Leading online poker operator PokerStars has announced changes to its rake structure which translate into an overall increase of 4 per cent, although the company noted that it still maintains one of the lowest rakes among its major competitors.

The changes announced Monday come into force on March 28th and apply to the operator’s shared liquidity market.

They will see rake for Sit & Go games increase by one per cent for $1 to $30 buy-ins, and by two per cent for $3 buy-in. The rake for other buy-in amounts remains unchanged.

Multi-table tournaments will now attract charges for rebuys and add-ons, as is currently the case in closed liquidity markets, while MTT hyper-turbo rake increases to five per cent.

Cap and percentage of rake will be also increased in some no limit and pot limit ring games, mainly heads-up, while some rake caps will be lowered, the company said. Limit games will not be affected.

“The stakes where players benefit from the biggest cost savings (relative to competitors) at PokerStars are also the stakes that have the highest volume of hands played,” said Amaya’s VP of corporate communications Eric Hollreiser.

“When the rake is weighted according to the different volumes of games played at different stakes, the current rake at PartyPoker is 7 per cent more expensive than under the new PokerStars rake.”

“The current rake at 888 Poker is 16 per cent more expensive than under the new PokerStars rake,” he added. “The current rake at iPoker is 19 per cent more expensive than under the new PokerStars rake.”

Amaya also announced Monday that it has gained accreditation from the Responsible Gambling Council (RGC).

The RG Check accreditation is based on the RGC’s Responsible Gambling Standards for online gambling sites governing the content, quality, and breadth of responsible gambling programs delivered by providers.

RGC chief executive Jon Kelly commented: “Congratulations on successfully attaining RG Check accreditation for PokerStars.com. We commend Amaya on its leadership in committing to an independent assessment of the site's responsible gambling program.”

Shares in PokerStars parent Amaya Inc. (Co. Data) (TSX:AYA) closed in Toronto Monday up 0.21 per cent at CAD$18.71 per share.