Italian Politicians Speak Out Against Shared Poker LiquidityOctober 3, 2017 2:04 pm
Poker player from across Italy, France, Spain, and Portugal were greeted to some good news this summer after their gambling regulators agreed to share liquidity at a special meeting in Rome.
The plan to abandon their ring-fenced market models was then expected to be enacted by the first quarter of 2018, but a spanner has now been thrown into the works after Italian Deputy Paola Binetti (photo) has asserted that shared online poker liquidity could help increase illegal activities within the industry, as well as lead to an upsurge in gambling addiction amongst vulnerable players.
Furthermore, Binetti is not alone in her beliefs, and has soon gained a chorus of support from a number of other senior political figures, including Italian Democratic Party Senator Franco Mirabelli, as well as other big organizations, such as the Totoricevitori Sport Union (STS) chairman Giorgio Pastorino, and Italian Tabaccai Federation (FIT) chairman Giovanni Risso.
According to Ms. Binetti, there is currently a lack of legal clarity in the nation’s digital gambling industry, with a possible shared liquidity project then only serving to muddy the waters further. Ms. Binetti is also of the opinion that politicians should be working to stop the proliferation of gambling activities within the country, not increase them.
In the meantime, Mr. Mirabelli, who heads Italy’s Anti-Mafia Commission, sees shared liquidity as providing the means for criminal groups to “recycle” or launder money. Elaborating further, Mirabelli suggested players would receive a reduced amount of protection from shared liquidity, and in the long run “be exposed to greater risks in an unmanaged system.” Consequently, Mr. Mirabelli has subsequently signalled his intention to ask Italy’s Minister of Finance, Pier Carlo Padoan, to halt the project’s completion.
Poker players across Italy, France, Spain, and Portugal have had to get used to numerous signs of hope followed by disappointment as politicians battle to determine the fate of their own respective ailing online poker markets. After receiving the first bit of positive news in years in July, this recent legal challenge in Italy will certainly serve to dampen their spirits once more.