Spain’s Official State Gazette Publishes Shared Online Poker Liquidity Resolution

A resolution regarding the shared online poker liquidity project was published in Spain’s Official State Gazette, Boletín Oficial del Estado, on Monday, thus officially giving the scheme the go-ahead.

The Monday publication of the resolution occurred after it was signed by Spain’s Deputy General Director for Gambling Regulation Juan Espinosa García in the final days of 2017. Generally speaking, the resolution sets the conditions under which the shared online poker liquidity project will be carried out.

It was last July when the gambling regulators of Spain, France, Italy, and Portugal signed a shared liquidity agreement, after the project had been in the making for years. Earlier this month, ARJEL, the regulatory body regulating France’s online gaming market, confirmed that first shared poker tables will be launched in the coming weeks. However, these will initially include only French and Spanish poker players.

As the shared liquidity resolution was published in Spain, there is practically no legal hurdle before the project’s eventual launch. It is believed that PokerStars could be the first operator to launch Franco-Spanish cash game tables. The online poker room was the first to receive a shared liquidity license from ARJEL in December.

Poker Industry Pro reported last week that the combined Franco-Spanish tables will go live with PokerStars’ automated Seat Me lobby system, which means that players will not be able to select their tables and their seats at the tables.

Exclusive Interview with Spain’s Gambling Regulator ahead of Shared Online Poker Liquidity Project’s Launch

What Makes the Resolution’s Publication So Important?

The publication of the resolution authorizes the launch of the project and provides interested operators with important guidelines on how to participate. Under the conditions set by the resolution, each operator must have its technical system for the operation of shared cash game tables approved by DGOJ, Spain’s gambling regulator.

Each operator is also obliged to inform the Spanish regulatory body about the precise date on which shared poker tables are set to go live on its website. The technical system deployed by an operator will have to ensure that only players from the above-mentioned countries can play at shared cash game tables. Here it is important to note that at first only players from Spain and France will be admitted to such tables, with Italy and Portugal expected to join the scheme at a later stage.

Each participating operator will further have to inform its players about the specifics of playing in a shared liquidity environment, as per DGOJ’s resolution.

Aside from PokerStars, other major poker operators have indicated their interest in the project. Online gambling operator 888 recently launched an 888poker website in Italy to prepare for the upcoming launch of the shared liquidity project.

French online poker operator Winamax has also been gearing up for joining the scheme for quite some time. It currently operates only in France but has been seeking authorization to launch operations in the three other countries that participate in the shared liquidity project. It even recruited Spanish poker pro Adrian Mateos and his Italian colleague Mustapha Kanit as part of its intention to expand its footprint across Southwestern Europe.

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