as it could derail its plans to expand into the United States. PokerStars was one of the companies that were kicked out of the States a few years ago during the so-called “Black Friday” of online poker. The operator was later allowed to return and now provides its services in several US states where online poker is legal.

Additionally, PokerStars has a new owner after its former parent, The Stars Group, recently closed a multi-billion dollar deal with Irish gambling company Flutter Entertainment. This Irish company has huge plans to expand into the United States and is probably looking to eliminate all the little things that could get in the way of those plans.

Also, according to regional poker players, one of the reasons for PokerStars’ departure from Cyprus may be due to the fact that many Greek players opened Cypriot accounts with the operator via VPN in order to avoid paying taxes in Greece. It should be noted that PokerStars has a license for activities in Greece. In this country, the players are charged with a tax win in poker, which PokerStars automatically deducts from its balance. Nevertheless, players from Greece avoided such tax deductions when playing Cyprus accounts.

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