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PokerStars banned in Lebanon

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PokerStars banned in Lebanon - Wed Jun 19, 2013, 07:05 AM
(#1)
geoVARTA's Avatar
Since: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,306
A month or so ago, the PokerStars and FulltiltPoker websites were unreachable from any connection in Lebanon. Though the clients were accessible, it felt a bit strange and I was worried of an online crackdown in Lebanon. I sent an email to PokerStars support, but I got no information on the matter back then.

I woke up Saturday, June 15 and could not open my Pokerstars client. A few other sites were unreachable either. After contacting my ISP, they informed me that they are blocking access to online poker sites as requested by the ministry of justice.
On Sunday, June 16. Only one site was officially functioning, Starsofholdem. Owned by a Lebanese, hosted in Costa Rica and operated by Stars of Holdem Group @ London - United Kingdom. As the info shows on their website.
I contacted StarsofHoldem support and they assured me that the online restriction in Lebanon will not affect their operations because THEY PAY TAXES TO THE GOVERNMENT!!!!

From what I know about gambling legislation in Lebanon is that gambling is forbidden outside the local casino, Casino Du Liban.
However, there is no law for or against online poker.
So how do these guys pay taxes?? I have no idea. It's either a lie from their part to keep their business running as long as they can, or there is some under the table agreement to keep their site running and blocking other major sites to redirect traffic to their own site hence increasing profit and government gets paid more, or Lebanese officials are putting up a new law to tax online poker sites that want to operate in the country. There was no official publication of any decision as far I am aware.

As for Pokerstars, I've had this issue escalated with support but till now I have not received any answer to clearly explain how this will effect Lebanese players on Pokerstars, nor how and when we can get our funds out.

The sites that are unreachable that I know of at the time being are:
Pokerstars
Fulltilt
Titan poker
bet365
williamhill
betfair
bwin

Hard one for the Lebanese enthusiasts, even harder for the ones who were living off it!

Last edited by geoVARTA; Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 07:07 AM..
 
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Wed Jun 19, 2013, 11:49 AM
(#2)
PokerStars Gareth's Avatar
Since: Jan 2013
Posts: 1
(PokerStars Representative)
Hello geoVARTA,

Your issue was brought to my attention by the PSO Forum Master

Unfortunately, I am only able to echo what the support tema have already told you.

The situation is currently under review. We are currently analyzing the potential impact of the recent changes. Unfortunately we are still not in a position to give further details at this stage, but please rest assured that we will let our players know should these changes impact the availability of our services.

Regardless of any future developments we can assure you that your funds are safe with PokerStars.


PokerStars Representative
 
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Wed Jun 19, 2013, 12:31 PM
(#3)
geoVARTA's Avatar
Since: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,306
Hi Gareth,

Thanks for the reply.
"We are currently analyzing the potential impact of the recent changes"; The impact is that all Lebanese players cannot access Pokerstars (I don't know how many users are from Lebanon, but I would guess >500)

"please rest assured that we will let our players know should these changes impact the availability of our services."; The change already affects the availability of the service.

Can you please atleast release the funds until you guys figure out a solution?

I really hope we could come back to play on stars
 
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Wed Jun 19, 2013, 12:35 PM
(#4)
geoVARTA's Avatar
Since: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,306
Can I have a friend from another country cashout for me?
How about if I use VPN?
 
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Wed Jun 19, 2013, 01:39 PM
(#5)
royalraise85's Avatar
Since: Jul 2011
Posts: 26,027
(Community Coordinator)
Quote:
Originally Posted by geoVARTA View Post
Can I have a friend from another country cashout for me?
How about if I use VPN?
@Gareth - Thank you for the reply.

@Geo, Only the PokerStars support team can help you with questions regarding access to funds, transactions, cash outs etc. and they certainly won't reply to this in a public forum.

PokerStars will only discuss your personal account information with you directly via your registered PokerStars email address. They would be happy to help you with your questions and queries if you drop them an email via support@pokerstars.com

Cheers,

Raiser


Moderator

Bracelet Winner


 
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Wed Jun 19, 2013, 05:08 PM
(#6)
Prohorse3's Avatar
Since: Sep 2010
Posts: 610
Wow thats pretty crappy i feel sorry for you geo,

However stay calm if pokerstars says your funds are safe they are safe and dont let the frustration get to you try to stay calm.
and wait for pokerstars their reply they have to discuss it properly for it might be only 500 players from lebanon they have to deal with funds etc, they are representing over millions of players so any action they take has to be well talked through

i wish the best of luck and that they get back to you soon

Best regards,
Prohorse3
 
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Wed Jun 19, 2013, 05:14 PM
(#7)
geoVARTA's Avatar
Since: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,306
Hey prohorse, yea it is really frustrating! I'm just sad to have to give up on Pokerstars.
I'm sure my funds are safe, but its just such an inconvenience when ur roll is stuck and you have to wait an unknown period of time before you can play poker again.
Down with the government!

I might consider relocating ... who knows what will happen...

Thanks again for your moral support!
 
