Winamax, the leading French online poker operator has announced that they need another two months to fully join the shared online liquidity program between France, Spain, Italy and Portugal.
The operator is currently only licensed to operate in France but has received the go-ahead from the French gambling regulator, ARJEL to participate in the shared liquidity program.
Winamax has wasted no time and submitted an application for the necessary license to operate in Spain, However, Spain's regulator; DGOJ has not yet issued an iGaming license. On the Italian front, Winamax is trying to create a presence by buying the existing license of bet-at-home, a popular online gambling website. The company has also applied for entry into the Portuguese gaming market.
With the publication of the technical standards framework for shared liquidity in the Portuguese Official Journal, licensed operators can now merge Portuguese player pools with those in France and Spain. Many believe that the SRIJ, the Portuguese gambling regulator, will now start accepting more iGaming operators to the local market. The two big players asking for admittance as of now are Winamax and partypoker.
Many speculate though that bureaucracy will play a major role in the delays for merging player pools. Winamax is expecting its shared French-Spanish poker tables to be ready in the next two months. Things are slow for Italy as the country’s gaming regulator is yet to publish its technical standards framework. When this happens, Winamax will prepare itself to be ready to merge with the Italian pool.
PokerStars Unchallenged So Far!!
PokerStars, the biggest online poker operator in the world is currently the only operator to have licenses in all four countries and has already launched its shared liquidity network. PokerStars will have just about no competition for the next two months, ensuring that it has a monopoly on the shared player pool. The world's largest poker room is currently the only one benefiting from the shared liquidity project.
The iGaming operator recently rolled out its Franco-Spanish tables and this boosted PokerStars' Europe network in terms of the number of cash games and overall player traffic. Currently, the average amount of players on PokerStars Europe is around 12,000 with close to 600 of them playing cash games.
PokerStars as of now has made no announcement about opening up to Portuguese players. Many analysts think that this will happen shortly. PokerStars rolled out its Franco-Spanish shared tables on the day that Spain authorized shared liquidity and many expect the online poker operator to make a similar move when it comes to the Portuguese market.