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Poker News

Liquidity Sharing Boosts Online Poker in Europe

Written By: Maya Michaels | January 30, 2019 | Posted In Poker News

Shared liquidity pool proved to be a good thing for online poker in Europe according to preliminary records and reports.

The online poker players in Spain, Portugal and France contributed to increased traffic and therefore to significant revenue growth in these countries as reported by the online giant PokerStars that hosted various poker tournaments in Europe.

The three European countries signed the agreement for liquidity sharing back in July 2016 but poker operators were given the necessary licenses in January 2018.

The shared pool was positively received by players from France, Spain and Portugal but also from operators since the agreement opened opportunities for high-value tournaments in Europe with players getting the chance to take part in events featuring millions in guarantees.

PokerStars hosted the Trio Series in June 2018 and drew a massive number of players. There were 40,816 unique entries across 78 separate multi-table tournaments. After this huge success, PokerStars organized the Southern Europe Championship of Online Poker (SECOOP).

The inaugural 149 multi-table tournament online series featured more than 149 events and awarded over €12 million in prize money. The initial guarantee of €10 million was surpassed thanks to the shared liquidity and 38,000 players were able to participate in the series.

Spain was the first to report increased growth after the third quarter of 2018 with online poker bringing €60.7 million according to DGOJ. They expect 2019 to be the best year in terms of gross gaming revenue.

A recently released joint statement states that cross-border poker pact has significantly increased opportunities for both players and operators despite some minor logistical and technical challenges. No major incidents were reported and the pact was successful in the first 18 months. Italy’s joining the liquidity pool is still pending and more countries are encouraged to join the liquidity sharing program.

While shared liquidity pool in Europe seems to be going pretty well, the US shared liquidity between New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware seems to be in trouble. The US Department of Justice has issued a 90-day notice last week, to suspend all intra-state gambling programs.

They claim it was the consequence of the wrong interpretation of the Wire Act and that it should cover all forms of gambling that cross state lines, not just sports betting. According to this bomb dropped on the US market earlier this month, any gambling that involves interstate transactions can now be considered illegal.

This will have devastating effects on the online gambling industry if things don’t change for the better.

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