Spain ready to share online poker players.

By RP, January 3, 2018

Arrangements by four European nations to permit online poker operators to share player liquidity came a step closer as December ended when Spanish regulator Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ) authorised the practice, complying with its July 2017 agreement with France, Italy and Portugal.

In doing so, Spain’s regulator joins its equivalent in France, ARJEL, which gave similar authority to earlier in December (see previous report).

The DGOJ authority will be confirmed in the government gazette shortly, and that will be followed by the issue of the first Spanish player sharing licenses.

The advent of shared player pools is expected to improve business for operators, thereby boosting tax revenues.

Operators in Portugal and Italy are now awaiting similar authorisations from the respective regulators, although concerns have been expressed regarding mounting political opposition which surfaced late last year in the Italian Senate, where some members raised the possibility of money laundering through pool sharing despite ample experience and evidence to the contrary.

There have also been rumblings from Italian gambling giant Lottomatica, which appears to be worried that its rival PokerStars could be a major beneficiary through its licensing in all four player sharing nations.