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European Online Poker Looking To Integrate

sat3Right now, playing online poker from Europe can be a vastly different experience depending on where a person is located. Several countries have adopted their own sets of regulations and rules, which means that online poker room operators have found it necessary to create different sites to conform to the slightly different regulations. However, it looks like the European online poker community may be set to start integrating in the near future. Several countries have started talks about whether it would be possible to merge networks together under a common set of rules. The first two countries that are taking steps towards this progress are Italy and Spain, with France possibly just a few steps behind.

Just recently, a meeting was held where poker media, players, regulators, and others in the industry were allowed to share their views. Coming out of this meeting, the director of Spain’s DGOJ, the organisation responsible for online poker regulation, made positive comments. Enrique Alejo stated that the merger of online poker networks in Italy and Spain would likely happen before the start of 2014. One of the main barriers to break in seeing this happen will be finding a solution to the shared liquidity issues that arise when there are different player pools and the storage of collective money.

Italy and Spain are likely to be the first two countries to join forces largely because they have very similar regulations as well as taxation rates. In addition, both countries have a rule in place that allows the sharing of players with the pools from other countries. This means that merging the two networks for any single online poker provider would not require any changes in the existing regulation, which would obviously speed up the process. On the other hand, countries like France may have a harder time getting on board with the idea as they have a more complex regulation set. Still, it is likely just a matter of time before a large number of European countries are allowed to play under one roof.

The advantages of a consolidated system are immediately clear to anyone familiar with the game. With no country borders, it would mean that a player has access to a vastly increased selection of cash games and tournaments. Because there are more players in the same network, it will mean that the prize pools for tournaments will soar and players not being able to find the exact game they want to play would be increasingly rare. From the perspective of the regulators, a consistent group of rules across Europe would help to reduce the problems inherent when a person is playing in many different systems. Italy and Spain will be the first to step into the future of European online poker, but countries like Portugal, Germany, and others will certainly be quick to follow.


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