French Gaming Regulator Puts Pressure On Italy To Be Ready For Sh

Posted by Carolyn on Nov 28, 2017 Posted in Poker Industry News | No Comments »

Autorité de régulation des jeux en ligne (ARJEL), the French gaming regulator has called on its Italian counter-part to continue with its hustle and get things in place so that the shared liquidity agreement can proceed as per plan.

Spain, Italy, France and Portugal started discussing the possibility of grouping their respective online poker markets back in 2012 as their respective regulated online gambling markets were struggling due to a number of reasons. Some of these reasons include high taxes being imposed by the gaming regulators, poor online poker traffic, a lack of high quality promotions and tournaments, the increase in illegal online gambling websites and the overall economic conditions of each country.

Shared Liquidity To Start In Early 2018

The gaming regulators from all four countries started discussions of shared online poker liquidity in the hope that by merging all four markets, the overall market size would significantly increase and be more attractive for online poker operators to offer better tournaments, promotions and prizes. After lengthy discussions that lasted for a number of years, the four gaming regulators were able to reach an agreement in July and stated that the shared liquidity program would go live in early 2018.

The gaming regulators in France, Spain, Italy and Portugal were expected to put in place new regulations that would govern the new shared liquidity market. iGaming operators are waiting for these regulations to be made public, so that they can customize their software and services before launching into new markets. iGaming operators who are not licensed to operate in these new markets, will also have to apply for an iGaming license based on the new regulations.

Italy Could Delay Proceedings

Italy is currently facing problems in putting together new gaming regulations and will most likely not be able to meet the early 2018 deadline. There are a number of legislators in Italy who have opposed the shared liquidity agreement and have concerns over money laundering loopholes and the negative impact that shared liquidity could have on Italian gamblers.

Spain and Portugal have made progress in the right direction and appear to be ready for an early 2018 launch. Italy on the other hand has not yet put in place regulations for its licensing and renewal process and will most likely be ready only towards the end of 2018. This delay hasn’t gone down well with ARJEL President Charles Coppolani who has reached out to the Italian gaming regulator and asked them to speed things up.

France has put in place all the necessary requirements to proceed with the shared liquidity launch in early 2018. PokerStars, the biggest online poker website in the world will be the biggest benefactor of this shared liquidity agreement as the online poker giant holds licenses to operate in all four countries. Stars Group, the parent company of PokerStars confirmed during a third quarter conference call that PokerStars has started preparations to move ahead with an early 2018 launch.

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