Spanish Court Upholds PokerStars' Right to Offer Online Poker; Ruling Finds Company has Always Operated Within the Law
ONCHAN, Isle of Man, November 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
A Barcelona court has ruled in favour of PokerStars and reaffirmed that the world's largest online poker company has operated legally in the country ever since it began offering its services in 2001.
PokerStars currently operates http://www.pokerstars.es under a specific online gaming license issued by the Spanish Gambling Commission (DGOJ) in June 2012 when the Spanish government first began providing such licenses. This week a Barcelona court agreed with PokerStars' position that it operated lawfully in the country prior to June 2012 because the lack of regulation meant that there was no relevant law preventing such activity.
The ruling rejects the claims brought by Codere, the Spanish multinational gaming company.
"This ruling confirms the legal advice we have been given and which we have followed in Spain for years," said Paul Telford, Group General Counsel. "We are very pleased the court agreed with our position and look forward to continuing to provide our licensed poker services as the leading brand in the Spanish market."
Antonio Vázquez-Guillén, partner at Allen & Overy, PokerStars' counsel for the case, said that the "Barcelona court judgement is absolutely clear in its conclusion that PokerStars has always operated in Spain according to the law. We are very happy with this outcome. It clarifies a question that, in our view, should never have been brought to a Court of Justice."
PokerStars operates the world's most popular online poker sites, serving a global poker community of more than 50 million registered members. Since it launched in December 2001, PokerStars has become the first choice of the world's top players, with more daily tournaments than anywhere else, and with the best security online. More hands have been dealt on PokerStars.com than on any other site; that's over 85 billion hands and more than 620 million tournaments played.
PokerStars.com and PokerStars.eu operate under licenses from the Isle of Man and Malta governments, respectively. PokerStars also operates under separate government licenses in Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Italy and Spain.
PokerStars is a member of The Rational Group, which operates gaming-related businesses and brands including PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and the European Poker Tour.