From the 13th February, PokerStars.fr, will close the door in the face of non-French residents, so they can ‘adapt to a constantly changing environment.’
If you live in a European country that allows you to compete on PokerStars.fr, and were considering opening an account for your lover on Valentine’s Day, then you may want to turn your attention to chocolate, sexy undies, or something containing tiny batteries.
PokerStars has informed players, via email, that from February 13, only residents of France or any of their overseas departments and territories, will be permitted to play on PokerStars.fr.
The vicissitudes of history have not been kind to French poker players. It’s another kick in the genitals for a country where it’s harder to find a game of poker than a teenager who knows what a fountain pen is.
If you enjoy playing on PokerStars.fr and reside in a different country, or are a concerned French citizen worried that liquidity would make the games taste as stale as bread in Oliver Twist times, then you will be looking to PokerStars for an explanation.
The word from the top:
In an effort to adapt to a constantly changing environment, a reorganisation will take place from February 13, 2017, resulting in limiting service on PokerStars.FR to players resident in mainland France or its overseas territories.
Well, that clears that up then.
Seriously, PokerStars, why do you continue to treat your customers like they are a clarinet short of an orchestra when it comes to your communication techniques?
The Austrian Problem
Almost a year ago, PokerStars.fr banned Austrian based players from competing on the site because the law meant they had to pay a 20% tax rate to the Austrian Government, and a 37% tax rate to the French.
I assume PokerStars have tightened up their French virtual borders for the same reason.
I imagine the only players this hurts are the professionals who play on PokerStars.fr because it’s full of French fish.
You can’t move accounts. You will have to withdraw your funds, including all the tournament tickets, StarsCoins, etc., and if you don’t already have one, open up aa account in a new country.
Using a VPN will be at your peril. And if you visit the country you cannot play on the site, like you could if you were in Las Vegas and Nevada and wanted to play on WSOP.com for example.
I am sure it won’t be long before the laws change, allowing broader liquidity on the .com platform so that PokerStars can reverse this decision, but it won’t be anytime soon.