ARJEL Suspends PokerStars Home Games

PokerStars Home GamesAccording to eGaming Review and several other websites, the gaming regulatory agency for the French poker market (ARJEL) has suspended PokerStars Home Games being offered to French players while an investigation is conducted as to whether the new feature violates French law.

Players who visit the PokerStars.fr website (which is currently ranked 7th largest site on PokerScout.com) can find the following message translated from French:

“The Regulatory Authority of Online Games (ARJEL) decided to make a system analysis of Home Games to be able to ensure compliance with French law. We apologize for this temporary inconvenience and appreciate your loyalty to PokerStars.fr Home Games. Home Games will be held in our existing database with all information they contain (members, history, statistics). You can still enjoy the most popular tournaments on the net, such as the Classico, the Sunday Special, or the famous Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP), not to mention the incredible cash games.”

There has been no timeframe given on how long the investigation could take, and there has also been no announcement on what the problem could be to trigger such an investigation. Many people in the industry are speculating that the problem could be PokerStars allowing players to select their own stakes in Home Games. Whatever the issue is, lots of players will certainly be disappointed at not being able to participate in the clubs they created.

The French online poker market was legalised and regulated in 2010 and has proved to be a very successful market for many online poker operators. Prior to the market being legalised French poker players could only play at State-run sites, and live poker events such as the World Poker Tour and European Poker Tour were not even allowed to be hosted in the country.

According to PokerScout.com the PokerStars French website has a seven-day average of 2,850 cash-game players, with a peak of 5,695 players. It is doubtful that the suspension of Home Games will effect the traffic numbers at PokerStars.fr but with it proving to be so successful all around the world, PokerStars will be hoping for a quick investigation which will allow their new feature.

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