On November 3, PokerStars increased cash game rake and tournament fees in various games; we also planned to implement several additional increases on January 1. After additional analysis and consideration, we have now returned the rake to pre-November 3 levels in most instances and have cancelled the planned additional increases. Spin & Go tournament fees and payout changes implemented on November 3 will remain in place.
We will not increase any rake in 2015 other than in jurisdictions where we have already or will experience increased gaming duty or VAT. Click through to PokerStars rake rates.
As you're likely aware, more countries are introducing taxation, increasing the impact on our business and the poker economy at large. We will continue to use a combination of rake increases and VIP Club reward reductions to address the increased taxation, but these changes will be made consistent with our past practice of sharing up to 50% of taxation with players.
For instance, within a few months we will reduce the VPP multipliers for some countries that are subject to gaming duty or VAT but that do not have their own software clients. We will deploy the change as soon as we are technically able, likely within the next two months. We are also developing the ability to charge different rake/fees for different players within shared liquidity.
We may introduce small rake and tournament increases in the second half of the year for players in countries that impose VAT or gaming duty charges for play on our site. We will inform players about any such changes as soon as possible.
Rake changes have a complex impact on the poker economy. We always strive to make changes that "get it right" and we're not afraid to make adjustments based upon feedback and new analysis (as explained here). We continue to pride ourselves on offering what we believe to be the best online poker experience at the lowest price.
Eric Hollreiser is Head of Corporate Communications for PokerStars and Amaya Inc.