Online poker giant Pokerstars shocked Israeli real-money players this week with a notification that, effective June 27 it is to withhold services from players in that country.
No explanation was given, other than a note that the decision followed a review of operations.
The company assured players that their account balances are safe and secure and can be withdrawn at any time, with loyalty points convertible to cash.
Online poker entrepreneur Alexandre Dreyfus speculated in a tweet that the block may be an indicator that potential Amaya buyers are Israelis, but there was no confirmation of that view.
A General Meeting is scheduled for tomorrow.
The 2plus2 forum reported on the blocking email last Friday, posting the content as follows:
“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.”