Saturday May 26, 2012 : SPANIARDS REPORT ON POKERSTARS DISCUSSIONS
Online poker operator's engagement with players was fruitful, participants report.
The latest face-to-face player engagement exercise by Pokerstars involved Spanish punters, and this week a number of information sites published accounts of the exchanges, which took place in Barcelona over a two day period.
With the first Spanish licenses due to be issued within the next week or so, interest in the Pokerstars position is considerable.
Government taxation will inevitably mean that the cost of playing online poker will increase, although the poker giant appears to be trying to share the load evenly with its players through increased rake fees and lower promotional and incentive activity.
The launch of a dedicated Spanish poker operation will result in VPP points and bonuses accumulated by Spanish players being transferred over, hopefully with some compensation for the inevitable reduction in player liquidity of a dedicated site. The FPP store will still be accessible, with equivalent bonuses in Euros.
One information site notes that PokerStars will restrict what games are available, at least initially, to ensure liquidity. All no-limit 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 immediately available, as will Zoom Poker.
Spanish tax authorities have yet to clarify how taxation will work in the case of the individual poker player; under existing law, players should pay tax on all winnings, but rather unfairly cannot claim rebates on losing sessions. Apparently Pokerstars is trying to pin the regulator and the taxman down on this contentious issue.