PokerStars.com was forced out of France earlier this week, only to be reborn as the government licensed and taxed website, Pokerstars.fr.
So what has changed beyond the domain suffix? For starters, all cash games now have a per hand rake of 7.39% up to 3.5€ (~$4.28) and a preflop rake of 2% capped at 1€. We'll have to wait and see how long this takes to kill the cash games.
A similar license and tax scheme has been proposed in the U.S. Congress: a scheme which has the wholehearted support of the so-called Poker Players Alliance (h/t Grange95). The pending "poker legalization" bills call for a sin tax on all deposits with a starting rate of between 7-10%. (The Federal income tax topped out at a mere 7% once upon a time too!)
In light of what's being done to French poker players (the phrase "screwed over a barrel" comes to mind), does anyone still believe the tall tales from the PPA's self-appointed representatives that the sites will simply pay the deposit tax out of their own pocket and not instead take it out of the pockets of U.S. players?
This should be a wake up call. I've refused to accept the PPA's hand-waving about how harmless these extra U.S. taxes on poker would be, and so should you.
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