Malta-Based Online Poker Players Can Access Europe’s Newly Launched Shared Liquidity Network

PokerStars Europe, the newly launched shared online poker liquidity network, can now be accessed by Malta-based players, Italian poker news outlet AssoPoker pointed out in a Tuesday article.

Aside from being home to some of Europe’s largest gambling companies and a major licensing jurisdiction, Malta has also been residence of professional online poker players for quite some time now. It was understood that players based in the Mediterranean island nation can now participate in the shared liquidity pool by opening an account with PokerStars’ .es website.

The shared online poker liquidity network went live last month with shared Franco-Spanish poker tables and with PokerStars becoming the first operator to merge its French and Spanish player pools. The launch of the network was the culmination of more than a year-and-a-half-long process of negotiations and work on the creation of feasible regulations for the project’s successful realization.

The shared liquidity scheme was crafted by the gambling regulators of France, Spain, Italy, and Portugal, or Europe’s four segregated online poker markets. The regulatory bodies of the four countries signed the necessary agreement for the implementation of the project last summer. As mentioned above, France and Spain were the first to begin sharing liquidity.

Portugal is said to join the above-mentioned two countries shortly. Late last week, the country’s gambling regulator, SRIJ, announced that it had approved the necessary technical requirements for the implementation of the project and that Portugal will be ready to join the scheme once the technical framework is published in the nation’s Official Journal (Diário da República).

As for Italy, it is still unclear when the country will be able to begin sharing liquidity with its partners in the project. Many have expressed concerns that the upcoming general election could delay the process further.

Why Non-Spanish and Non-French Players Can Play on PokerStars Europe?

If there is one thing PokerStars Europe needs right now, this is liquidity. And regulators may be concerned that players from France and Spain might not be enough to provide the necessary liquidity.

Under Spain’s online gambling regulations, players from other countries can register accounts with .es gambling websites. However, up until recently, PokerStars’ Spanish website was available only to Spain-based players.

However, after the launch of PokerStars Europe, the online poker operator took advantage of the country’s regulations and opened its website to foreign players, as well.

Poker industry insiders believe that this will not be a permanent situation, and that the PokerStars Europe network could be restricted to only players from the four participating countries once all four join the scheme.

According to data from PokerScout, PokerStars Europe is currently the third largest online poker network behind PokerStars’ global poker network and IDNPoker. At the time of writing, there are 13,514 players on the newly launched poker network, with 682 cash game players and a 24-hour peak of 3,657 cash game players.

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