France’s online gambling authority ARJEL and Spain’s regulating body DGOJ plan to sign an info-sharing agreement, Spanish gambling news press releases announced this week. The government institutions would like to have increased cooperation between them to imply online gambling regulations in their countries.
The industry also expects DGOJ (Direccion General de Ordenacion del Juego, the General Gaming Commission) and ARJEL (Autorite de Regulation des Jeux En Ligne, Regulatory Authority for Online Games) to enhance player liquidity between Spanish poker rooms and their French counterparts.
Enrique Alejo, Director General of the Spanish Gaming Commission, stated earlier this year that the two parties have discussed the possibility of a shared player pool, with potential start as early as next year.
It is rumored that Italian regulator AAMS (Amministrazione autonoma dei monopoli di Stato) has plans to join in order to form a trilateral agreement, however, no details on a formal step towards and agreement have been released officially.
The AAMS allegedly started talks with Spain’s DGOJ about common player pools to be introduced by 2013. Knowing the speed of Italian authorities, as well as the complexity of Spanish gambling laws for online games, it might be a good idea to prepare for a long wait.
Currently, Spain, France, and Italy each have their own regulations regarding online poker and other forms of e-gambling. The Mediterranean countries are also known to keep their player pools separated from international pools.
However, a common player pool is regarded as one of the key steps in maintaining a healthy online poker gaming community.
Developing markets, such as the ones in the above three countries are currently facing a significant decrease in online poker. Segregated markets limit the potential revenue of each single market and challenge further growth. The high taxes forced on the operators also limit the potential for the online poker industry. A common player pool might help stimulating growth.