Full Tilt customers in the UK will now be feeling the effects of the country’s recently implemented point of consumption tax.
While operators across the country have been preparing players and websites for this transitional period, it hasn’t been fully understood how the tax would impact popular features like rewards programs.
This week, Full Tilt revealed the rates at which it would be cutting player rewards.
Full Tilt’s UK-based customers will now see a 20 percent reduction of their reward points, which came into effect on December 16. Because of the changes in tax laws for UK-based gaming operators, reward points accumulation is reduced to a rate of 8 for every dollar raked, down from the previous 10 points.
The VIP rewards program at Full Tilt gave players a rakeback worth between 10 to 35 percent and was based off what VIP tier the player had achieved. This makes the cut a 20 percent reduction across the entire program. And with these changes, Full Tilt’s UK customers will now only manage to earn a rakeback of 8 to 28 percent.
These reductions also affect any of Full Tilt’s loyal players who are Black Card members. Also beginning on December 16, the rate at which Black Card members are able to convert any Full Tilt Points to cash is adjusted to $1 for every 250 Full Tilt Points. Previously the rate was $1 for every 200 Full Tilt Points.
As expected, Full Tilt is citing the UK’s point of consumption tax as the driving force behind the reduction in rewards. The tax, which came into effect on December 1, requires all foreign operators to pay a 15 percent point of consumption tax on any gross profits generated from UK players.
This new tax is one facet of the newly passed United Kingdom Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act of 2014. Introduced in November, the Act required any online gambling operators working outside of the UK to obtain a license from the UK Gambling Commission.
Because many of these companies operate outside of the UK, the news was not well received. Shortly after the announcement of the new laws, some operators made the decision to pull out of the UK entirely rather than face the increased tax.
The fact that players are shouldering part of the burden of the tax shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. However, Full Tilt’s reductions for UK players completely go against the site’s previous statements.
When many operators were addressing the transition into the new law in September, Full Tilt announced it had no plans to reduce any VIP benefits in a FAQ and that no major changes would be made to the overall player experience.
Full Tilt players are also expressing dissatisfaction at the how the changes were handled. On forums, players are saying that Full Tilt only notified them of the changes on the same day they were being implemented.
Black Card players are saying that they have not been notified of the changes in the conversion rates either.
Those surprised by Full Tilt’s actions are likely being given a taste of the reductions to come at Amaya Gaming’s other big brand, PokerStars.
The popular online room was clear in stating that their VIP rewards would stay the same during 2014 but would be reduced slightly for UK players in 2015.
Whether or not a similarly “slight” 20 percent reduction is in store for PokerStars players should be announced in the coming weeks.