PokerStars has become the first operator to obtain a license to offer its services within the upcoming European shared online poker liquidity project. On Friday last week, the poker fans woke up to the news that the French online gambling regulator Autorité de régulation des Jeux en ligne (ARJEL) issued its first license to PokerStars, under which the gambling operator will be the first to operate within the project. Under the recently-stamped license, PokerStars.fr is allowed to offer its services to the players of any of the four countries, that are to enter shared online poker liquidity project, including France, Portugal, Italy and Spain.
The shared online poker liquidity project has made yet another step. According to the latest news, ARJEL has issued its first license to the world’s largest pokeroom PokerStars, which allows PokerStars.fr to be the first operator to offer online poker services to the players in all four countries, that signed an agreement to enter shared online poker liquidity. In that way, the poker brand not only received a permit to operate in all four jurisdictions, but the brand also has become the only licensed operator to offer online poker services in Portugal.
The company behind PokerStars, and more precisely REEL MALTA LIMITED, received the license under certain conditions. According to the terms of the deal, the company needs to ensure that PokerStars.fr does not accept worldwide players that have a European bank account. This means that the brand is allowed to merge player pools only from the four jurisdictions. Apart from that, PokerStars-owned software needs to receive an approval from the responsible gambling regulators to make sure that it is safe and player-friendly.
It is interesting to note that France’s leading poker website Winamax is still accepting players from elsewhere that have European bank account. Supposing that Winamax also wants to receive a license to operate within shared online poker liquidity project, the online poker website should follow the steps of its predecessor PokerStars and restrict players from any other countries except France, Portugal, Italy and Spain to play against each other.
European Online Poker Liquidity to Open Borders
The shared online poker liquidity project was engulfed in flames for quite some time, as opponents raised concerns relating to money-laundering activities. However, in July this year, France, Portugal, Italy and Spain finally inked the shared online poker liquidity agreement in an attempt to boost their struggling overall poker revenue.
The agreement is to ruin the borders between the players of the four countries and allow them to play against each other. However, the operators, who wanted to join the cross-border shared liquidity were required to comply with the regulations set in all of the four jurisdictions. According to various prognosis, the project is to be finalized some time next year.