PokerStars changed its foreign exchange policy to all deposits and withdrawals, which has drawn out quite a reaction from the poker community, which is why we decided to ask our readers, “What do you think of Pokerstars’ new exchange-rate conversion?”
73% said, “It’s too high.” and “27% said, “Fair enough.”
The world’s largest online poker room recently changed its terms of service: To allow the site to charge a 2.5% fee for financial transactions made by its customers involving currencies unsupported by its game client.
In cases where the events are offered in the supported currencies—USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, Pokerstars will offer satellites and packages in that currency and if necessary, players can make conversions of currency in the game client at prevailing rates.
The new exchange rate itself is not that extreme as all other major operators impose a fee. In fact, a 2.5% fee is competitive with other such transaction fees in online poker. It will unlikely to raise significant revenue since most players can avoid the fee by making transfers within the cashier first. As Michael Josem, head of PR at PokerStars said, “We were probably the world’s best place for players to exchange currency until now.”
What was striking about the change was the lack of official communication. There was no announcement ahead of time but a post from Michael Josem, PokerStars’ Head of Public Relations on 2+2 and a lengthy blog by PokerStars’ Head of Corporate Communications Eric Hollreiser.
PokerStars Eric Hollreiser hinted that more changes are still to come as he said in his blog: “We’ll continue to make changes when they have to be made. Some will go unnoticed, some you’ll cheer and some you won’t agree with or you will say are self-serving.”
We’ll probably have to check Two Plus Two Poker Forum as it becomes a first-hand source of PokerStars’ statements for such kinds of changes.
Next week, we ask our readers, “What will be the effect of Republicans gaining control of the house and the senate on online gambling regulation?”
The Senate Democrats were far from allies to online poker. But there’s no doubt that their avoidance of the issue at all costs is a far better situation than the worst-case scenario with the Republicans in charge. Check back next week to see what our readers think.