French politicians again stymie shared player pools in poker.

By RP, January 27, 2016

Hopes that yet another attempt to persuade French lawmakers to allow online poker operators to access international player pools would succeed were dashed again this week when the French National Assembly voted against a proposed amendment to the nation’s gambling laws.

The national regulator ARJEL and Emmanuel Macron, France’s Minister for the Economy, had submitted a proposal that would permit liquidity-sharing compacts provided these were with jurisdictions offering similar regulatory protection and oversight to French law.

Acceptance of the proposal could have helped boost a declining French poker market where operators have been leaving due to the heavy burdens of high taxation and a ring-fenced market that limits player liquidity.

Both obstacles to development have been the subject of several similarly unsuccessful approaches to government and parliament in the past (see previous reports).

In its recent report of operations through 2015, ARJEL revealed that cash game wagering in online poker declined year-on-year by a further 14 percent to Euro 3.73 billion, and overall online poker revenues fell 4 percent to Euro 232 million. Active player numbers dropped by a similar percentage.