The GGPoker platform has taken the decision to stop offering its online poker services to 12 countries around the world, following regulatory concerns. The Head of GGPoker, Jean Christophe Antoine announced the news, stating that the network will decide to either seek out a licence to operate in those areas or partner up with locally licensed operators to provide its services that way.
Of the 12 countries that it has stopped operating in, GGPoker has pulled out of 10 based within Europe, Georgia which rests on the European-Asian border and the final one is Colombia in South America. Those 10 European countries that can no longer access GGPoker’s services are Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Greece, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Switzerland.
Current reports seem to suggest that players who currently have accounts at GGPoker can still access such, but new users looking to register from those countries cannot sign up to it. Yet, it’s a text response from GGPoker that has caused a little bit of concern for some.
After an inquiry about the availability of the network in one of the countries, the response from the network was that players can still access GGPoker by utilising a Virtual Private Network (VPN). This means that the company doesn’t really bear any of the liability due to the fact that it will actually be customers who use the VPN, rather than the company itself.
Doubts Over GGPoker’s Legitimacy
The official response from the company over its decision to pull out of the 12 countries mentioned has raised more than a few eyebrows and has also led some to question the legitimacy of what the brand is doing. Despite leaving the countries officially, it seems as though it has no problem with opening a backdoor in to the platform, hoodwinking regulatory bodies in the process.
At first, GGPoker began operating solely within the continent of Asia. However, it soon expanded to cover multiple other locations when its popularity soared. The vast majority of GGPoker skins can be found located within Curacao and the Philippines. Yet, the network does possess a UK gambling licence, and it has teamed up with the Enlabs team from Sweden to be able to offer online poker to both Estonia and Lithuania whilst using the brand name Optibet.
It looks like the company has been too swift to provide its services in so many countries but hasn’t checked the regulatory compliance needed for those locations in the process. Thanks to the fact that GGPoker has such large prize pools, it comes as little surprise that regulatory bodies in different jurisdictions started to pick up on the site and have their own interests in what it is doing. The fact that it has had to pull out of so many countries at once will likely be a bit of a let-down for GGPoker.
And that’s not the only downfall that it has suffered through recently. GGPoker chose to team up with Mount Airy Casino in the state of Pennsylvania, so as to offer online poker to the state’s players. However, the application that the casino submitted to be able to offer a mini-casino online was rejected by authorities due to the fact that it doesn’t have the ability to properly secure funds for the project to take place. This was blamed on “increase competition from new casinos” by Mount Airy COO, Todd Greenberg.