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Wed Jun 19, 2013, 05:38 PM
(#8)
RockerguyAA's Avatar
Since: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,089
BronzeStar
Quote:
Originally Posted by geoVARTA View Post
Hey prohorse, yea it is really frustrating! I'm just sad to have to give up on Pokerstars.
I'm sure my funds are safe, but its just such an inconvenience when ur roll is stuck and you have to wait an unknown period of time before you can play poker again.
Down with the government!

I might consider relocating ... who knows what will happen...

Thanks again for your moral support!
LOL...

Sorry not laughing at you, but myself. Feel like I'm looking myself in the mirror while pouring salt on a 2 year old open wound.
 
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Wed Jun 19, 2013, 05:42 PM
(#9)
geoVARTA's Avatar
Since: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,306
totally sux!!!
 
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Wed Jun 19, 2013, 07:30 PM
(#10)
Cairn Destop's Avatar
Since: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,477
BronzeStar
Now you know the frustration American players feel.

I did notice Full Tilt on your list. Thought PokerStars took them over. I've always thought that was the real problem between PokerStars and our DOJ, the lack of taxation. Here's hoping you're back soon on the virtual felt.
 
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Wed Jun 19, 2013, 09:02 PM
(#11)
RockerguyAA's Avatar
Since: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,089
BronzeStar
It's always about the money. Entire cities have been built from gambling revenue, throughout history. The sad thing is, if something could have been worked out between Lebanon and PokerStars then presumably it would have happened before this point. Wish you and your fellow poker players the best of luck in this geoVARTA.
 
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Wed Jun 19, 2013, 11:31 PM
(#12)
Moxie Pip's Avatar
Since: Aug 2010
Posts: 3,853
There are damned few problems that the application of a little government can't make much worse.

Feel your pain and your outrage geo,tough break.
 
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Wed Jun 19, 2013, 11:35 PM
(#13)
ArtySmokesPS's Avatar
Since: Oct 2011
Posts: 7,355
There's nothing I can do to help, but I really feel for you, George. I hope this situation is resolved in a timely manner. I'd be tearing my hair out if I got locked out of my favourite club!


Bracelet Winner
 
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Thu Jun 20, 2013, 02:09 AM
(#14)
HMH0824's Avatar
Since: May 2013
Posts: 18
I hope it will be resolved quickly!

Let me just point out that "being blocked" is probably a whole different ballgame than being "outlawed"


Good Luck!
 
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Thu Jun 20, 2013, 05:40 AM
(#15)
devprasad60's Avatar
Since: Mar 2012
Posts: 507
Hi geoVARTA,

It is really sad day for poker Players in lebanon. That pokerstars is now banned and blocked in lebanon. I hope and strongly believe that pokerstars will refund your Money as soon as possible.. They definitely will not hold your Money back cos their sites now has been completely blocked as you saying. They have great customer Service and they ll definitely reply to you asap..

we all hope so that it ll not happen to any of us..
 
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Wed Jun 26, 2013, 04:12 AM
(#16)
geoVARTA's Avatar
Since: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,306
Thanks guys for your moral support!
 
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Wed Jun 26, 2013, 02:30 PM
(#17)
PSO-xflixx's Avatar
Since: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,119
(Live Trainer)
Wow, just wow. That really hurts, especially now that I'm doing a class with your hands tonight. Did not know about this until a couple of mins ago when Dave pointed me to this thread.

I hope things will turn around for the better, and of course that you still attend live trainings.


Live Trainer



 
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Wed Jun 26, 2013, 04:12 PM
(#18)
geoVARTA's Avatar
Since: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,306
Thanks flix, it's a pain really. Just so annoying that the site is blocked and other sites are still open - but nothing even competes with PokerStars. Well, wat can you do right?!

I hope PokerStars can allow us to use VPN since there is no law against online poker in Lebanon and other poker sites are accessible. If the stories are true, it's a big shame what the local site owner has done by paying off corrupt government personnel to block PokerStars and redirect traffic to his own site. What a horrible way to represent the poker community!
 
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Sun Jun 30, 2013, 04:22 PM
(#19)
ronh1967's Avatar
Since: Jun 2010
Posts: 376
Quote:
Originally Posted by geoVARTA View Post
Thanks flix, it's a pain really. Just so annoying that the site is blocked and other sites are still open - but nothing even competes with PokerStars. Well, wat can you do right?!

I hope PokerStars can allow us to use VPN since there is no law against online poker in Lebanon and other poker sites are accessible. If the stories are true, it's a big shame what the local site owner has done by paying off corrupt government personnel to block PokerStars and redirect traffic to his own site. What a horrible way to represent the poker community!
whats the law on lottery or poker winnings in your country?do you have to pay tax on these right away?if you answer yes this could be why your country blocked poker stars
 
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Mon Jul 01, 2013, 06:38 AM
(#20)
geoVARTA's Avatar
Since: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,306
I AM BAAACKK!!!

ahhh... the virual felt! Hello PokerStars
 

Getting PokerStars is easy: download and install the PokerStars game software, create your free player account, and validate your email address. Clicking on the download poker button will lead to the installation of compatible poker software on your PC of 51.7 MB, which will enable you to register and play poker on the PokerStars platform. To uninstall PokerStars use the Windows uninstaller: click Start > Control Panel and then select Add or Remove programs > Select PokerStars and click Uninstall or Remove.

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