PokerStars Reveals Plan for Spanish Poker Room PokerStars Reveals Plan for Spanish Poker Room
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Certain details have emerged regarding what a PokerStars.ES poker room will be like, following a consultation between the Spanish community and the online poker giant.

Earlier this week, staff and members from the Spanish community met for two days in Barcelona to discuss the what the future of poker in Spain will be like after the first licenses have been issued on June 1.

A trip report [es], written by Poker-Red Editor Jairo Moreno, was posted on the site earlier today; a similar report [es] was also published on community site

As expected, the cost to play poker will go up. PokerStars will pay 25% of gross gaming revenue (GGR) to the Spanish tax man plus a small administration fee. The poker room plans to split this cost equally with the player, shouldering 50% of the cost themselves and and passing 50% on to the player in the form of increased rake and reduced rewards.

No specifics or rake tables were revealed. The PokerStars.IT rake table may prove to be a close if slightly low estimation—operators pay roughly 20% of GGR on cash game play in Italy.

VPP points will be transferred over and players with large VPP balances grinding for high annual VIP bonuses will be compensated for the reduced liquidity on PokerStars.ES. The FPP store will still be present with equivalent bonuses in Euros.

In order to ensure liquidity in the games it spreads, PokerStars will restrict what games are available, at least to start. All NL tables will be 40-100BB only, with no CAP or deep tables. Heads up tables will be heavily restricted due to the administrative tax which applies even to unraked pots. Five card draw will be available from the get-go, and PokerStars will monitor liquidity and look to expand cash offerings in the future. Zoom Poker should be available.

One of the biggest points of discussion was individual tax on winnings and it remains unclear. Technically, under existing law, players must pay tax on all winnings and cannot discount losing sessions. Such an unworkable situation means effectively tax is left undeclared. PokerStars is working to clarify the position of tax with the regulator.

The thorny topic of Spanish back-tax was unsurprisingly not discussed, although given the successful meetings we can assume PokerStars has every plan to settle the issue and be one of the primary online poker brands in Spain.

Publicly listed gaming companies such as Sportingbet, and Betfair have confirmed they have paid up, as 888 and Ladbrokes are also either in discussions or already settled. As PokerStars is a private company we will likely never find out the final figure, but given previous settlements have been less than half the original demands, it is likely Stars will pay significantly less than half the whopping €300m opening salvo.