In a poll conducted on eGaming Review magazine's website this week, 52 percent of the audience voted that online poker in Europe will ultimately fail unless sharing liquidity becomes introduced across all countries.
While it is true that such large online poker markets such as Spain, France, and Italy have restricted domain play to within the country's boundaries, each will need to remove these barriers if they want to positively progress moving forward. PokerStars, the largest operator within these countries, has seen a six-month decline in terms of average players in all three of these territories, according to PokerScout.com.
Furthermore, Barrière Poker will be closing down its French online poker room at the end of this month. This decision came following the release of the most recent report by French online gaming regulator ARJEL, which included numbers displaying a decline in both cash game and tournament activity in the local French market.
In Spain, however, things could be taking a turn for the better. There is a new president of the Spanish online gaming regulator Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ), Carlos Hernandez. In an interview with Poker-Red.com, Hernandez discussed his plans to move towards international poker liquidity, citing that there are hopes to have the transition in place by mid-2014. According to report from eGaming Review, an international shared liquidity deal was thought to be in the works between Spain and Italy, but the preference of Hernandez would be to expand beyond the continent of Europe to regions such as Latin America.
As for the rest of the eGaming Review poll results, 24 percent of those that voted said that large countries such as Germany and Italy wouldn't require shared liquidity, 14 percent said the current system was fine, although only for a few operators, and the remaining 10 percent said no changes needed to be made.
While shared liquidity in the European sector is a hot topic at the moment, similar discussions have been coming to fruition in the United States as WSOP.com launched the second regulated online poker site in Nevada last week and New Jersey inches closer towards an end-of-November launch date.