PokerStars exiting Asian markets

flutter leaves china

Flutter Entertainment is pulling its PokerStars branded online sites out of some major Asian markets.

An email posted to popular poker forums Two Plus Two stated that all PokerStars branded sites will be pulled out of markets in China, Macau and Taiwan.

In the leaked email, it said that PokerStars would be leaving China, Macau and Taiwan on September 1. The email also outlined changes being made to the withdrawal options for PokerStars customers in those countries and regions, to make it easier for them to withdraw the money from their accounts.

In the week prior to the leaked email being posted, Flutter Entertainment hosted an earnings call in which they announced revenue growths of 24 percent in the last quarter during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Flutter Entertainment representatives also said that they have identified a small number of jurisdictions where they planned be shutting off service in the near future. Neither China, Macau nor Taiwan were specifically identified as these jurisdictions, but its has been surmised that Flutter is trying to avoid legal issues in countries where online poker remains illegal.

It is currently illegal for residents of China, Macau and Taiwan to play online poker.

According to estimates, removing PokerStars from China, Macau and Taiwan could cost Flutter Entertainment approximately $87 million in annual revenue. Flutter reportedly feels these losses are worth it to avoid any future legal complications in these countries.

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