PokerStars Smiles As Revenues Soar in Italy but Pulls Face In France

Posted: March 22, 2015

Updated: October 6, 2017

Despite disparity in fortune for PokerStars’ platform in Europe, PokerStars gives impression to be set on improving market shares.

It has recently been disclosed in gambling news that PokerStars Italian business brand, Halfords Media Italy, is now under investigations for supposedly evading taxes funds, amounting to EUR 300 million.
PokerStars’ Italian operator has been dodging taxes from profits made in Italy and siphoning it off to offshore banks. PokerStars retaliated with a news brief stating that the company was “working with the authorities to operate in compliance with the applicable local tax regulations.”

PokerStars current market share has risen to 68% compared to 53% a year ago, thanks to an increase in the cash game market, but also due to more online poker playing since January 2015. Indeed PokerStars currently holds a “4 hour cash game peak of 2,967 players and a seven day average of 1,600” according to recent polls. This is due to an aggressive promotional strategy as well as the implementation of PokerStars’ Spin & Go games, 7 months ago, in a bid to revive tournaments.

Over 1,250 French poker players log on to Winamax and only 600 to PokerStars, over any 7 day period

PokerStars is also making headlines in other European countries. For example in Spain, over 34,000 players log on daily to PokerStars. In France however the poker spirit is a little lack-lustre, with just 600 cash game players logging on over any seven day period, on average. Winamax has an edge over PokerStars, with 1, 250 online poker players logging in over the same time period. PokerStars affirms that high taxes in the French iGaming industry, due to strict French gambling law, are to blame.

Two months ago ARJEL, France’s gambling authority, revealed that online cash game revenues took a nose dive to just EUR 23.8 million, in the fourth quarter of last year, decreasing by 12% percent from the previous year. Despite the financial crisis affecting quite a number of European countries in terms of iGaming liquidity, PokerStars claims to be doing pretty well and is keeping its poker face as it continues it’s aggressive strategy of improving its market share in targeted areas.

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