Deregulation in European poker continues. Meanwhile, a growing number of card rooms are benefiting from the newly-introduced shared-liquidity, and the iPoker Network is now Europe’s first B2B platform offering that.
Boosting Liquidity, Expanding the Offer with iPoker Network
Poker in Europe is based in the Southern countries. With Spain, France, and most recently Portugal, joining a shared liquidity pool, card rooms have been thrilled. The opportunity to promote large-scale tournaments have been immense, doubling the amount of investment and attracting more players eager to clinch a hefty reward.
The recently concluded SECOOP Series, an inaugural Southern Europe online competition hosted by PokerStars, featured players from all three countries sharing the liquidity, amassing the impressive 38,000 in total online participants. The event was success and no small part because PokerStars is the only company in Europe that has managed to bring players from Portugal and allow them to play with their Spanish and French counterparts.
And while this is good news, even better news is the fact that Playtech’s iPoker Network has just hit the markets, becoming the first B2B platform to actually offer shared liquidity. While PokerStars, partypoker and Winimax all run their exclusive namesake card rooms using their platforms, the iPoker Network will allow operators to benefit from merging their customer bases from across countries.
While nothing would indicate the merger insofar as the name of each individual platform goes, the pots will grow and companies such as Unibet and BetClic are hoping that the heftier prize pools will help them consolidate their digital footprint bringing even more players onboard.
Going Digital Despite the Hurdles
Creating a vibrant ecosystem for different brands to merge their customer base is both innovative and important. While Playtech doesn’t run its own card room, it’s more than happy to oblige and help others run their businesses successfully.
Naturally, there are some hurdles to overcome still. For example, Spanish and French card rooms usingthe iPoker Network might not be able to share their full liquidity due to some specifics regarding the French player KYC and AML practices.
However, the percentage of funds that will remain not shared is neglectable most experts estimate. In the meantime, there is no information whether PokerStars have managed to circumnavigate this problem. In a sense, PokerStars seems to be the most mature platform on the market as it has already successfully pooled Portuguese players with French and Spanish, and now Italy is also preparing to join the rest and bolstering the future European poker hub.
Playtech has had to overcome some significant legal hurdles, too. First, it had to clear the French regulatory body, ARJEL, but that proved a walk in the park compared to the Spanish counterpart, DGOJ, which only sanctioned the move recently. In light of these events, it’s perhaps worthy to mention that iPoker has been used by French operators since 2010.
With Spain and France under its belt, the iPoker Network will have to focus on finding a purchase in Italy and naturally bring Portugal. However, this is not up to the software entirely nor Playtech, as the clients who use the tech solution will also have to own or partner with card rooms in each specific country.