French Proposed Amendment Would Establish Shared Liquidity

The Digital Bill of France may soon be amended if three proposed amendments move forward within legislation. The French Senate recently voted in approval of the amendments, each being sponsored by ARJEL, the gambling regulator of France.

One of the three amendments that is considered to be the most vital amendment on the agenda would allow for the gambling operator to sign partnership agreements with jurisdictions located in the European Economic Area and the European Union. This would put in place shared liquidity for iPoker gaming.

This means that players who are located in all of the areas would be able to compete against others in varying locations. When an online poker site is restricted to a particular area, then the player pool can be small. This means less players will be online for competitions including tournaments and cash gaming. With shared liquidity, players in France will now have more competition and have larger player pools in which to compete.

In general terms, the amendment for shared liquidity would allow the gambling regulator to have the authority to authorize an online poker operator who has a gaming license to provide players with gaming options. The license must fall under Article 21 and players must have an account that is verified with a gaming site that is subjected to being accredited that allows for specific games with players to take place with other players who have an account that falls in the EEA or in an EU member state.

The shared liquidity will be limited to circle games that are authorized by France’s gaming regulator, ARJEL. As of right now, only Omaha and Texas Hold’em are online poker games that have been authorized in France. Players would only be able to enjoy these games during the shared player liquidity. The agreements for shared liquidity would include only those individuals who have accounts with websites that are under regulation in the EEA or EU jurisdictions.

Individuals with inside information on the matter have stated that problems may occur on the subject due to the tax system of France. The system in place in France is a little different than the tax systems of the other jurisdictions. However, this is reportedly the only issue that may take place in regards to tournament play. Cash games are considered differently.

With cash gaming, it is important to note that taxes are deducted from the pre-flop, on the flop, on the turn and on the river. This is an odd way to calculate taxes when compared to other areas such as Spain and Italy. In these areas, tax calculation is created using a standard method. A portion of the overall revenues from gaming is taken. Because of the tax issues in France, this may become a problem, though it is not likely that the government of France will make any changes to the tax system.

It has yet to be determined as to if the changes proposed will be made on the Digital Bill as well as when the changes would come in to play. After the vote in the Senate, the text of the bill will now need to line up with the text that was voted on by the Lower House as well as other officials.

If all aspects move forward according to plan, the bill and the proposed amendments would be passed before the year ends. If this occurs, this could mark the beginning of additional share liquidity agreements between France and other areas as soon as next year. Other countries have shown interest in working with France in regards to online poker including Portugal and Spain.