France Eager to Get Ball Rolling on Poker Liquidity Project

France Eager to Get Ball Rolling on Poker Liquidity ProjectIn July 2017, the gambling regulators of France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal agreed to move from operating separate closed ring fenced markets to a more progressive model in which they would share a communal pool of online poker players.
According to latest reports, the French regulator ARJEL is now more keen than ever to see that agreement enacted sometime in early 2018, with its President, Charles Coppolani (photo), having been in contact with his partners in the other countries in order to gauge their level of progress towards implementation. Developments appear to be moving smoothly, too, with France and Spain set to become the very first countries to set up a shared online poker network, with Portugal subsequently joining the compact shortly after.
Italy, on the other hand, is likely to be the last country to add its players to the network, as it will have to first overcome domestic opposition to the move by some of its politicians concerned over the possibility of money laundering across borders before finally moving forward with the scheme.
At the time the original liquidity sharing deal was agreed, regulators from the different countries expressed their intention to launch a license application process by mid-September. Providing further evidence for Italy’s probable delay is the fact it has yet to launch a bidding process for either local operators looking to renew their licenses, and international companies wanting to offer their products in the Italian gambling market.
One of the main poker sites expected to gain the most from the shared player pool is PokerStars, which already has a strong established presence across all four of the separate European markets involved in the project. Expressing his enthusiasm to get the ball rolling, the Stars Group Financial Director, Brian Kyle, stated that PokerStars was looking forward to joining the shared liquidity project at its initial phase, which he believes will be during the first few months of next year.
Another online gambling firm also looking to benefit from the shared liquidity project is the French operator Winamax, which is currently the 5th biggest poker site in the world with 8,729 players online, according to PokerScout, and a 24-hour peak of 2,011 cash players. Currently its operations are restricted to its home country, but Winamax will now be relishing the prospect of expanding its business further a field.

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