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Shared liquidity in poker: What will change in online poker in 2018?

The agreement on the introduction of shared liquidity for online poker was signed between the regulators of Italy, France, Spain and Portugal.

What will change in online poker in 2018

Online poker in European countries shows a downward trend in recent years. Thus, the budgets of states lose significant tax deductions.

This was due to the fact that several years ago the pools of some European countries were separated from the global pool of poker players because of legislative initiatives. As a result, the lack of liquidity led to a significant decline in the market, showing a decrease of about 10% in 2016.

With the signing of an agreement on the distribution of liquidity between European countries, it is expected that this type of gambling entertainment will show significant growth in the near future, since the main purpose of this document was to solve the main problems that hamper the development of online poker in Europe. Let’s see what the regulators and the participants succeeded to achieve within the last year.

January

The Portuguese authorities fulfilled the required measure of crafting a technical standards framework and the European Commission gave their approval in April.

In November last year, the first poker site PokerStars (Amaya Gaming) was opened as a part of a new licensing of online gambling in the country. But only now Portugal has its standards, which will allow poker sites to exchange finances with sites in other EU countries.

At the very beginning of the month Winamax started recruiting employees with the knowledge of Portuguese and Spanish in their development department. This may mean that the first new market for the operator will be Spanish or Portuguese.

February

PokerStars began to notify the players that starting from February 13 they restrict its French operations and its site with the domain .fr will be available only to users living in the borders of mainland France or in its foreign territories.

The French website PokerStars is open to citizens of other European countries, where the law allows it to be used.

July

On July 6, 2017 in Rome an agreement on the shared liquidity in online poker was signed between regulated gambling markets in the European Union.

The contract involves gambling regulators in France, Italy, Spain and Portugal. Now these largest European jurisdictions are reunited and can launch a joint pool of players.

September

The regulator of the Italian gambling industry Agenzia delle Dogane e dei Monopoli failed to call for new license applications and renewal in September. So it is expected that Italy will n the shared liquidity project later.

October

A prominent Italian politician spoke against the united regulated European online poker market, and acted to abandon the country’s participation in the project. The Italian senator Franco Mirabelli believes that the pooling of poker liquidity may be at the mercy of violators of the law.

There is quite some opposition in Italy, and there are other opponents of creating a unified regulated online poker market. The brightest of them, the chairman of Sindacato Totoricevitori Sportivi (the regulated lottery SuperEnalotto), said that he would do everything possible to prevent progress towards this “uncontrolled freedom”.

Winamax acquired a license for poker activities in Italy from Bet-at-Home, the German subsidiary of the French gambling operator Betcklic Everest Group. The gambling site Winamax, which operated on the basis of a French gambling license, ceased operations in Italy in 2015, based on the requirements of the updated Italian legislation. However, Winamax returned to the Italian market again and the company signed a cooperation agreement with Italy’s Mustapha Kanit and Spain’s Adrian Mateos.

December

PokerStars became the first online poker operator to join the expected European project on shared liquidity after the ARJEL regulator presented the relevant REEL Malta Limited document to a subsidiary of Rational Group.

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