French Online Poker Players Have Tea Party Protests
New regulations imposed by the French government in opening the country's online poker market include a significant tax. Some Internet poker sites are crying poverty and passing the cost to players, leading to organized protests along the lines of the Tea Party gatherings in the US.
France will collect a 2 percent tax on cash games, tournaments, and re-buys. Even hands that feature folding all around to the big blind will be taxed, meaning in those cases the unfortunate player in the big blind seat wins the hand and doesn't even collect a full small blind for his effort.
Operators such as PokerStars are passing the tax along as an extra 2 percent rake. Spokesman for online poker sites say the extra rake is necessary, claiming the sites are losing money on a steady basis under the new French gambling rules.
But players are not quietly cooperating. Instead, semi-organized sit-ins are occurring, in which players sign in to PokerStars and other online poker sites and then occupy seats while sitting out hands.
Blocking the seats at cash game tables is costing the poker operators hefty income. Players say the sites brought it on themselves, as the additional rake can mean players see their number of hands available for a given buy-in drop by as much as a quarter of the total.
A report by eGaming notes that Sweden actually followed a plan lowering rake to drive tax collections. The resulting increase in players more than made up for the lesser take per hand. There is no word yet, however, that French officials may see the light and help online poker sites escape from between a rock and a hard place.
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|Posted by: ali||When: 01/23/2011 02:59:27 PM EST|
|ali 333 ali|