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New UK Gambling Laws Affect UK PokerStars

Author: Renee Israel

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When changes were announced by the Gambling Commission regarding new tax laws, online players in the UK waited to see how they would affect them on a day to day basis when playing at their favourite sites.

One of the biggest changes was seen recently at PokerStars UK, the platform opened uniquely for UK poker players by this gaming giant ahead of the new tax laws.

It was recently announced that PokerStars would be reducing its VIP Player Point (VPP) multipliers in the United Kingdom, and several other countries such as Bulgaria. PokerStars already had this reduction in place in taxed markets such as Denmark and Belgium.

At the beginning of the year, while other PokerStars players were celebrating the news that the site was reneging on an earlier decision to raise rakeback charges, PokerStars UK players were told that their VPPs were now accruing lower multipliers.

New Tax Laws Mean Less Rewards

Before the new UK gambling tax laws kicked in, where companies are taxed based on the player's point of consumption, players in the UK accrued 5.5 VPPs for every dollar in rake. They also earned 6 VPP's at full ring cash tables.

However, the new laws mean a new rewards policy for PokerStars UK, and multipliers have decreased around 10% to 5 x and 5.5 x.

What does this mean for UK poker players? For one, it is more difficult to reach those milestones and clear bonuses.

In addition, it is obviously harder to reach higher VIP Player Point levels such as the Supernova Elite level.

It's not all bad news, however. PokerStars has assured players that points to bonus conversion rates and milestone cash credits will not change.

No Increase in Rake and Tournament Fees

And more good news: The planned implementation of increases to game rake and tournament fees, announced by PokerStars in November last year, will not be happening.

The changes were meant to go through on January 1st, but earlier this month, Eric Hollreiser, head of Pokerstars' Corporate Communications, said that it was reversing the decision and the company has "returned to pre-November 3 levels in most instances and have cancelled the planned additional increases."

However, PokerStars said that the changes it implemented to Spin & Go tournament fees last year would stay in place.

Hollreiser also said that PokerStars would not "increase any rake in 2015 other than in jurisdictions where we have already or will experience increased gaming duty or VAT."

 Posted by Renee Israel at 09:58 on 19 January 2015

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