To create a single market for online gaming and poker there is a long and tortuous way, but it has already started. Here are the foundation stones, the opportunities available in the industry. The online gaming has changed, it is still changing, it sloughs again its skin and interesting future scenarios are appearing. The world continues to keep its distance from the origins of online gaming, when only the very great ‘dot com’ networks of poker, betting or online casinos existed, and with a single account they put the players from all over the world face to face.
From Italy to France to Belgium and soon to Spain, all the EU states adapt themselves to a home regulation. However, when individual regulated markets will begin to suffer from a lack of liquidity, because the internal ‘pool’ can also run out and in any case become poor, there is already somebody who aims at a reopening of the borders as a new boost to the market. A complex but possible and surely desirable solution because of some news of recent weeks and because of an already started discussion among member states. Meanwhile the EU with its Green Paper is still tracing a first way, that is surely an early one, as everybody hurries to state, but it is started.
In any case when the poker rooms, the online casinos and the whole gaming will have problems, the only solution seems to be the reopening of borders, to knock down the entry and exit barriers. The solution is the harmonization and the homogeneity of rules, which in the web will result in the famous ‘dot eu’.
The concrete signs that announce the future – Italy already foresees the international “pool”: merit of the Betting Exchange?
Carefully reading the text of the decree on ‘Betting Exchange’, a passage seems to contain the still undeveloped chance of the opening to the European “pool”.
The chance exists and it is contained in a specific paragraph of the decree that sets this gaming. However we must then see how these rules will be interpreted and if they will be really applied. The paragraph 2u) of Article 1 of the Directorial Decree with rules for ‘Remote betting with method of direct interaction between the individual players’ says that: ‘Connected platform, platform managing a fixed amount betting service with a direct interaction of players managed by subjects, by virtue of an authorisation issued by a jurisdiction of the European Economic Area, with whom the dealer has agreed the interconnection of the bets, with the approval of AAMS ‘.
The hypothesis is that Betfair.it, currently the only dealership able to put into the field this technology, could then rely on other skin or companies still based in the EU and on jurisdictions recognized by the European Commission.
A niche game, a very complicated one for the inexperienced gambler, and that needs very high movements of money and private ‘banks’ to allow an interesting exchange between players. The liquidity between the only Italians gamblers could limit the game and not allow a suitable development as concern the collection and the incomes for the revenue. Hence the chance that would open new and different scenarios for the online poker and for all the other games and that confirms our starting thesis.
In the meantime the first “dot eu” gaming room was born
We are wondering why PokerStars, the world leader in online poker, obtained a licence by the Lotteries and Gaming Authority of Malta (LGA) with the domain ‘dot eu’, with the purpose of protecting the gains of the players coming from European countries but who are forced to pay taxes for incomes coming from rooms with a base outside the EU? A signal that should not be interpreted with an excess of optimism, but that seems to prepare the ground for the next European single market.
Meanwhile PokerStars.eu ‘will run’ on the main hall currently authorized by the Island of Man, using the same pool of international players like the dot.com site that already shares the liquidity of the regulated poker rooms in Belgium, Estonia and Denmark.
As mentioned, there are immediate tax benefits for some European players who pay incredibly high taxes on their online earnings. But PokerStars is preparing the ground and the right conditions to launch the single market of European poker, necessary both for safety reasons and to relaunch the market once that the various regulated countries were to reveal clear collection drops.
PokerStars itself confirmed this trend: “We hope and we expect that the future will bring more certainty and uniformity that will help players and firms. Meanwhile we welcome the recent reports of France, Italy and Spain talking about regulatory cooperation and shared liquidity,” explains Eric Hollreiser, institutional head of the room. But like everybody the manager of PokerStars treats carefully the matter: “To reach unified rules for poker all around the world will be a long and tortuous way”.
Aams-Arjel e Spagna – Italy and France have already signed an agreement of intentions to exchange information between Aams and Arjel, the two gaming Authorities of the respective member states in order to protect consumers and to control possible frauds and to fight unlawfulness. During recent weeks also the unborn Spanish market opened the doors to this kind of cooperation between the States. The umpteeth proof that, even if it is a long and tortuous way, it has already taken the first crucial steps.