On Christmas Eve, PokerStars disabled access to all roulette and blackjack games on their dot-es domain because of a Spanish law and a minor technical issue.
Not Just Poker
PokerStars boasts more than 50 million clients worldwide, and throughout the poker world, it is best known for producing the 2003 WSOP champion via an online tournament. PokerStars is not all poker all the time, however. The site also offers casino games, including roulette and blackjack, which its clients can play at no charge or with real money.
Popular in Spain
In fact, those PokerStars roulette games generate a great deal of traffic in the Spanish market. Roulette is popular in Spain, but Spain also has strict laws that govern how online gambling establishments must operate. These regulations often scare off the small operators and result in less competition.
One such regulation is that players must be able to access their game history directly from within the game room. A small operator may have to adjust their software to accommodate the regulation, which is why many do not. Big companies like PokerStars can, but on Christmas, a minor technical glitch caused that history to become unavailable. The history was available elsewhere on the website and in the software client but not directly in the roulette and blackjack rooms.
A Quick Decision
Games were immediately suspended, and a note was sent to players who were in the middle of a game alerting them to the situation and informing them that the integrity of the games was never an issue. This decision is likely causing PokerStars millions of dollars in revenue each day, but the potential penalties could exceed those losses.