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Old 06-24-2016, 09:02 AM   #1
Qaletaqa
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Pokerstars Is Stopping Real Money Games In Israel

All Israeli pokerstars players received an email today announcing that pokerstars stop offering real money games to players who are physically located in - or have a registered address in - Israel from June 27, 2016



Full email from stars:


Our management team regularly review our operations market-by-market to assess commercial opportunities and business risks for our brands. Following a recent review, we regret to inform you that we have decided to stop offering real money games to players who are physically located in - or have a registered address in - Israel from June 27, 2016. We apologize for this inconvenience and hope you’ve enjoyed your experience - we invite you to continue playing with your existing account on our play money site here.

Player balances remain safe and secure, and players are able to withdraw their real money balances at their convenience.

You will be able to withdraw to your Visa card or WebMoney account providing you have used them to deposit within the last 12 months. If you have not, you will need to deposit with them before June 27 to be able to do so. The wire transfer option may also be available for withdrawals. Note that if you do deposit with WebMoney you will need to wait 48 hours from your last deposit before you are able to withdraw your funds.

A full question and answer page has been provided for affected players.

Any outstanding tournament tickets or T-money will be converted to cash. A $1 VIP Cash Rebate has been added to the VIP Store that can be purchased for 100 StarsCoin in order to facilitate players who would like to convert their StarsCoin to cash. Players who have made progress on their current VIP Step will receive the full prorated value of their current Step credited if the amount is 250 StarsCoin or more.

Please allow up to 72 hours from June 27 in order for these credits and conversions to be made, and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Last edited by Qaletaqa; 06-24-2016 at 09:10 AM.
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Old 06-24-2016, 09:33 AM   #2
JimyJamonas
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Re: Pokerstars Is Stopping Real Money Games In Israel

Currently in airport en route to Vegas, find out I'm broke (can't access stars money) and out of a job when I get back home.

K...
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Old 06-24-2016, 09:47 AM   #3
H0LDiT
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Re: Pokerstars Is Stopping Real Money Games In Israel

Rumours of other country's being pulled out too, anyone have any info?
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Old 06-24-2016, 09:50 AM   #4
TrustInBrass_KAOS
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Re: Pokerstars Is Stopping Real Money Games In Israel

Also received this email today.

Since nothing has changed in Israeli law, my guess is that the combination of the country having net winning pros (relatively low cost of living in Israel if you are willing to live outside of a major city), as well as the inability to offer casino games, made this is another "ecosystem improvement".
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Old 06-24-2016, 10:08 AM   #5
SootedPowa
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Re: Pokerstars Is Stopping Real Money Games In Israel

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimyJamonas View Post
Currently in airport en route to Vegas, find out I'm broke (can't access stars money) and out of a job when I get back home.

K...
That sucks gl in vegas.
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Old 06-24-2016, 10:09 AM   #6
michaelph23
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Re: Pokerstars Is Stopping Real Money Games In Israel

So much tilt...
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Old 06-24-2016, 10:20 AM   #7
epcfast
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Re: Pokerstars Is Stopping Real Money Games In Israel

Get onto ReNegs - he'll sort it out
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Old 06-24-2016, 10:25 AM   #8
kypreanus
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Re: Pokerstars Is Stopping Real Money Games In Israel

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrustInBrass_KAOS View Post
Also received this email today.

Since nothing has changed in Israeli law, my guess is that the combination of the country having net winning pros (relatively low cost of living in Israel if you are willing to live outside of a major city), as well as the inability to offer casino games, made this is another "ecosystem improvement".
This post wins this thread.

Stars is a sick moneygrabbing company. If you need to play at a casino, or sportsbook, use some other site please.
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Old 06-24-2016, 11:23 AM   #9
Dr.FatCat
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Re: Pokerstars Is Stopping Real Money Games In Israel

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrustInBrass_KAOS View Post
Also received this email today.

Since nothing has changed in Israeli law, my guess is that the combination of the country having net winning pros (relatively low cost of living in Israel if you are willing to live outside of a major city), as well as the inability to offer casino games, made this is another "ecosystem improvement".
Can anyone indeed confirm this ? Pretty ****ing sick if this is the case.

Quote:
Rumours of other country's being pulled out too, anyone have any info?
Where did you hear this ?
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Old 06-24-2016, 11:34 AM   #10
NerdSuperfly
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Re: Pokerstars Is Stopping Real Money Games In Israel

Quote:
Originally Posted by kypreanus View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrustInBrass_KAOS View Post
Also received this email today.

Since nothing has changed in Israeli law, my guess is that the combination of the country having net winning pros (relatively low cost of living in Israel if you are willing to live outside of a major city), as well as the inability to offer casino games, made this is another "ecosystem improvement".
This post wins this thread.

