Unibet Poker Reopens Its Doors to Irish Players

March 2nd, 2018 | by Brian Corlisse

Unibet Poker has made a return to Ireland two years after legislative changes forced it to close its virtual doors.

Unibet Poker

Unibet Poker returns to the Irish market and marks the occasion with a new sponsorship deal. (Image: Twitter/@UnibetPoker)

News of the return filtered through to the local poker community on March 1 when Irish Poker Board’s member Dice75 posted details of new sponsorship deal.

To mark the relaunch of Unibet in Ireland, the operator has agreed to be the headline sponsor of the Live Irish Poker Rankings.

In line with the sponsorship deal, Unibet will be giving away a selection of prizes for the country’s top ranked tournament players. For seasonal (spring, summer and winter) leaderboard winners, €500/$615 Unibet UK Tour packages are up for grabs.

The player that manages to top the annual leaderboard will receive a Unibet Open prize package worth €2,000/$2,400. As well as live tournament prizes, Unibet will also be offering up a selection of tickets to its $123 Supernova online MTT.

Regulations Force Unibet to Leave

Unibet Poker made the decision to leave the Irish market after President Michael D. Higgins signed the Betting (Amendment) Act 2015 into law. With the industry booming and the Betting Act of 1931 not designed for online gaming, the government wanted to exert some sort of control over remote operators.

The end result was of new set of regulations and levies that came into force in August 2015. In addition to an initial $12,500 licensing fee, all bets by players in Ireland became subject to a 1 percent tax levy.

Four months after the regulations came into effect, Unibet Poker notified its players it would be exiting the market.

“Please be advised that due to a recent change in legislation in Ireland, your account with Unibet will be closed on Wednesday 16th December 2015. Your gaming and deposit options will be disabled on this day,” read a 2015 email sent out to players. 

Independence Gives Unibet New Lease of Life

Although Unibet hasn’t given a reason for its decision to re-open in Ireland, its poker platform is currently enjoying a resurgence. After leaving the Microgaming Poker Network (MPN) in 2013, the company went live on its own network in 2014 with the help of Relax Gaming.

Since that time, the operator has aimed its products at casual and low stakes players. This change of tact resulted in Unibet receiving IGA’s 2018 Poker Operator of the Year award.

Off the back of this success, Unibet Poker will now aim to bring its brand of novice-friendly poker to players in Ireland.  

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