PokerStars No Longer Offering Real Money Games in Israel

As of this past Monday (27th June), PokerStars have ceased to allow real-money online poker in Israel, one of the world's "gray markets" for the popular online pastime.

The decision is thought to have been made after recent pressure from the country’s banking regulator on financial institutions demanding they stop processing online gambling transactions.

Although, as the expression "gray markets" suggests there is some ambiguity as to the legality of online poker in Israel. For although there is no law that specifically prohibits online gambling, almost all gaming, apart from the national lottery and sports and horserace betting, are prohibited.

PokerStars would no doubt have also been interested in a ruling from the Jerusalen District Court last December which ruled that Texas Hold'em was against the law after the wife of a man who had been given probation and fined for hosting high stakes home games. The judge, in this instance, ruled that the poker variant was more luck than skill.

Clearly cautious of becoming embroiled in any legal battles after some painful experiences in the US, PokerStars have backed away from the birthplace of its founder Isai Scheinberg.

Players were only notified of the intention to leave the market over the weekend but were assured that all funds were safe and will be available to withdraw.




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