Stars is a sick moneygrabbing company. If you need to play at a casino, or sportsbook, use some other site please.
no, this post shows, that nvt-tards don't have any clue about the global market and think they have some god given right to enjoy online poker ... ps left turkey and other countries 'for no reason', but (seems to have) secured an important licence with this step ... other operators also left markets, even nothing was changed, just because they found out it's simply not worth the effort or too risky for other markets ... so just assuming anything doesn't make it a fact.

also your post shows, that you have absolutely no clue whatsoever about casinos and sportsbooks ... especially the later ban 'winners', even they just have a few lol-winnings
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Old 06-24-2016, 12:05 PM   #11
coach999
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Re: Pokerstars Is Stopping Real Money Games In Israel

Stars being antisemitic confirmed!
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Old 06-24-2016, 12:37 PM   #12
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Re: Pokerstars Is Stopping Real Money Games In Israel

I am speculating that perhaps this article from Casino Review, June 21st 2016 throws some light on the matter:
Quote:
...Israel and the gambling industry [...] with a ban on casinos and iGaming and a limited sports betting monopoly while the state lottery, Mifal HaPayis, hauls in $5bn annually.

Despite the fact that Israel’s 200 gaming companies bring in $1bn in revenue a year to the country, Israel is unlikely to see a loosening of the bonds on its gambling industry any time soon. That’s according to Yehoshua Shohat Gurtler, a leading gaming lawyer with Herzog Fox & Neeman.

“Israel’s probably one of the most restrictive markets in terms of online gambling, which is ironic since pretty much every operator in the online gambling world has an operation based in the country or a link to the Israeli gaming industry, but on a B2C basis, from the consumers’ point of view online gambling is illegal. Israel must be among the most conservative countries in the world in terms of its gambling policy.”

As Gurtler notes, Israeli courts have taken the position that the blanket prohibition on gambling – specified in the 1977 Penal Law 5737 – applies to online gaming as well, even though the original bill makes no mention of it.

“Historically the authorities have primarily targeted companies that actively pursue their business in Israel, such as operators who have a website in Hebrew, use an Israeli top-level domain or advertise specifically to Israeli consumers. At least in theory, Israel is a closed market for iGaming and most reputable operators have included the country on their prohibited jurisdictions list.”

Recently there has been talk of the possibility of carving out a very limited exemption in the prohibition on gaming in favour of a limited number of landbased casinos in Eilat, Israel’s largest resort city.

In February, the Knesset formed a steering committee headed by tourism minister Yariv Levin – the fifteenth minister to hold the post in the last 15 years – to explore the possibility of permitting casinos, with a statement from the PM’s office suggesting the plan would “save Eilat from economic failure and create thousands of jobs.”

“That announcement eventually resulted in some political backlash from some of the more conservative factions in Israeli politics so that initiative seems to have gone on the back-burner for the time being – although it hasn’t been officially withdrawn,” added Gurtler.

“However when it comes to online gambling the opposite has been true: there have been some legislative attempts in Israel over the last few years to specifically empower the police to order ISPs to block access to online gaming sites.”

According to the leading lawyer, Israel’s banking regulator has now instructed credit institutions that they must not allow payments to be processed in favour of online gambling sites. While there has been some discussion of a more relaxed approach towards landbased gambling, the state is putting its full force behind a crackdown on online activity.

“Since there’s such a strong Israeli connection with the online gambling industry, the government wants to keep these businesses from targeting Israelis,” said Gurtler.

“There’s a strange alliance between religious conservative factions within Israeli society and the more socialist factions and these two traditionally opposing groups have a common ground when it comes to anti-gambling policy, which is probably why political sentiment against gaming is relatively strong”...
Besides the payment processing problem that may be coming, the other thought I have is if Amaya wishes to get in on the Bricks & Mortar casino game in Eilat it must first not be seen as a predatory grey off-shore operator that isn't contributing to Israel's coffers.

Last edited by _Loki_; 06-24-2016 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 06-24-2016, 12:43 PM   #13
PaulyJames200x
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Re: Pokerstars Is Stopping Real Money Games In Israel

Quote:
Originally Posted by H0LDiT View Post
Rumours of other country's being pulled out too, anyone have any info?

Where did you hear this? And does anyone know what other countries is possibly on this list?


Also, are there many players from Israel even? i don't recall there are much players from this country much when i play on stars. But i assume most of them are winning regs as someone else put it? But that is definitely not the reason i assume?


What country would pokerstars pull out from where it would have the biggest impact on stars? Obviously when stars pulled out of the us is the biggest one of them all. I'm guessing its Russia or Brazil? Does anyone know what percentage of each country make up the player base on stars? I would have to guess and say Russia probably is number 1? Canada probably would be like 5th or so? So it would be like, Russia, UK, Brazil, Germany, Canada?
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Old 06-24-2016, 01:18 PM   #14
Glennis
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Re: Pokerstars Is Stopping Real Money Games In Israel

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrustInBrass_KAOS View Post
Also received this email today.

