POKER

PokerStars Nordic players avoid tax; Bet24 expands mobile offering; iPoker network may split in two

TAGs: Bet24, Finland, iPoker, PokerStars, pokerstars.eu, Sweden

ipoker split in twoPokerStars’ new Nordic-facing gaming industry site was set up in part to sidestep winnings taxes. Hosted at PokerStars.eu in Malta, the site is drawing on a European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling that means gamblers using EU-based companies don’t pay winnings tax. The two countries at the center of the row are Sweden and Finland with Håkan Hallstedt, director general of Lotteriinspektionen admitting to Gambling Compliance: “Since they have a licence in Malta, the same rules apply as for any other company domiciled within the union, and that of course applies to winnings taxes. That will be a major motive for them.”

Bet24 is expanding its real-money mobile gambling offering into a total of 14 countries. The iPhone version of their app is available in Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden and Switzerland. It follows the launch in December 2011 when the Ongame-powered app was launched in France, Austria and the UK. The firm also offers an Android version of the app but they’re clear which is the cash cow.

“IOS are, financially speaking, still a more important platform than Android among Ongame’s operators,” said Lars Kollind, poker manager at Bet24.com.

Playtech-owned iPoker network is reportedly looking at dividing its network in half to please its heavyweight customers. PokerFuse reports the UK-listed firm is considering splitting the network in two. Companies representing most of the player pool will be on one side with smaller firms on the other. It would see William Hill, bet365, Paddy Power, Betfred and Titan Poker splintering away. The article reports that a similar situation already exists at Ongame with a “network in a network” starring Betsson, Betsafe, Betfair and Unibet, among others, exists. We tried to contact iPoker for comment but hadn’t heard anything back by the time the article went to press.

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