PokerStars establishes player trust fund
PokerStars today unveiled a plan to extend its industry-leading approach to protecting player funds into the newly regulated markets, and called upon Europe's gaming industry to follow suit. PokerStars' approach provides a third-party, fully independent trustee being appointed to oversee player funds in France. The Trustee will be a UK trust company wholly owned by IFG Group plc, an international financial services company with full market listings in London and Dublin.
The PokerStars Player Protection Plan builds upon the strength of the Isle of Man regulations which have ensured PokerStars safeguards the funds of millions of players since acquiring its Isle of Man license in 2005.
"The security of player accounts and the integrity of online poker play are fundamental to the ongoing and future success of the industry," said PokerStars' CEO Gabi Campos. "We are pleased to partner with the thought-leaders in European regulation to establish an industry-wide standard for ensuring player funds are protected."
Steve Brennan, Chief Executive of the Isle of Man Gaming Supervision Commission, said: "We are delighted to see the expansion into Europe of the responsible player fund management practices we pioneered in the early years of the industry in Isle of Man."
PokerStars is working closely with regulators in additional European markets - including Spain, Italy and Belgium - to extend its French Player Protection Plan and establish a European-wide standard in this space.
Under the Player Protection Plan local accountability is ensured through the appointment of an independent Trustee and players can seek recourse directly from the Trustees in the event there is a problem with the operator. The funds will be managed by an FSA-regulated fund manager that keeps bank accounts in regulated banks with balances at least equal to the outstanding amounts owed to players at any time. This protection is a simple extension of the protection already afforded to PokerStars players playing under their Isle of Man license.
Campos added, "We have developed a unique structure that is ideal for the newly regulating markets. We hope that all responsible licensing authorities will ultimately insist that online gaming companies maintain the full amount of customers' funds in fully segregated, independently managed accounts."