The iPoker Network has told their Ukrainian based players that they have until the end of the month to withdraw their funds as they begin to pull out from the market prompting speculation over concerns of future ‘bad actor’ tags.
Life is unfair.
I get that.
But every once in a while it helps to take a look at the lives of those less fortunate and reevaluate your position.
Take online gambling as an example. As I live in the UK, I can pretty much have a bet on anything. If I live in California, I can’t. I may move to California one day and will likely complain about the fact that I can buy a pistol but can’t play online poker.
And then I watched the Netflix documentary Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom, a harrowing account of the unrest within the country circa 2013-2014.
In one particular scene, there is a young teenage lad fighting on the frontline with what looks like a colander on his head. You can hear the bullets whistling past. You can see bodies falling all around him. And then his brother passes him a mobile phone. It’s his mother, and she wants to know what time he will be home for tea?
The Ukraine banned gambling in 2009, but it hasn’t stopped online operators offering gambling opportunities to Ukrainians. The business continues unpunished. As you can tell, they have had other problems on their hands.
Legislation to create a fully regulated and licensed gambling industry in Ukraine is in motion. A bill of sorts passed to the Ministry of Finance. But like I said, they have a few other matters to deal with in the country, such as stopping dictators from taking over the place
A wise man once stated that it’s good to make mistakes, but even better to learn from the mistakes of others. This week I picked up from CardsChat.com that the iPoker Network has told their Ukrainian based players that they will cease offering them a product on August 15, and they have until the end of the month to empty their accounts.
Are the chieftains of the iPoker Network keeping a watchful eye on the shenanigans in California, in particular, the way some quarters of the largest online poker state in America are setting out to break the back of PokerStars?
The iPoker Network has given no reason for the withdrawal.
The same article on CardsChat also details three iPoker Skins that have withdrawn from Russia: Gala Casino Poker, Coral Poker, and Mansion Poker. They join the likes of Ladbrokes, Betfair and Everest who have already removed their games from the Russian market in the past few years.
The Russian online poker market is a monster and pulling out of that big boy will hurt your bottom line. The Russian government have made it very clear that they want online gambling companies to leave them the hell alone, but not everyone is taking the hint.
The iPoker Network had 29 skins and was the largest online poker network in the world until the Microgaming Poker Network (MPN) recently surpassed them.