Since nothing has changed in Israeli law, my guess is that the combination of the country having net winning pros (relatively low cost of living in Israel if you are willing to live outside of a major city), as well as the inability to offer casino games, made this is another "ecosystem improvement".
Surely there's a few eastern european countries to ban before Israel if that's the case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GazzyB123 View Post
He's mad for the Israelis bombing the **** out of innocent women and children so I'm sure he'll be right up for helping them out with online poker.
LMAO. Tumblr level stupididy
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Old 06-24-2016, 04:45 PM   #15
WateryBoil
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Re: Pokerstars Is Stopping Real Money Games In Israel

Wow! The Isai Scheinberg would have never allowed this.
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Old 06-24-2016, 04:47 PM   #16
deadpeddler
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Re: Pokerstars Is Stopping Real Money Games In Israel

GG Aliyah
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Old 06-24-2016, 06:00 PM   #17
fur514
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Re: Pokerstars Is Stopping Real Money Games In Israel

yes its true, got the message when I opened stars just now.... fracking ironic with all the algo trading, binary options and other gambling going on...let the public burn their money on stocks and currencies...sick
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Old 06-24-2016, 06:57 PM   #18
Bobo Fett
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Re: Pokerstars Is Stopping Real Money Games In Israel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.FatCat View Post
Can anyone indeed confirm this ? Pretty ****ing sick if this is the case.
I'd expect the only people who could confirm his speculation about Stars' motivation would be someone from Stars, and I sort of doubt they'll be doing that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by H0LDiT View Post
Rumours of other country's being pulled out too, anyone have any info?
Other country's what being pulled out?

Seriously though, it's kind of counter-productive throwing this sort of thing out there with no hint of a source.
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Old 06-25-2016, 12:21 AM   #19
H0LDiT
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Re: Pokerstars Is Stopping Real Money Games In Israel

No reliable source must have false alarm. Sorry guys
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Old 06-25-2016, 01:52 AM   #20
TrustInBrass_KAOS
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Cool Re: Pokerstars Is Stopping Real Money Games In Israel

@NerdSuperfly I don't think I have "god-given right to play online poker". I'm not a pro, never have been, and don't even play much on Amaya anymore. I'm a hobby rec who watches the occasional training video and moved his action to other sites a few months ago anyway for better micros rake. And anyway, the talking point you meant to argue is "a business has a right to serve whatever market it wants", but I didn't say that wasn't the case, either. So what I'm trying to say is, go be self-righteous somewhere else, thanks.


Quote:
Originally Posted by _Loki_ View Post
I am speculating that perhaps this article from Casino Review, June 21st 2016 throws some light on the matter: Besides the payment processing problem that may be coming, the other thought I have is if Amaya wishes to get in on the Bricks & Mortar casino game in Eilat it must first not be seen as a predatory grey off-shore operator that isn't contributing to Israel's coffers.
@Loki Thanks for sharing. I have read about the ongoing political fight over allowing Eilat to operate casinos. However, the payment processing argument seems odder to me. For starters, PS never accepted Israeli credit cards. Second, the e-wallet I used to move money on and off the site is definitely a legitimate operation (they have an office in Israel and I had to provide a copy of my passport and national ID to be allowed to use it), and is still processing payments from the site I now play on.

Maybe that will change, but I haven't been notified yet if it has. Until it does, I'll continue to believe this is an "ecosystem improvement" move.


Anyway, either way gg Amaya in Israel.
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Old 06-25-2016, 03:15 AM   #21
Dr.FatCat
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Re: Pokerstars Is Stopping Real Money Games In Israel

Why start with Isreal if it's an eco-system move though. There's like 4-5 countries that have virtually 0 fish and only regs
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Old 06-25-2016, 03:17 AM   #22
Bobo Fett
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Re: Pokerstars Is Stopping Real Money Games In Israel

You should read Loki's post.
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Old 06-25-2016, 04:00 AM   #23
TrustInBrass_KAOS
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Re: Pokerstars Is Stopping Real Money Games In Israel

As @Bobo said, I'm just speculating, but I do think the combination of:

1) Amaya receiving a NJDGE license with Israel as a serviced market;

2) There being no substantive change in Israeli law since then (someone even mentioned the conservative parties have mostly shelved the Eilat deal, so I don't see that being a factor);

3) My continued ability to use a legitimate, Israeli registered e-wallet on other sites

strongly supports the conclusion that this is not a regulation issue. If it were, Israel would have been blocked during the mass-blocking event last year (or two years ago? can't remember).

As for why Israel vs. other countries with a lot of net withdrawing players? My best speculation/guess for why this decision was made would be that $1,000/mo is roughly equivalent to just the minimum wage in Israel, so there isn't much incentive to be a pro at the micros. That would mean that net withdrawing pro's were likely concentrated at the mid-stakes or higher, and withdrew more out of the rake machine in nominal dollars than the country's net depositing micro-stakes recs donated. The result being that Amaya saw the player pool as a net negative and decided to cut it loose.

In another country where $1000/mo is a good monthly wage, the few winning pros would be balanced out by many more net depositors and the rake machine would be able to churn on just fine.

That's just my best guess. I obviously don't know for sure, but I think it makes sense.
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Old 06-25-2016, 04:00 AM   #24
westswindon
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Re: Pokerstars Is Stopping Real Money Games In Israel

Players from Israel are good at pokers? wtf.
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Old 06-25-2016, 04:08 AM   #25
TrustInBrass_KAOS
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Re: Pokerstars Is Stopping Real Money Games In Israel

Also just want to add that the push to block ISP's was specifically shot down by the Israeli supreme court: http://law.co.il/en/news/israeli_int...r=2015&month=1
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