Note: If you were affected and have the message “Pokerstars Does Not Offer Real Money Games In Your Area” then you may want to learn how to cashout your players balance on their website.
PokerStars has made a surprising move to leave what they consider to be “gray markets,” with most of these countries being in either Africa or the Middle East. Is this move really that surprising though? With Amaya Gaming now the new official owner of PokerStars (and Full Tilt Poker), there have been many abrupt changes.
PokerStars’ New Ownership Making Cold Decisions
Just a week ago, we heard stories of many Pokerstars & Full Tilt Poker affiliate accounts being cancelled and greedily ripped from their respective affiliates by Amaya, and the reasoning given to those affiliates was pretty underhanded to say the least. We learned from that example that Amaya Gaming could care less about the innocent bystanders that they harm and, while players have managed to stay out of the way so far, we think the recent behavior of Amaya Gaming shouldn’t be taken lightly.
A PocketFives user that goes by the name of “zander” complained “Were they [PokerStars] just waiting to milk everyone during WCOOP then abscond?” Just days after a Malaysian poker player placed 5th in the WCOOP, PokerStars is pulling out of his country. Do you think he will get his money, or will Amaya Gaming utilize some unethical language in their player agreement and seize his funds just as they did with their affiliates? Only time will tell, but my opinion is that the writing is on the wall already, and that online poker players should watch out, and consider getting out of the way before this giant falls under greedy management with only shareholders to please.
Other players have been making similar complaints.
Why Is PokerStars Leaving These Countries?
We think that the reason that PokerStars has abruptly decided to leave gray market countries is simply a response to the recent United Kingdom regulation and taxation. PokerStars already has an application for compliance in with the UK and serving up poker games to unregulated markets could easily mess things up for them with respect to that. Add the fact that the United States poker market might be opening up again in the near future, and the benefits of withdrawal from gray markets quickly begins to make sense.
PokerStars Does Not Offer Real Money Games in Your Area
While no official list has been published, a culmination of posts on TwoPlusTwo indicate that the following countries are part of the withdrawal. If you’re located in any of these jurisdictions, Pokerstars does not offer real money games in your area, sorry.
- North Korea
- Saudi Arabia
- United Arab Emirates
- The occupied territory of Palestine and Vatican
- North Cyprus
If you live in a country that is not yet part of this list, please comment with the name of the country so we can add it. At this time, we suggest considering looking into less volatile online poker sites until things cool down at Pokerstars.