French Poker Site Shut Due To Outrageous TaxesJuly 25, 2011 9:56 am
Less than year after launching in France, online poker room 200% Poker has now been shut down by its owners.
It was in April 2010 that France finally legalised internet poker and other forms of online gambling in the country. A few months later in September 2010, 200% Poker was then launched with much fanfare as La Société Française des Jeux sur Internet (SFJI) sought to take advantage of the recent changes in French law.
However, the cost of France’s online poker legalization soon became apparent as operators were forced to buy a licence from the French regulator, as well as pay a 2% tax.
At the time the cost of the tax and gaming permit was seen as a ticking time bomb capable of contracting the growth of the industry, as the the operators were forced to pay a 2% tax on all pots and tournament buy-ins.
However, the French government persuaded many online poker companies to pass on the expense to their customers, and as Bodog vice president Jonas Odman in an article appearing in gamingzion.co explains:
“Passing on the 2% not only “turns most winning players into losing players,” but that the average player will actually play 26.8% fewer hands. The figures were based on computer simulations involving one million typical hands and the increased rake fees caused by the extra tax.”
Discontentment toward the outrageous rake came to a head in July 2010 as some PokerStars.fr customers boycotted the site, while other deprived the site of revenue by sitting-out on up to 20 tables at a time.
Almost a year on and Jonas Odman’s words seem all the more prophetic now following the closure of 200% Poker. Despite a message saying “Under Maintenance” now appearing on the site, it is understood the online poker room will remain shut,with players receiving a full refund in due course.