As you probably know by now, PokerStarschanged its foreign exchange policy in the last few days, which has elicited quite a reaction from the poker community. The site has introduced a margin of what appears to be about 2.5%, which only applies to deposits and withdrawals and not transfers within PokerStars. You’ll only encounter a fee if you have to change currencies.

The change has brought a firestorm of controversy as well as an entry on the PokerStars Blogon Friday from Eric Hollreiser (pictured), the company’s Head of Corporate Communications. Hollreiser responded to critics by saying that PokerStars has “made a lot of hard decisions over the years, some of which have cost the company a lot of money” and noted that many changes the site has implemented have gone unnoticed.

To that end, Hollreiser wrote, “Most changes go unnoticed because they’re meant to unobtrusively improve the player experience, like optimizing security to ensure you’re playing at the safest poker site in the world. Other changes get more attention, such as our recent changes to the foreign exchange charges or the rake that we apply to various games. We know that some of these decisions will not be popular in all quarters and they’re not decisions taken lightly, but are made looking broadly across the poker ecosystem.”

Hollreiser reminded players that, over the years, PokerStars has invested heavily in sending players to the World Series of Poker, spent plenty of cash on advertising, and sponsored “scores” of professionals. PokerStars bought its longtime rival, Full Tilt Poker, in mid-2012 and, according to Hollreiser, “spends more than most companies in advocating for online poker regulation and legislation that will create certainty and stability for players and for our company.”

Earlier this year, Amaya Gaming bought PokerStarsand its sister site for $4.9 billion to create the largest publicly traded gaming company in the world. Consequently, it has plenty of shareholders to answer to, many of whom could be alarmed by the massive debt taken on in the sale. Lottery-style Spin and Gos were introduced shortly thereafter, creating some push-back, but Hollreiser said the company will continue to innovate and adjust its offering.

“We’ll continue to make tough calls to secure the game in the present and make bold moves to best invest in the future growth of the game,” he said. “Our goal continues to be to provide the best, most exciting poker experience and keep the poker universe growing.”

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