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Poker News

France and Spain to share poker liquidity pool

Written By: Maya Michaels | January 5, 2018 | Posted In Poker News

Back in July 2017, an agreement between the gaming regulators in Spain, France, Portugal and Italy was announced to allow shared player pools between poker players from the four countries.

Over the past several years, these four European countries have seen continued drop in proceeds from cash games with players seeking out deeper player pools via any number of internationally licensed online gambling sites.

The agreement aiming at shared liquidity will enable these European Union member states to share online poker players for the first time. This ambitious project is to improve the state of online poker in all four participating markets. So far, they were all ring-fenced upon regulation which prevented players to play poker games against peers from other countries. With this agreement, players from all countries will play against players from their homeland but from the other countries as well.

Now, six months after the initial agreement, Spain was the first to announce, on 29 December 2017, that Spanish gaming regulator called DGOJ had signed a Resolution to authorize Spanish-licensed online poker licenses to share liquidity with other three countries. DGOJ said that the resolution will be effective starting from its publishing in the Official State Gazette later this month. DGOJ’s previous experiment with a walled-garden online poker market hadn’t been positive since and this agreement is hoped to advance the status of online poker. The current group of 50 gaming companies servicing Spanish players will be expanded for at least 10 more operators as DGOJ expects.

Just few days later, the French online gambling regulator ARIEL announced that first Franco-Spanish online poker tables will be launched in the following weeks. The two countries were the first ready to realize the project since they managed to produce the necessary paperwork in time to launch the shared liquidity project in early 2018.

Portugal and Italy are yet to announce their dates of joining the shared pool. Portugal is believed to join soon but Italy is speculated to have some issues concerning renewing existing licenses and admitting new operators to the local market. It is believed that Italy will wait the general election in March and no action is expected in the following months.

Since PokerStars and Party Poker both hold licenses from the regulators in Spain and France, they will be the first operators to join the project upon launch.

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