Online Poker Declines In Italy And France

Online Poker Declines In Italy And FranceA few days after France announced a 5% fall in its overall poker revenue for 2012, Italian gaming regulator AAMS, too, has confirmed its online poker market declined during the year.
In France cash games declined dramatically enough to offset a 21% increase in tournament poker revenue, prompting ARJEL president, Jean-Francois Vilotte, to comment that the “..attractiveness of a matter of concern.” However, the situation in Italy was significantly worse, with online poker tournaments down by 37% and cash games down by 34%.
In contrast, whereas Italy’s AAMS sees the introduction of cash games as contributing to the decline in tournament poker, in France cash games suffered a big drop mostly due to France’s poker taxation system. The resulting higher rake charged by French poker sites thus saw more people shift over to playing tournaments.
Nevertheless, a common factor contributing to the overall decline of online poker within these countries would appear to their policy of isolating player pools. Contrary to European Union regulations, Portugal and Spain, too, have suffered limited player liquidity as a result of  segregating their countries players from other countries’ markets. However, these four countries have now been forced to confront this practice and last December Italian regulators discussed the possibility of shared player pools with Spain, Portugal and France.
The situation regarding online poker operations within the European Union should sound a cautionary bell for the United States, which seems to have now abandoned a federal solution to online poker in favour of an individual states resolution. Without sharing player pools states currently involved in the push for online poker are likely to encounter similar problems. Even USA’s most populous state California has just 38 million people compared to 65 million for France. Other US states are likely to face even bigger challenges, such as New Jersey with its population of 8.7 million people, Nevada with 6 million, or Delaware with a mere 900,000 people.

Other news:   Multi-state online poker compact bill introduced in Pennsylvania

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