Portugal To Allow Shared International iPoker Liquidity

Portugal’s online poker players received some good news this week after the country’s gaming regulator (SRIJ) announced that it would permit international liquidity sharing. Previously, Manuela Bandeira, SRIJ Head of Online Gambling, had stated that the industry would be following the examples of country’s such as France, Italy, and Spain in ring-fencing their players from those of other international markets, although he indicated at the time that the situation could change in the future. As he stated earlier:
“International liquidity is important for poker, as it allows small markets to be more competitive. It’s not a simple issue and we need to work more closely with other regulatory bodies from different countries in order to understand how to make it work.”
That change now appears to have occurred quicker than anyone could have expected, with SRIJ announcing the good news during a meeting arranged by Anaon, the National Association of Online Gamblers. There is one fly in the ointment, though, as SRIJ doesn’t seem to have made a provision for allowing business-to-business licenses, which would therefore seem to rule out the possibility of different online poker operators sharing a single shared network. This will naturally come as bad news for operators such as 888poker, iPoker, and the Microgaming Poker Network, although PokerStars is likely to be unaffected by the unusual decision.
In the meantime, Anaon has warned SRIJ that this situation could negatively impact the growth of the country’s online poker market, leading the gaming regulator to promise that it would conduct a mandatory review of the issue in two years time. SRIJ is now expected to be ready to issue the first of its online gaming licenses by June, with poker operators seeking shared international players expected to receive theirs a little while later in October.

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