Recently, Russian-speaking PokerStars players have been increasingly complaining about constant checks of their accounts by the support service. Some accounts are checked for several months, and there is also a case of groundless blocking of accounts. Support usually indicates “suspicious transactions” or “confirmation of sources of income” as the reasons for such actions. This problem is getting bigger.
Why does PokerStars need to know the source of income?
Requests for confirmation of the source of income are made according to the requirements of British regulators who are fighting money laundering. Completely random accounts are subjected to verification. Therefore, it cannot be said that only owners of new accounts, or players with too large and frequent deposits, should be afraid.
Such checks require the player to:
- Re-verify your account by sending a scan of an identity document.
- Verification of the payment system with which deposits are made. It is enough to send a screenshot from the personal account of the payment system, where the player’s data is indicated.
- Proof of source of income is the main point due to which many players lose control of their account. To confirm the income, you need to send a scan of the income statement, or information on investments, or on other sources of profit.
Many poker players do not have a proven source of income – they can work unofficially, or earn exclusively from poker. In the first case, it is unrealistic to confirm the legality of income. The second one can also be problematic. The fact is that if a PokerStars user withdraws money in this room, he will be able to provide a bank statement, which will be enough to successfully complete the verification. However, if a player did not earn on Stars, but withdrew winnings in other rooms, he will not be able to confirm this. The fact is that in bank statements when withdrawing funds from 888 Poker or Party Poker, the source of receipt is not indicated. Therefore, such statements are not accepted by PokerStars support.
Real stories of injured players
On the largest Russian-language poker forum, Gipsyteam, you can find many stories of PokerStars players who have suffered from account checks. So, a player under the nickname verhovniy writes that his account was blocked, which he owned for 10 years. He could not confirm the source of income, because. Since 2016, he has been earning money playing poker at PokerDom. There are 4,000 dollars left on the account of the blocked account at PokerStars, which the poker player cannot withdraw.
Another player under the nickname FiveTo_One managed to get his Stars account back. But it took him more than six months of time and no one knows how many nerves. The poker player sent about 30 letters and even more various clarifications to the income statement.
Another player with a verified source of income also went through all the hardships of correspondence with PokerStars support. Satan provided both a bank statement and a salary certificate, but the support representatives still refused to unlock his account. Ultimately, after 8 months of unsuccessful negotiations, the player threatened to file a complaint with an independent service for monitoring gambling operators. Only after that, the support will allow you to withdraw the money, but the access to the account has not been returned.
Restrictions of other poker rooms
In addition to PokerStars, many other well-known poker rooms have also begun to restrict access to their platforms for players from certain countries. For example, starting June 1, 2021, Guts Poker will leave the Ukrainian market. Most likely, this decision of the operator is due to the fact that the Betsson Group, which owns the poker room, decided to legally work on the Ukrainian market.
Another iPoker network room, Betfair Poker, has ceased to provide services for Russian poker players. The ban on creating accounts has been in effect since May 5, 2020, from the same date Russians have lost access to existing accounts. By the way, players from Estonia are also now unable to play at Betfair Poker.
More and more European countries are introducing restrictions on the work of poker rooms. For example, in Germany, since July 1, 2021, a law has been in force that regulates online gambling. In accordance with this law, in order to legally operate in Germany, a poker room must obtain a license with a deposit of at least 5 million euros and have a domain name in the .de zone. In addition, player information must be stored in a central limit control file, players are prohibited from depositing more than 1,000 euros per month and playing more than 4 tables at the same time. There are many other restrictions that will not be to the taste of regulars from Germany.
In countries such as the US and Italy, online poker has long existed only in the form of closed reservations. Only residents of these countries can register in them. Thus, classic poker rooms are gradually losing their relevance. They were replaced in 2017 by poker applications that retained all the charms of the game of poker and were not subject to any restrictions. First, the PokerMaster brand appeared, then PPPoker, and then all the others. We will talk about what opportunities poker apps offer and what are their advantages over classic poker rooms in the next article.