European Liquidity-Sharing Agreement Makes ProgressDecember 17, 2017 12:42 pm
The online poker liquidity-sharing agreement agreed between France, Italy, Spain and Portugal in July has taken a significant step forwards after French gambling regulator ARJEL has now granted PokerStars.fr a license to operate in a shared player pool with the other countries.
When the countries initially announced their intention to open up their ring fenced market following a meeting earlier this summer, ARJEL issued the following statement:
“This agreement will set the basis for cooperation between the signing Authorities in this context and will be followed by further necessary steps within each of the jurisdictions involved in order to effectively allow for liquidity poker tables.”
The latest exciting news was subsequently released on Friday, with a major proviso by ARJEL being that PokerStars ensures that its operations are restricted to just the four countries included in the agreement, and not the rest of the world. Up until February of this year, PokerStars.fr had permitted global players to play on the site provided they had a European bank account, with the site then swiftly putting an end to the practice after ARJEL announced this group of people faced being banned from playing.
Nevertheless, France’s biggest online poker provider, Winamax, continues to allow worldwide players to access its site as per its license with ARJEL, although that situation, too, is likely to change as further progress is made on licensing applications and renewals.
Meanwhile, Spain is taking further steps towards preparing its online poker industry for the new landscape, and has now published an official window of opportunity for gambling companies to apply for licenses in the country. According to news source Poker Industry Pro, Sacha Michaud, the President of Spanish regulator Jdigital, will grant an additional 10 new licenses to complement the 52 already in place, which should result in an extra €20 million in investment over the next year.
As to when the European poker sharing deal is finally enacted, media reports place the launch date some time in early 2018, with Italy then expected to join the network a year later.