When the UK made amendments to its gambling laws towards the end of 2014, gambling establishments expressed their unhappiness over the new laws as it required them to pay higher taxes for operating in the UK. A number of establishments protested, some shutdown their operations but the majority had no option but to follow the new laws.
Most of these gambling establishments have had to make changes to their policies to make provision to pay out these extra revenues.
Full Tilt Poker informed its UK players that it was forced to make a 20% reduction in their reward points in order to deal with the additional taxes being imposed. UK players were informed that instead of being rewarded 10 points for every $1 raked, they will not be rewarded only 8 points.
Full Tilt Poker informed its UK players on the 16th of December and implemented this change in policy within 24 hours. Full Tilt released a statement which read
We just want to let you know that from 00:00 ET on Tuesday, December 16th, the rate at which Black Card players can convert their Full Tilt Points to cash will change to $1 for every 250 Full Tilt Points. If you’re a Black Card player and want to avail of the $1 for every 200 Full Tilt Points rate, simply convert your points before Tuesday, December 16th.
Players had no choice but to follow the sudden change in policy and they took to the forums to express their disappointment, as Full Tilt is not the only gambling company to make sudden changes to its policy. Poker analysts in Europe are concerned about poker industry as Spain, Italy and France have reported a significant decline in player traffic.
These new regulations that impose higher taxes on players have discouraged EU poker players from playing at these licensed websites. As a result, the underground poker website market in Europe has flourished as players are prepared to take risks in order to have a better payday.
Gambling regulators in Europe are cracking down on these illegal poker websites in an effort to stop illegal online poker. A number of EU countries have prepared a blacklist of these illegal poker websites and have passed on the blacklist to financial establishments who have been authorized to block all financial transactions that originate from these illegal websites. EU authorities are confident that a crackdown on illegal poker websites will help in increasing player traffic at licensed poker websites.