The French government
is moving forward with plans to allow its poker licensees to pool liquidity
with other jurisdictions, submitting draft legislation to the European
Commission (EC) for approval.
legislation aims to allow customers of licensed French poker sites to play
against players registered with companies operating lawfully in another member
state of the European Union or part of the European Economic Area.
It would amend
Section II of Article 14 of France’s current laws to permit those licensed
under Article 21 of regulations to pool liquidity with other
This has been put
forward after the French Senate approved The
Law for a Digital Republic in May this year, a wide-ranging bill concerning
internet technology, which was passed with 323 Senators voting in favour.
“This will increase
the amount of liquidity available on French online poker tables, as well
achieving the objective of consumer protection,” the French government said of
the proposed laws. “Indeed, the appeal of poker is largely based on the volume
of liquidity provided by players accessing the tables proposed by
Without these new
measures, the government explained, players were more likely to access
unlicensed gambling sites. The poker industry has struggled in recent years,
with its travails particularly apparent in France, where it is one of just
three legal gaming verticals.
“Restricting access to
poker tables with players only approved operator fails to meet a volume of
attractive enough liquidity to these players and led some of them to turn to
illegal offers,” it explained.
The change is
facilitated by an amendment to Article 34, which states that such agreements
will only be permitted when there are liquidity pooling and information sharing
agreements in place between France and another jurisdiction.
L’Autorité de régulation des jeux en ligne (ARJEL) and its counterpart in the
other territory must have established a partnership to share information or
documents “necessary for the performance of their duties, such as the
prevention of fraud, criminal and terrorist financing and money laundering.”
To ensure players are
protected from problem gambling, a second proposal to amend legislation has
been put forward, to legally require operators to give players the option to
self-exclude from poker games.