PokerStars has exited the markets of China, Macau and Taiwan, according to emails sent to customers on August 31. The change came on September 1, impacting players on PokerStars’ global “dot-EU” site, which falls under a Maltese gaming license.
Affected players can still access their accounts to request withdrawals, but wire transfers have been lowered to a maximum $50. Players are directed towards ewallet MuchBetter in China and Macau, and Skrill and Neteller in Taiwan, to process withdrawals.
In a statement issued to PRO late on Tuesday, a spokesperson confirmed that it was in the process of exiting a small number of jurisdictions. The specific markets were not named. Further market exits may come as the compliance review is still underway.
“There were a small number of TSG jurisdictions that Flutter had previously determined it would not operate in and in such cases, these markets are being switched off,” the statement issue to PRO reads.
“We estimate that the combined impact of these measures will reduce contribution on an annualised basis by c.£65m, the majority of which relates to aligning our responsible gambling/compliance procedures and putting Flutter’s enhanced checks in place across the PokerStars business.”
It is unclear what this means for the operator’s broader presence in the Asian markets. PokerStars sponsors the Asia Pacific Poker Tour, which traditionally has stops in Taipei, Taiwan, as well as Jeju, South Korea and Manila, Philippines.
The operator also has a partnership with Red Dragon Poker, which also goes by 6UP, a separate online poker operation that has access to the global PokerStars liquidity through a special PokerStars Asia client. This site currently remains live. PokerStars did not comment about its plans for continued involvement with this third party.