Thursday 1. December, 2016

PokerStars Awarded Online Casino and Poker License in Portugal

Amaya-owned online poker room, PokerStars, is planning to launch in Portugal after having been awarded a casino and poker license by the country’s national regulatory body, Serviços de Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos (SRIJ).

The license, which was awarded on Monday to Reel Europe Limited, a division of Amaya, includes Omaha and Hold’em cash games, poker tournaments, online blackjack and French roulette.

PokerStars is the first online poker brand and the third online casino operator to be awarded a license by the SRIJ. They will launch their services in Portugal through their PokerStars.pt website.

PokerStars had been offering services in Portugal for the past year; however they withdrew these services pending the national licensing application process.

“We are very happy to offer the world’s leading online poker brand to Portuguese players under a local regulatory framework that ensures rigorous consumer protection and gaming integrity,” announced Eric Hollreiser, vice president of corporate communications for Amaya. “This approval demonstrates our commitment to the responsible growth of online gaming by supporting local regulation that protects players, creates a viable marketplace and provides revenue for local governments.”

Portugal has been working towards regulating online poker for some time. In Spring 2015, the game was approved; however it needed to still be approved by the European Union. Currently, PokerStars Portugal players will only be able to play against other players in Portugal. Despite this, the Portuguese license and the expansion into the large Portuguese gaming market is significant for PokerStars and their planned expansion in Europe.

This announcement comes shortly after Amaya indicated they would withdraw their PokerStars services from Australia and block Australian players if new gambling legislation is passed in the country which would crack down on foreign gambling operators.

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