Online poker in Slovakia
Since 2017, online gambling has been banned in Slovakia, but almost since then, the government began to draft a bill to legalize it. In February 2019, the bill was approved by parliament, and a few weeks later, PokerStars and partypoker announced their withdrawal from the market for further licensing.
But in early April 2020, Slovakia was removed from banned jurisdictions on the PokerStars.eu site, and local players received e-mails from the site inviting them to use their services. Everyone thought that PS had finally received a Slovak license. But the reality is not that simple.
PokerStars started operating in Slovakia without a license
Slovak poker fans could not find any information about the local PokerStars license on the website of the gambling authority (URHH). Later, the regulator itself confirmed that it did not issue it. Therefore, the room reopened its doors in the country illegally.
In response to players questions, the poker room support service said they operate in Slovakia using a Maltese license. Although this is usually enough to access unregulated European markets, in Slovakia, the situation is different, and nothing has changed since the site left the market more than a year ago.
URHH appealed to the Bratislava court, and they responded on June 19:
Block the access to PokerStars.eu website, through which prohibited games are offered.
Right now, Slovak players can access the site without changing their IP addresses, but sooner or later, it will be blocked, like many other poker sites over the past year.
What awaits PokerStars in Slovakia and the EU?
The decision to return to Slovakia may be short-sighted: it will make it more difficult for Stars to get licenses in other European countries, such as Germany, which is a crucial market.
For Slovaks, after the site is blocked, almost all players will withdraw their funds.
PokerStars is still the largest poker room in the world, but now its .com pool is only 2.7 times than GGNetwork (in 2017, Stars was eight times larger than its closest competitor). Therefore, it seems that the red pike site is looking for more ways to boost its traffic, including violation of local laws, a rare thing after 2011.
In the meantime, you can join PokerStars biggest competitor by taking advantage of our affiliate service:
- Private promotions and tournament tickets on our Telegram channel;
- Professional support on all issues seven days a week.
Contact us to get a deal and start playing now:
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