Online poker international sharing liquidity deal executed
The execution of the agreement among gaming regulators on online poker international sharing liquidity might open a new era for online gambling.
The deal on online poker international sharing liquidity
I think that I first heard about international online poker sharing liquidity more than 10 years ago…
It seems that the long wait has now come to an end with the agreement between the French, Portuguese, Spanish and Italian online gambling regulatory authorities signed on 6 July 2017. But this agreement leaves some “grey” areas to be clarified.
The timing of the launch is still uncertain…
The agreement has been signed but it provides that
“The concrete implementation of the online poker international sharing liquidity will depend on the regulatory requirements of each jurisdiction. The authorities commit to make their best efforts to enable effective implementation by the end of the year.”
The reference to “regulatory requirements” makes the timing of the actual implementation of the online poker international liquidity sharing a big question mark. Also, once the regulatory requirements are met, it will be necessary to finalise the technical developments necessary to ensure that platforms set up in compliance with different technical standards can be monitored by regulators and communicate.
The UK has been left out!
The big news is that the UK which was involved in the negotiations on online poker internal liquidity sharing was not one of the signatories of the agreement. This is something quite relevant since UK licensed sites share liquidity with .COM platforms and therefore the opening to such sites would have led to a global international liquidity sharing.
The reason of such exclusion might be due to the upcoming Brexit. Indeed, countries like Italy can share liquidity under the current law with countries that are part of the European Economic Area. If the UK will no longer be part of the EEA, a change in the primary law would have been necessary.
Why just online poker international sharing liquidity?
It is not clear why the agreement was limited to online poker, and games like betting exchange and casino games were not included. These games are not regulated in France and therefore it was not an option there, but Italy, Spain ad Portugal could have done the additional step.
Also, a big question mark is whether fantasy sports are meant to be included in the deal. Under Italian law fantasy sports fall under poker tournament/skill games regulations and therefore it should be included. But the question is whether the same view will be taken by the other jurisdictions involved…
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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 email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at +39 334 688 1147.