Portugal Submits Poker Liquidity Sharing Model to the EU

Lee R. - January 8, 2017

Adapting national regulation models to international competition is an epochal movement for iGaming.

Portugal has finalized a model for sharing online poker liquidity with other regulated jurisdictions, potentially setting a landmark trend in motion for online poker. 

Key Submission

The Projeto de Regulamento que define os Requisitos Técnicos do Sistema Técnico do Jogo Online was submitted by Portugal gambling regulator Serviço de Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos (SRIJ) to the European Commission earlier this week.

Waiting Period

The review requires a waiting period of three months, setting April as the target date for any shared liquidity agreements signed by Portugal to take effect. 

Reaching Beyond Europe

While large European markets have recently agree to drop ring fencing and let their players compete at international online poker tables, the SRIJ proposal is of further note because the Portugal proposal reaches out to regulated markets beyond Europe as well, provided those models meet necessary technical standards for integration and pooling. 

Early Market Success

SRIJ issued Portugal’s first online poker license in the newly regulated market to PokerStars, with that venture surpassing satisfactory traffic and cash game statistical levels during the first month of operation.

Bringing Down the Fence

Portugal’s submission of a model of technical standards is the next vital step in realizing shared liquidity of online poker proceeds between two or more European regulated jurisdictions. The ringed fence started to crumble last summer when France opened its market to shared liquidity provided according to criteria submitted to the EU. 

The First Wave

France was one of a group of major European national regulators that also included France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, and the UK whom agreed upon certain universal technical standards for liquidity sharing across national borders in online poker play.

Increasing the Jackpots

All regulators are tentatively working towards a mid 2017 implementation as they attempt to adapt their individual taxation systems to the consensus liquidity-sharing process for online poker, which would include contributions to jackpots, inevitably raising the value of each payout.

Dare to Dream

This is a significant development for iGaming, as the Portugal draft sets the tone for a process for which each individual country can adapt their national iGaming guidelines to participate in international competition. In a perfect world, effective adaptation could lead to globalization of an unlimited amount of iGaming competitions in the future. 

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