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September 27, 2020

France

Senate backs shared liquidity amendment for online poker

Senate backs shared liquidity amendment for online poker
The French Senate has voted in favor of three proposed amendments to the country’s Digital Bill, with all three being sponsored by ARJEL, France’s gambling regulator.
France | 05/05/2016

The French Senate has voted in favor of three proposed amendments to the country’s Digital Bill, with all three being sponsored by ARJEL, France’s gambling regulator.

O

ne of the amendments, probably the most important one, calls for ARJEL to be allowed to sign partnership agreements with jurisdictions within the European Union and the European Economic Area for the establishment of shared liquidity for online poker.

 

Currently, Texas Hold’em and Omaha are the only two authorized circle games in France

 

The other two amendments are concerned with the availability of data and the mediation of all arising gambling-related disputes.

Generally speaking, under the shared liquidity amendment, the gambling regulator would have the authority to allow an operator that holds a gaming license under Article 21 to provide players that have a verified account with a website subjected to accreditation to take part in circle games with players that have an account with a website subjected to approval by an EU member state or jurisdictions within the EEA.

In this case, shared liquidity would apply only to circle games or, in other words, games authorized by ARJEL. Currently, Texas Hold’em and Omaha are the two such authorized games in France. Another important thing to take into account is the fact that shared liquidity agreements would only include players with accounts in websites regulated in EU or EEA jurisdictions.

According to people with knowledge of the matter, certain problems may arise due to the fact that France’s tax system is a bit different from the ones in most jurisdictions. No obstacles are expected to arise from taxes on tournaments. However, the situation with cash games is different. In the said cash games taxes are deducted pre-flop, on the flop, on the turn, and on the river.

 

Following the French Senate’s vote, the bill’s text will now have to be aligned with the text voted in favor of by members of the Lower House and other French officials

 

Italy, Portugal, and Spain, on the other hand, use the standard methodology for tax calculation. There a percentage of the overall gaming revenue is taking. It has been suggested that it would probably a bit difficult resolve the differences with the French tax system. And it seems that the current French government is not likely to implement any changes in the system.

It is still unclear when and whether the proposed changes in the Digital Bill would come into force. Following the French Senate’s vote, the bill’s text will now have to be aligned with the text voted in favor of by members of the Lower House and other French officials.

If everything goes as planned, the Digital Bill and the proposed amendments are expected to be passed into law before the end of 2016. Thus, first shared liquidity agreements between France and other interested jurisdictions may be expected in early 2017. Spain and Portugal have been among the countries that have expressed interest in potential shared liquidity for online poker.

 

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