PokerStars has apologized to all the players that were affected by its rake error. In a rare oversight that saw PokerStars overcharge rake for players in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. PokerStars had quite the remarkable 2020 despite a looming pandemic that affected the leisure and hospitality industry severely.
This huge oversight was reported by a customer who discovered that he had been charged a rake of $0.6 for every game instead of $0.50 as had been advertised. As the customer continued to rummage through his records, he realized that the oversight had not been a one-time error and had been indeed occurring all through the year.
As news of this lapse started to travel through the vibrant poker community, it soon emerged that many more players had been affected. This then prompted PokerStars to forge its own investigation in a bid to quell the complaints. Upon close investigation, it soon emerged that there had been a “system configuration error” that led to overcharging all NJ and PA poker players.
According to PokerStars, the correct cap should have been $0.60 all along. The rake when 2 punters are dealt into a ‘big bet’ game hand at $0.50/$1.00 stakes has always been fixed at a cap of $0.60. This cap applies to most games on the site including NLHE, PLO, PL 2-7 Triple Draw, as well as the NLHE and PLO portions of 8-Game. PokerStars has since rectified the misinformation on its website to reflect the correct cap of $0.60.
Because the error was on its part, PokerStars has apologized to all the customers affected and even agreed to refund all the players that overpaid. Affected punters will be able to claim their refunds for all of last year. Although this is only a minor bump in the road, this isn’t the first time that PokerStars has suffered from such issues.
In 2015, PokerStars also suffered a similar configuration error that saw thousands of players that were using euros be affected during an event. In 2017, PokerStars was dealt another blow when it was fined $25,000 by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) because of failing to properly geotag their players due to a glitch in its software. Because of this oversight, the software glitch allowed punters not located within the Garden State to wager on several games, which is highly prohibited.
Last year in March when the world was deep in the throes of the contagion, PokerStars stopped working for a while, thus leaving thousands of punters stranded mid-wagering and some unable to log in. This website downtime affected players in small pockets around the world including in the UK, US, as well as Europe.
PokerStars is focused on growth
Despite the setbacks mentioned above, PokerStars remains one of the best-reviewed brands as covered here. It has not stalled on its plans for expansion as it looks to become an international entertainment brand. Just recently, it became the first poker brand to launch the Spin & Win Live Roulette in Spain.
PokerStars VR, the company virtual reality branch of the business, also keeps growing thanks to its unique immersive experiences. PokerStars is constantly doing its best to invest in the best player experience possible for its customers. By going beyond regular brick and mortar offerings, Pokerstars has been able to keep its head above water during this challenging and dark period in our history.
Meanwhile, online poker continues to grow across the country. For instance, New Jersey managed to hit a monthly record of $93.5 million in October thanks to online poker and online gaming- a boost of more than 106% from the same period last year. Similarly, Pennsylvania also saw its online casinos and poker rooms produce a record $59.8 million in October 2020, which was a milestone for the keystone state.
So will online poker continue its growth in 2021? Even though the vaccine is finally with us, the infection cases continue to spread, which means that the restrictions on distancing will remain for some time, until at least the last few months of 2021. For this reason alone, online poker should continue to see significant interest from its fans and curious players.
As poker companies such as PokerStars continue improving their offerings, it will only steer further growth. That’s because we live in a world full of tech-savvy players that are interested in gaming opportunities that offer real-world experiences, which is exactly what VR poker promises.
The online poker industry was already scheduled to take off with the prevalent mobile and internet usage in the world today. The pandemic just helped to move things along. Companies such as PokerStars are doing their best to come up with revolutionary ideas that are designed to keep poker lovers interested and coming back for more.
Poker providers such as PokerStars are also continuously coming up with interactive features and formats that boost engagement from its users. This is helping to considerably transform an otherwise monotonous experience.
The last poker boom may have taken place in 2003 but 2021 could just be the year that online poker takes off once and for all. Poker has long been ready to explode so it will be interesting to observe how this year pans out. If 2003 is anything to go by, poker lovers haven’t seen anything yet.
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