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International online gaming sharing liquidity deal in June

online gaming sharing liquidity

The international online gaming sharing liquidity between Italy, the UK, Spain, France and Portugal shall happen in June according to a report from ARJEL. 

International online gaming sharing liquidity seems a “never ending story” that we have been watching during almost the last decade. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, the current plan is apparently to have an agreement between Italy, the UK, Spain, France and Portugal.

Do we have a date for international online gaming sharing liquidity?

The agreement was expected by mid-2017 and now the French gambling regulator, ARJEL, has announced in its report that the deal between regulators will be signed by June 2017.

This does not mean though that once the deal is signed the online gaming international sharing liquidity will be launched right away. ARJEL itself held that software shall be tested before the launch that might hopefully occur by the end of the year then.

It seems a very good news and it will be interesting to understand how gaming regulators decide to address some “hot” issues around international online gaming sharing liquidity such as

  1. the different tax regime which will have an impact on the RTP of the games;
  2. the upcoming Brexit and its impact on European regulations allowing sharing liquidity only with countries of the EEA and
  3. the fact that the sharing liquidity with the UK will open the door to the whole .COM.

Also, would the international online gaming sharing liquidity require that an operator gains an approval from all the regulators involved? Will any operator be allowed to share liquidity with any operator of the other jurisdictions involved in the deal? Are regulators going to introduce tools to facilitate investigations on fraudulent players?

Will international online gaming sharing liquidity limited to poker?

The discussions so far around online gaming sharing liquidity have been focused around poker. This is also because France that is now one of the countries intensively pushing for it did not regulate other types of games to which it might be applicable.

However, for instance Italian law allowing sharing liquidity is not linked to a specific type of game. Therefore no regulatory limitation would apply to the extension of international online gaming sharing liquidity to games such as betting exchange, casino games for accumulate jackpots and online bingo.

For what concerns fantasy sports that definitely need international sharing liquidity, these are likely to immediately benefit in Italy of international online gaming sharing liquidity because they fall under the same regulations applicable to poker tournaments. However, the matter shall be reviewed once the deal is signed.

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@GiulioCoraggio

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WRITTEN BY GIULIO CORAGGIO

IT, gaming, privacy and commercial lawyer at the leading law firm DLA Piper. You can contact me via email at giulio.coraggio@gmail.com or giulio.coraggio@dlapiper.com or via phone at +39 334 688 1147.

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