The online poker sector will grow by 30 per cent after the entry into force of the resolution authorising shared liquidity according to Jdigital – The Spanish trade association of digital gaming.
The Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling (DGOJ) approved shared liquidity with France, Italy and Portugal at the end of December meaning that licensed operators in Spain may merge cash game pools from the three countries starting later this month.
“This regulatory change will allow poker to return to double-digit growth in 2019, 20-30 per cent as the rest of the segments have grown since regulation. Poker will once again be one of the driving forces of the sector,” said the President of the association Mikel López de Torre. López de Torre, believes that with the shared liquidity revenues could once again exceed €100m in two or three years time.
The online market has already seen a sharp increase when compared to 2016. According to the DGOJ’s latest report on Spain’s online gaming market Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) stood at €140.51m for the last quarter of 2017 – an increase of 16.63 per cent over the previous quarter and an increase of 37.35 percent compared to the same quarter in 2016.
Shared liquidity will provide a major boost to the poker sector after the DGOJ reported that online poker generated revenues of just €60m during 2015 – a 40 per cent decrease compared to 2012 when online gaming was first regulated.
The figures were highlighted in May 2016 by founder of Jdigital Sacha Michaud in a statement.
“If we go back to 2011, just before the sector was regulated, we see that online poker was one of the segments with the greatest potential with a progressive growth from 2007 to 2011, rising from €40m to overcoming the €100m barrier. However, hasty regulation without taking into account certain repercussions changed the es. platform and Spain into an unattractive destination for players,” according to the statement. Sacha Michaud explained that the lack of international liquidity had “changed poker into something a lot less fun and engaging both for amateurs who play for fun and for professionals.”