Online Gambling in Europe – Headed Towards Shared Liquidity?

Play in Euros at Silversands EuropeThe European online gambling scene has been through a lot in recent years, and none of the events (to not call them catastrophes) which befell it during this period had any sort of a positive impact on any of the industry’s aspects.

The regulated markets brought about fragmentation, while delivering a major hit to the free market notion, seriously limiting competition in all the regulated markets, eroding the value in the games, and driving players away from the virtual tables.

All the major recently-regulated markets, including France, Spain and Italy have been hit with massive declines in player numbers and revenues. It is clear that the European online gambling/poker scene is no longer attractive for players.

A possible solution to the above presented gambling industry woes has been floated in shared liquidity, which is essentially about the various markets combining their player pools to generate more action, more potential revenue, more valuable promotions which again lead to still more players and more revenue.

The only problem with the proposed shared liquidity model is that not all the major players have bought into it. The French Parliament has expressly voted against it, prompting ARJEL (France’s official regulator) president Jean Francois Villote to resign in protest.

About a week ago, the 4th informal meeting of European regulators took place in Rome, and according to preliminary reports, among the myriad of issues discussed, shared liquidity was not touched upon. That assertion proved to be a false one though. Even though it was not on the official agenda of the meeting, the issue of shared liquidity was in fact discussed, due to what has been described as a “very pragmatic” nature of the event.

According to Giovanni Carboni, a top Italian gambling consultant, shared liquidity is an essential issue for the revitalization of the struggling European regulated markets. Italy and Spain have been widely regarded as the compact needed to serve as the starting point of shared European online gaming liquidity, but according to the latest discussions, the UK may be added to that equation as well.

The UK Gambling Commission’s Commissioner and Chief Executive Jenny Williams has certainly made it clear that the UK would be interested in shared liquidity indeed, and if the 3-country compact is achieved at one point, that will definitely change the equation concerning shared liquidity, and it may even prompt a re-consideration from the French side.

The UK would obviously bring a HUGE market to the table, coupled with quite a bit of experience in the dot-com gambling vertical.

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Last Updated 12 April 2018
Online Gambling in Europe