Full Tilt Poker Launches .EU Site

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Online poker site FullTiltPoker.eu went live Monday, pulling players from several countries away from its sister site, FullTiltPoker.com. While the domain names do not share the same suffix, there is virtually no difference between the two sites and players should see almost no changes in their poker experience.

The first players to make the shift from the .com site to the .eu site were players from the countries of Greece, Luxembourg, and Slovenia. Residents of Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, and Sweden will eventually follow. This is a mandatory transition for players from these nations.

The process of changing Full Tilt domains will be extraordinarily painless for anyone affected. Players will need to download the new software, either by going to FullTiltPoker.eu or by logging into their existing Full Tilt Poker software (a pop-up will appear which will prompt the player download the .eu client). Once the .eu software is installed, it’s just a matter of logging in with the regular .com username and password and the account will be migrated.

All account information, funds, Full Tilt Points, bonus statuses, and Edge statuses will transfer over to the .eu account seamlessly. Players pre-registered for tournaments will still find themselves registered. Account balances will remain in U.S. dollars.

Though players from the aforementioned countries will now be playing on the .eu site, they will still be playing at the same tables as those on the .com site. There will be no noticeable difference at all.

Seeing as there will really be no differences, the natural question is: what’s the reason for this? While the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page on the FullTiltPoker.eu website does not answer this, it is generally assumed that Full Tilt is doing this to allow its players to take advantage of favorable tax laws in their countries. In some European Union (EU) countries, online poker winnings are not subject to income tax as long as the site at which they are won is licensed in the European Economic Area (EEA). The EEA consists of all the member countries of the EU plus three more: Iceland, Lichtenstein, and Norway.

FullTiltPoker.com is licensed in the Isle of Man. Though situated geographically in Europe (it is an island in the Irish Sea, between Great Britain and Ireland), it is not part of the EU or EEA. FullTiltPoker.eu, on the other hand, is licensed in Malta, which is a European Union member. PokerStars, whose parent company, Rational Group, owns Full Tilt Poker, made a similar move a year ago, launching PokerStars.eu.

According to PokerScout.com, Full Tilt Poker is currently the second largest poker site in the world, with a seven day average of 4,600 cash game players. The split into the .eu and .com sites is not likely to change traffic very much. The combined sites might add a few more players, as it is possible that some prospective customers have avoided Full Tilt for tax reasons, but odds are that any increase would be negligible.

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