According to an email Mansion Poker sent to all of its UK customers, the poker room has officially decided to close its doors in the UK beginning Sept. 15. Anyone playing from the UK, or anyone who has found this message in their inbox, should cash out immediately.
"Due to changing regulations regarding online gaming in the United Kingdom, we must inform you that Mansion Poker is required to close its doors to UK players on September 15th, 2014. As a result, we kindly request that you withdraw any and all funds you have in your Mansion Poker account."
The email also recommends players to head to Titanbet Poker to not only receive a huge first deposit bonus, but also to maintain their Mansion Poker VIP level and transfer their player points.
"We have found an exceptional gaming alternative for you: Titanbet.co.uk. You are invited to join this new reliable and secure brand for continued online poker enjoyment.
At Titanbet Poker you will continue to play the fast-paced tournaments and cash games of the iPoker Network, and you will feel comfortable with the familiar features of the software. In addition, Titanbet Poker will offer you expanded poker promotions that you will be sure to enjoy. Please click here to go to Titanbet.co.uk, download the software, and create a new account. You will receive a 200% First Deposit Bonus* up to £1,200 on your first deposit at Titanbet Poker.
After you have created your account, please contact Titanbet Poker support. The new room will match your Points and VIP level from Mansion Poker so that you can get a head start in your poker play."
It is expected for Mansion Poker to be the only first of a wave of poker sites to no longer offer gaming services in the UK, as the licensing system and the 15 percent point of consumption tax applied to gaming operators introduced by the UK Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Bill are seen by many as a serious threat.
However, Mansion might be acting too fast since the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association (GBGA) has filed a legal challenge against the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act in the higher courts on behalf of its more than 20 members. It could be speculated that Mansion leaving the UK marketplace might mean that this challenge is unlikely to succeed.
Many online gaming operators, especially the ones without a huge amount of player liquidity in the UK, may find the new gaming tax regime to be too restrictive and follow Mansion's lead. This might especially be the case for online poker operators with licenses in France that currently offering online gaming to players in the UK including Winamax and PokerStars.fr, which otherwise would risk to be subject to a costly double taxation.
Stay tuned to PokerNews for more news as it happens regarding the proposed POC tax in the UK and the GBGA challenge.