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PokerStars won’t have a presence in Switzerland for now

Fri, Jul 5, 3:12pm by Staff Writer

PokerStars’ Swiss arm has missed out on securing a casino partner in time for the implementation of the country’s new online gaming laws, Calvin Ayre reports.

In June 2018, a proposed bill to impose stricter rules on foreign involvement in the Swiss gambling industry passes through the hallowed halls of the ESBK, the Swiss Senate, by a whopping 72.9 per cent vote.

Those rules meant international online gambling operators needed to have a relationship with a land-based operation that had the rights to an apply for an online gaming licence.

The Money Gaming Act didn’t come into force immediately, with a date of July 1st etched into granite, but GVC pulled their Bwin and partypoker products from shelves in January 2019.

PokerStars kept their powder dry until the eleventh hour when they advised the Swiss market of their intention to paralyse their operation until further notice.

Four land-based Swiss casinos are eligible to offer legalised and regulated online gambling: Grand Casino Baden, Casino Davos, Grand Casino Luzern, and Casino Pfäffikon. Playtech has entered into a deal with Casino Pfäffikon, Evolution Gaming is sweet on the Grand Casino Baden, and according to PokerFuse, PokerStars will reopen in Switzerland (time unknown) after brokering a deal with Casino Davos.

CardsChat published the following statement from the largest online poker room in the world.

“We are currently working with our Swiss gaming partner who is responsible for arranging the necessary approvals with the authorities in order to provide licensed poker for Swiss residents.

As soon as our local partner obtains the necessary approvals, players will need to upgrade to new software, which will offer the opportunity to play with the same players in the same games that were enjoyed on the old software.”

If you live in Switzerland and are concerned that the new changes mean you’ll be ring-fenced, then don’t. PokerStars have stated that Swiss players can still compete in the PokerStars.eu or PokerStars.com markets once gaming officials approve their license.

PokerStars celebrated anniversary event in March

The world’s largest real-money online poker room, PokerStars recently celebrated its 13th anniversary.

Its iconic Sunday Million tournament has had its guarantee boosted from $1 million to $10 million, with the winner of the special tournament on April 14 guaranteed to take home $1 million.

The tournament will feature a $215 buy-in, up from the $109 that PokerStars implemented in January.

Earlier this year, PokerStars announced a $109 buy-in.

The PokerStars blog said that all other features of the tournament will remain the same.

Registration will be open for three hours and fifteen minutes. Blind levels remain 12 minutes long for the first ten levels, with 15-minute levels after.

The starting stack stays 10,000 with a first blind level of 25/50 with a 5-ante.

The Sunday Million dates back to March 6, 2006, when 5,893 players competed for a total prize pool of $1,178,600.

Canada’s “aaaaaaaa” made history by shipping the inaugural event for $173,844.

Since then, there have been more than 600 Sunday Million tournaments with more than $750 million awarded.

PokerStars is excited about the success of the tournament and is looking forward to celebrating its anniversary.

The Director of Poker Innovation and Operation at The Stars Group Severin Rasset said, “we’re thrilled to be a part of this poker milestone, but the credit goes to all of the poker lovers out thee who have made the Sunday Million happen nearly every week for the past 13 years, so we hope to see them at the tables on April 14.


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