PokerStars, subsidiary company of Amaya and the largest online poker cardroom in the world, is now the first company to be granted a casino and poker licence to operate its website in the Portuguese market.
The Serviços de Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos (SRIJ) national regulatory body has confirmed that it has awarded the online poker licence to REEL Europe Ltd – a division of Amaya – who will operate the PokerStars website, Pokerstars.pt.
The new website is currently under development, displaying a “coming soon” splash screen. Following the recent Portuguese gaming laws, however, when the site does eventually launch, betting services will be limited until a deal is struck to share liquidity with other regulated gaming markets within the European Union, such as Italy, Spain and France.
The SRIJ licence entitles PokerStars to offer tournament poker, Hold’em and Omaha cash games, as well as Blackjack and Roulette. The new website will mark the first time for Portuguese players to be able to gamble legally on PokerStars since the company left the market in July 2015 following the country’s adoption of new gambling regulation.
PokerStars made its official debut in Bulgaria’s new regulated market and was joined earlier this month by Bet365’s iPoker skin. The duo has now been joined by GVC Holdings’ Bwin.party, which launched a Bulgarian-licenced poker site under its Bwin brand. The company has informed players that held Bwin poker accounts before the country imposed its new licensing regime where their old account info is no longer valid and they must open a new account.