Italian Poker Players Shuttled From Regular PokerStars To Italian Version

After changes in their country’s online gaming laws went into effect on Monday, Italian poker players woke up to find that they could not play on the international version of PokerStars, leaving many in a state of confusion as to what forced this change.

Italian online gaming regulations have constantly been changing since the middle of this decade. Back in 2006, the government enacted laws that ordered Italian Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block all access by its citizens from gaming outlets located outside of the country.

 The Italian government determined that approximately 600 outlets fell into that category and, for some time, the only action that Italians could participate in was through the state-run companies. After the European Union threatened sizeable fines and sanctions, the Italian government backed off the regulation and dropped the partial ban, allowing for open competition from all of the world‘s online poker rooms, casinos and sports books.


PokerStars has attempted to explain the changeover to the affected players, stating that they are trying to protect themselves from prosecution in Italy. In an e-mail message from the site,

 “We have no choice in this matter. The law that was passed recently by the Italian Parliament has made it very clear that offering real money online poker games to Italian residents can only be done by the sites that hold an AAMS license, like our site, and the operators that breach this provision are committing a criminal offense. Note that this new law has been submitted for approval to the European Union, and the approval was granted.”

“Furthermore”, the spokesman continued, “the Italian Government has directly requested PokerStars to stop providing services to Italian customers on its “.com” site after the new law comes into effect on the 29th of July 2009, and we have agreed to comply with this request as required by law.”

“Starting from the 27th of July 2009, Italian players will not be able to play at tables any longer, but they will be able to either transfer the assets to or convert their account into a account if they do not have one already”, he concluded.











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PF_Jeff Gold 1
3956d ago

Wow, worldwide recession and all they can do is worry about a bit of fun on the net.

Posted by MichFran on 08/03/2009 11:38AM [ Reply ]

Yes, and it makes me wonder if other countries will do the same. That would be the end of it. I hate politicians. They say poker is 100% luck, without ever having played it. I get so angry, what do they call lotto?