Spanish and French Gaming Regulators Jumpstart Shared Poker Liqui

Posted by Carolyn on Dec 19, 2017 Posted in Poker Industry News | No Comments »

Back in July 2017, a ground-breaking agreement was been made between the gaming regulators in Portugal, Italy, Spain, and France in order to enable shared player pools between the four countries in order to boost online poker revenues. While no official announcement has been made regarding when shared poker liquidity will go live, gaming analysts expect it to take place during the first quarter of 2018.

Italy has been rather slow in moving forward with its plans for shared online poker liquidity. Italian gaming regulators were expected to launch a bidding process for new licenses in September but so far there has been no progress. However, Spain and France have taken major steps in moving forward with the online poker shared liquidity plan and have started the implementation process. French PokerStars

France Issues First License To PokerStars

Reel Malta Ltd which is part of the Rational Group and the operator of PokerStars France received the first shared liquidity gaming license from French gaming regulator ARJEL. The online poker license was approved last week by ARJEL and PokerStars is now ready to move forward once online poker shared liquidity goes live, as it is the only online poker operator that is now licensed to operate in all four countries.

However, there’s a caveat from ARJEL when it comes to the liquidity agreement. Only the four countries mentioned should benefit from this liquidity and the operator should make sure that liquidity isn’t applied to countries outside of France, Spain, Italy, and Portugal. It is interesting for ARJEL to highlight this clause considering the fact that for years, PokerStars France enabled players outside of France to play on their site as long as they had a European bank account. This ended in February 2017 after PokerStars France announced that a certain player subset of players would be prohibited from playing.

French Industry Leader Winamax Also Making Adjustments

Winamax is the industry leader in France when it comes to online poker according to PokerScout. The poker operator still enables players outside of France to play as is their right in accordance to their license issued by ARJEL. With that said, Winamax has moved forward to prepare and adjust for the shared liquidity agreement.

Winamax is also expected to restrict their online poker services to players only in Spain, France, Italy and Portugal in order not to face any problems from gaming regulators. The company has also prepared to enter the Italian market by acquiring the bet-at-home Italian gaming license and signing Italy’s Mustapha Kanit as a brand ambassador. The company has also signed Spain’s Adrian Mateos as brand ambassador.

Spain Also Takes Steps to Acquire New Licenses

The Spanish gaming regulator opened a new window for gaming operators to submit their license applications in Spain. Jdigital, an online gambling digital association in Spain estimates that 10 new licenses will be approved along with 52 existing ones. The shared liquidity online poker agreement in Spain is expected to bring in an additional €20 million in the next 12 months.



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