Global Glance: PartyPoker Ready for EU, Spain Benefits

Global Glance: PartyPoker Ready for EU, Spain Benefits
European online poker dominates global news

The weekly Global Glance looks at the online poker scene around the world. What happens with online poker and gambling beyond America’s borders can and often does impact the state of online poker in the United States.

The big news is that PartyPoker is ready to be the second site that shares online poker liquidity in Europe, as it is scheduled to launch on Monday with a combined French-Spanish player pool. The Spanish online gaming regulator showed big profits from its poker sharing thus far, another notch on the liquidity belt. And the UKGC reported an uptick in remote gambling from 2016 to 2017. On the other end of the spectrum, Russia had to admit that it couldn’t force YouTube to block gambling ads, while Switzerland proceeded with its vote on its new restrictive gambling law.

PartyPoker Preps for EU Launch

It has been several months since PokerStars became the first online poker operator to share liquidity per the European agreement signed last year. It started with Spain and France, with Portugal joining in May.

PartyPoker is ready to do the same, technically. Its French site, PMU, will be connecting with the Spanish site on Monday, June 4, on the network. There is no Portuguese site at this time, so the connection will remain between France and Spain.

To celebrate, PartyPoker is offering some big perks for players in those countries, with crossover MTTs offering more than €1 million each week and more than €600K in Progressive Knockout MTTs alone. And per a recent decision, there will be no rake on the bounties in those PKO tournaments.

Players will also notice a significant software upgrade on the Spanish side and improvements to come this summer for the French.

The recent signing of Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier is also coming into play, as the PartyPoker ambassador is going to be the face of the shared market. “I am extremely enthusiastic about joining PartyPoker to actively support their efforts to bring back the ‘Poker First’ mentality, live and online,” he said in a statement. “Our goal is to provide players and fans with an experience they deserve worldwide. PartyPoker will be aiming to bring their ambition, expertise and successful model to the .eu market with some big announcements coming soon.”

Spain Benefits from Liquidity

The Spanish market has already benefited from its shared poker agreement with France. Since PokerStars has pulling French players together with the Spanish since late January, Spain is already showing the profits.

Spanish regulator DGOJ reported online poker revenue of €21.5 million in the first quarter of 2018. The massive growth was illustrated by a 30% cash game increase and 50% tournament boost.

In fact, all of Spain’s online gambling revenue was up 27% to €163.3 million. Online casino was the most influential in that rise, as it increased 51% year-on-year.

Russia Blocked from Blocking

The Russian government recently took note of gambling advertisements on YouTube aimed at Russian players. And it set out to ban those ads and bring YouTube into compliance with Russian regulations.

However, the government’s Federal Antimonopoly Service realized that it cannot force an international website like YouTube to comply with its national rules. The governmental group will issue a request to YouTube to stop all gambling ads aimed at Russians, but it does realize it is unlikely to happen.

Within its own borders, though, Russia continues its crackdown. Service provider Roskomnadzor announced it is blocking more than 250 users that use online gambling ads. This is per the Federal Antimonopoly Service’s request.

Swiss Voters Support Ban

Switzerland is set to pass the Money Gaming Act that will ban non-Swiss online gambling operators from offering online poker and casino games to Swiss customers. Internet service providers will also be required to block access to those sites.

As it turns out, the majority of the Swiss people agree with the law. GfS Bern conducted a survey and found that 58% of its respondents back the new law, while only 37% were firmly opposed and 5% were undecided. This is likely a result of the government’s campaign to garner public support. The opposition comes mainly from people under 30 and those affiliated with the right-leaning political parties.

A vote on the law is scheduled for June 10.

UKGC Shows Remote Gambling Rising

The UK Gambling Commission released statistics for the period of April 2016 to March 2017 showing growth of 0.7% but remote gaming increasing its market share by 1% to 35.2% with £4.9 billion. The remote industry continued to be dominated by online casino games, with sports betting also remaining strong.

The non-remote gaming sector was down 0.8%, which seemed to be related to a 3.2% decrease in betting shops and decreased numbers of gaming machines and licensed arcades.




About Jennifer Newell

Jennifer began writing about poker while working at the World Poker Tour in the mid-2000s. Since then, her freelance writing career has taken her from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and back to her hometown of St. Louis, where she now lives with her two dogs. She continues to follow the poker world as she also launches a new subscription box company and finishes her first novel. Jennifer has written for numerous publications including and has followed the US poker and gaming market closely for the last 15 years. Follow Jen on Twitter

Disclaimer: The information on this site is my interpretation of the laws as made available online. It is in no way meant to serve as legal advice or instruction. We recommend that you seek legal advice from a licensed attorney for further or official guidance.

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