Nico Kaiser, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License

Online poker giants PokerStars and partypoker are withdrawing from the Slovakian market following the passage of new gambling laws in the country. The new regulations will open the online gambling market to international operators across the European Union for the first time.

Partypoker announced their exit from the market last week. As of Thursday, February 28, the company has stopped accepting players from Slovakia, and will implement geo-blocking to prevent play from existing customers, reported Czech poker site Poker-Arena.

This week, PokerStars informed its affiliates that the poker room would also be withdrawing all online gaming activities, including online poker, from the country from March 1.

Furthermore, affiliates have also been told that they must stop promoting all brands of the Stars Group to Slovak players “with immediate effect.”

“The Stars Group frequently reviews commercial and regulatory developments around the world,” said an email, sent to affiliates and seen by PRO. “Following such a review, we have taken the decision to withdraw ALL GAME PLAY options for residents of Slovakia from Friday.”