As part of an ongoing effort to improve its compliance standards, giant online casino and sportsbetting operator Flutter Entertainment has reportedly announced the exit of its PokerStars iGaming brand from China, Macau and Taiwan.
According to a Monday report from CalvinAyre.com, the London-listed firm declared that the move is part of a company-wide campaign to ‘switch off’ its involvement with black markets as none of the three aforementioned territories currently allow its citizens to legally enjoy online poker entertainment.
CalvinAyre.com reported that Flutter Entertainment, which was known as Paddy Power Betfair until undergoing a 2019 name-change, earlier detailed that it would be increasing the compliance, player protection and anti-money laundering capabilities of its PokerStars brand. The source detailed that the behemoth moreover stated that it had identified ‘a small number of jurisdictions’ in which it would no longer operate including China, Macau and Taiwan and had ‘now switched these markets off’.
Flutter is responsible for the PokerStars brand via its The Stars Group subsidiary and reportedly also pronounced that the departure from the iGaming markets of China, Macau and Taiwan is likely set to cost it around £65 million ($87 million) a year. However, the firm purportedly believes that this is a price worth paying in order to stay free from any future blowback that could be initiated by regulators in potentially more lucrative markets such as the United States.
It was further reported that PokerStars had earlier enjoyed a steady stream of business from the burgeoning online poker black market in Russia with the brand’s former boss often boasting about its efforts to circumvent payment processing hurdles. But the source explained that this could all be about to change as Flutter Entertainment pulled its Betfair brand from this nation in May and is now known to be eager to keep to a more legitimate and sheltered line.