French Gambling Regulator Gives Winamax Shared Online Poker Liquidity Go-Ahead

Winamax has become the second online poker operator to be given the necessary authorization to join the shared liquidity project. In a press release from earlier today, ARJEL, the French online gambling regulator, confirmed that it issued a license to Winamax, thus giving it the green light to share liquidity in the countries that participate in the scheme.

The French poker operator is currently licensed only in its home country. However, it has previously revealed plans to expand its footprint across other regulated jurisdictions, and particularly in Spain, Italy, and Portugal, which are France’s partners in the shared liquidity scheme.

Last month, PokerStars kicked off the project officially by launching Franco-Spanish tables. PokerStars Europe quickly became the world’s third biggest poker network, trailing only behind PokerStars’ global website and IDNpoker. According to PokerScout data, at the time of writing there are 20,121 players online on PokerStars’ European network, with 1,560 of these playing cash games.

It is still unclear when exactly Winamax will begin sharing liquidity, as the operator is yet to receive the necessary licenses from local regulators in order to be able operate in their respective jurisdictions. However, the operator indicated that it may be close to obtaining a license from DGOJ, the Spanish gambling regulator.

Back in January, Winamax said on its LinkedIn page that it was seeking Spanish-speaking support staff for its offices in Paris and invited interested individuals to apply for the job.

Under Winamax’s shared liquidity license, the poker operator will have to make sure that it shares liquidity on games authorized by all four responsible regulators. It will also have to inform ARJEL and the other regulatory bodies about any changes implemented to its shared liquidity operations.

Anticipated Developments

As mentioned above, France and Spain are currently the only countries where the project has went live through PokerStars Europe. SRIJ, the Portuguese gambling regulator, recently announced that it has approved the necessary technical standards framework in relation to the implementation of the shared liquidity scheme.

The framework contains information about the technical requirements that need to be met by each and every interested operator so that it is allowed to share online poker liquidity. The technical standards were sent for publication in Portugal’s Official Journal at the beginning of the month. Once these are published, licensed poker operators will be able to include the country in the shared player pools.

However, here it is important to note that PokerStars is currently the only poker company to be licensed by SRIJ to operate in Portugal. Winamax has previously expressed interest in entering the country’s regulated market, but it is still to be seen when and whether it will be granted the necessary authorization.

Italy’s participation in the project is currently surrounded by clouds of uncertainty. The country is yet to approve its technical standards framework, which means that it Italian players will have to wait for a little while before being able to play against fellow players from Spain, France, and Portugal.

Last month, the country’s Undersecretary of State at the Finance Ministry, Pier Paolo Baretta said that they were conducting a verification process, probably of technical nature, and that once the task was complete, they would be able to move forward with preparations for Italy’s entry into the shared liquidity scheme.

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