The owner of the online casino PokerStars is preparing for possible problems due to the tightening of Russian legislation: Russia is still a key market for the company, although the activity of online gambling websites has been banned since 2009
Canadian Stars Group, which owns PokerStars, expects that in May 2018 conditions for the company’s operating activities in Russia may deteriorate. This is stated in the company’s presentation following the results of 2017.
This is due to a new law that limits the interaction of Russian payment systems with foreign online gaming operators, said the company’s CEO Rafi Ashkenazi at a conference call with investors. According to him, the company is developing a “strategy to eliminate possible negative consequences”, but is considering the potential “financial blocking” of the Russian market and takes it into account in the planned revenues in 2018. Reporting on the results of last year, Stars Group stated that this year it expects $ 1.39-1.47 billion of revenue.
The changes are connected to the amendments to the laws “On lotteries” and “On state regulation of activities for organizing and conducting gambling”. The law introduces a register of illegal gambling operators and allows prohibiting banks and payment systems from conducting transactions between these operators and residents of Russia. This means that making a deposit for playing on such a website or withdrawing funds from it will become much more difficult. The provisions of the law concerning online players, according to the text of the document, will come into force in May.