Pokerstars Responds to Italian Claim of fraud and tax evasion


Cooperating with authorities on audit

Online poker giant PokerStars has responded to media speculation regarding accusations of fraud and tax evasion levelled against its Halfords Media subsidiary by Italian finance police amounting to Euro 300 million.

According to the finance police, Halfords hid its taxable income by decreasing the worth of services performed for its parent company Pokerstars and, by so doing, managed to move the taxable income produced in Italy to Malta, and then to the Isle of Man to benefit from a more favourable tax status, Malta Today reported.

Eric Hollreiser, head of corporate communications for PokerStars and Amaya Gaming Group said the company has been working with the Italian tax authorities on the audit for several years and believes that it has operated in compliance with the applicable tax regulations of which it has paid an amount  of Euro 120 million in local taxes over the audit period.

“Like many other global e-commerce companies, we vigorously dispute the stance of the tax authority regarding local establishment,” Hollreiser commented. “The audit is ongoing and we hope to resolve the issue in our favour soon.”