PokerStars leaves Slovenia

Amaya-owned brand exits second grey market in a week following Israel withdrawal


PokerStars has withdrawn from Slovenia just days after leaving Israel, although the company said it has no plans to withdraw from any more regions in the foreseeable future.

The decision to end services in Slovenia followed a review of the commercial opportunities and business risks for Amaya brands in the market, PokerStars said.

Slovenia is still a grey market, much like Israel, although it is in the process of regulating online gaming for foreign operators. Firms are expected to be able to apply for licences later this year, with sites likely to be up and running by early 2017.

Fifteen licences are expected to be available and PokerStars said it hopes to apply for one when possible.

The firm said in a statement: “We hope that we will be able to return to the market in due course, and will continue to support the implementation of fair and consistent regulation that serves the needs of all stakeholders and includes a strong commitment to consumer protection, particularly of vulnerable people, in Slovenia.

“There is already a successful framework for such regulation in Europe and PokerStars is currently licensed in 12 EU countries.”

The recent withdrawals have had players speculating that PokerStars is trying to clean up its act ahead of a potential return to the US in California or Pennsylvania, but the company offered its “commercial review of the market” response in both cases.

After the Slovenia announcement, the company added: “We do not currently expect to withdraw services from any other locations in the foreseeable future.”


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