The national regulators from Europe’s largest online gambling markets met informally in Paris from September 12 to September 14, to discuss common concerns, including shared liquidity for online poker.
France.- From September 12 to September 14, the national regulators from Europe’s largest online gambling markets met informally in Paris to discuss common concerns, including shared liquidity for online poker. Regulators from Austria, UK, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain and France met to discuss “standardisation, anti-money laundering and anti-financing terrorism, sport betting risk analysis, poker shared liquidities and responsible gambling.”
Regarding segregated player pools, the UK is the only country in the group which allows fully shared international player pools for online poker. However, the Spanish, Italian and French regulators, who have the longest experience of operating poker regulation that segregates the player pool, are united in believing that segregation was a mistake.
Regulators have largely accepted the evidence that shows that countries collect less tax when online poker is segregated. Furthermore, they have also begun to promote changes that channel a higher percentage of the population toward the regulated market and away from black market operators.
Segregated online poker markets charge higher rake and tournament fees than non-segregated markets. In addition, they are not able to offer big tournament guarantees. In other words, consumers are offered a worse product at a higher price with the result that many exit the regulated sector to play at dot-com sites.
It is likely that the first steps in ending the French segregated player pool to come by the end of this year, with an experimental implementation early in 2017.