Last summer, gaming regulators in Portugal, Spain, Italy and France decided to sign an agreement where online poker liquidity sharing would begin. PokerStars is the first to begin offering such services in these regions, having now launched a shared player pool in Spain and France. The brand is the first operator in the iPoker industry to provide shared player pooling based on a license in both countries. Players from Spain and France will now be able to compete against each other via the PokerStars.es and PokerStars.fr sites.
Later on this year, Portugal is expected to join the Spanish and French poker markets with shared liquidity. While Portugal is expected to be involved, regulators have yet to comment on their progress towards shared liquidity. Italy has also not confirmed when they will be involved in the shared player pools and they could possibly not launch at all. Senators of Italy have started to speak negatively about the option, mentioning cross-border money laundering and other supposed potential issues.
To celebrate the new launch in Spain and France, PokerStars is offering up an online poker series titled the France Espania Hold’em. The exclusive tournament series will only be open to players located in Spain and France, starting on January 28th and continuing until February 11th.
Due to the new liquidity agreement, players located in these two regions will also have access to promotions involving the exclusive series, plus a daily tournament offering that has been enhanced, larger prize pools as well as tournament guarantees. The France Espania Hold’em tournament series will be offering a total of €5 million in guaranteed prize money.
The Stars Group CEOO Guy Templer commented on the new shared agreement stating that it is great for players and the poker category. Gaming regulators of Spain and France were praised by Templer for doing an excellent job in allowing a ‘dramatic improvement’ in their jurisdictions involving the gaming experience.
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