PokerStars Online Gambling May Exit Canada

Published Friday, August 15, 2014 -
PokerStars Online Gambling May Exit Canada

The scuttle butt has been rampant of late over the suggestion that the world’s largest poker room, Poker Stars will eventually be leaving the so called online gambling grey market in Canada. The situation can be somewhat explained by the recent budget bill passed this year by the Federal government in Canada that would require full regulation of online gambling sites as well as digital currencies to eliminate any anonymity associated with those transactions. The move has prompted a few other operators to remove their services from the Canadian jurisdiction. Within the recent budget there is nothing that specifically relates to offshore gambling and it was clear that sites which had any Canadian affiliation at all regarding management living in Canada, assets in Canada etc. could be targeted in the future.  PokerStars announced it would no longer be sponsoring the Montreal Festival and asked that all their branding be removed from the event. A notice was posted on the 2+2 forum by Poker Stars Lee Jones, Head of Poker Communications, read, “Due to unforeseen circumstances, PokerStars will not be continuing its participation in the upcoming festival,” Jones continued, “However, the tournament will continue as planned as the ‘Playground Festival of Poker’ and we will, of course, honor our previous commitment to players and satellite winners. No other PokerStars services in Canada are affected.”

Facing the music in Canada could be big trouble for the Canadian owned Amaya Gaming which is doing its best to remove any doubt that the company is a clean as a whistle so that it can proceed in landing contracts with regulated online gambling jurisdictions in the USA. The fact that the Montreal Festival was being held in a poker room in Kahnawake, which he called “so grey it’s almost black”, created an urgency to remove all association with the poker event. It is clear that the anti-money-laundering bill is only affecting companies that are publicly traded and that have major assets in Canada.

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