PokerStars UK Platform Ready to Roar on November 3

November 1st, 2014 | by Jason Reynolds
PokerStars UK platform

Changes loom for  the new PokerStars UK platform, which will go live on November 3rd. (Image: pokerguru.in)

PokerStars UK, after much ado, is finally launching its new platform this coming Monday, November 3rd.

In accordance with its new gambling license, the delayed PokerStars.co.uk platform is being pushed out to customers automatically beginning at 2:00 pm GMT on Monday.

PokerStars, which has previously offered online gaming to Brits from its Isle of Man headquarters, is making the move to comply with its recently received UK Gambling Commission license. A service announcement to players via email and posted on its website broke the news.

PokerStars players residing in the UK will be forced to move their accounts by downloading an updated desktop client and/or downloading an updated mobile app to continue their service. While that might sound complicated, the process will be seamless, according to PokerStars. The company writes online, “Simply log in to PokerStars with your existing account then follow the on-screen prompts to upgrade the software and move your account.”

Players will be unable to participate in real-money tournaments from 5:00 am – 2:05 pm GMT on November 3rd, and will be prohibited from Spin & Go‘s from approximately 1:45 pm – 2:05 pm. Availability of Sit & Go’s will vary.

Minimal Changes

Poker players applaud stability in their online rooms, so any change is typically met with angst from customers. In an attempt to settle any fear among its players, PokerStars has made clear that the change will have little to no effect on user accounts. The site says once players complete the migration, they’ll be able to access the same games and play against the same opponents as previously.

The new platform will come with an updated terms and conditions and privacy policy, but the poker experience will be nearly identical as it has been in the past. For example, UK players will still be able to compete against friends residing in other countries, and transfers between paired Full Tilt and migrated PokerStars accounts will continue to be able to send and receive funds.

VIP Club benefits will remain intact through the end of the year. However, rewards will be “slightly reduced” in 2015, and forthcoming benefits will be revealed at a later date. And, as previously reported, PokerStars also confirmed auto-rebuys will remain in effect.

To sweeten the deal, PokerStars will run special freerolls at 8:00 pm each day from November 3 – 7 with a £1,000 added prize pool. The freerolls will be exclusive to UK players who have migrated their accounts.

Latest PokerStars Controversy

The PokerStars UK platform migration is the result of the Gambling Commission’s 2014 Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act, which seeks to regulate remote casino operators who provide gambling services to its citizens. The Commission aims to provide better transparency and regulation for the country’s online gambling consumers.

The implementation of the 2014 Act also allows a tax of 15 percent to be imposed on all operators beginning December 1st. PokerStars will likely be forced to amend its VIP Club program to offset the tax, but to date the company is remaining quiet on the issue, saying it’s “currently being reviewed.”

It’s just the latest unsettling development surrounding PokerStars since being bought by Amaya Gaming. In addition to a likely altered VIP Club on the horizon, PokerStars also recently announced higher rakes on several cash games and new currency exchange fees.

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