It has been a busy week in the world of online poker. While one country is expanding their offering to the popular game, another country appears to be diminishing poker options. Here is a look at what has gone down in Croatia and Australia.
Croatia Grants SuperSport Online Poker License
Croatia goes into 2017 with an online poker room thanks to SuperSport, a site that features sports betting odds and lines for such sports as soccer, rugby, cricket, golf, and tennis. However, they are trying to get into the world of online poker and gaming, which is why they have allowed SuperSport to expand into that realm by granting them a license. SuperSport paid over $630,000 for their license, which runs from January 1 to December 31.
They have not wasted a minute as they know that time is ticking on that license and SuperSport seems to be off to a good start. They reported a peak of 190 players during their first week. They are expecting around 90% of their players to come from inside Croatia but some of their client base is expected to come from the Croatian islands as well. Look for SuperSport to keep adding more features to their services as eventually they want to offer fast-fold poker tournaments as they get more comfortable with the clientele as well as their platforms. They already own more than 300 shops in Croatia as well as a small old-school type of casino, but offering these services online is a boost for both the company and the players who want to get the full online experience without having to go to a physical location.
888Poker Pulls Out From Australia
As online poker expands in Croatia, it appears to be going in the opposite direction Down Under. Australia finds itself in a bit of a bind when it comes to online poker services as 888Poker pulling out. 888Poker is the second-largest site in the world in terms of online poker, trailing behind only PokerStars, so to say that they have a name in the world of online poker is an understatement. However, Australia is being left out in the cold as 888Poker has decided to leave. They emailed their players to tell them that they can make withdrawals from their accounts and that their plan is to cease operations.
They have not released an official reason as to why they have made this decision but the idea is that 888Poker is pulling out because the Australian government might pass a bill that requires online poker sites to get a gaming license.
PokerStars is also looking into the matter as it sets off some alarms in their offices to the point where they want to investigate to find out what is happening. It should be a red flag to them that one of their chief competitors has decided to get up and leave. If it is due to the license, PokerStars has already said they would pull out of Australia if the bill were passed. It is possible that 888Poker is not waiting for the vote.
This bill will look to give massive penalties to those that do not have a license, and not only that players that use sites that do not have a license will also face fines. There will be many online poker sites that will exit the Australian market if this bill is passed, but 888Poker appears to be getting ahead of the curve.