PokerStars has become the first online poker site to take advantage of the new European liquidity deal involving France, Spain, Italy and Portugal.
Following the publication of Spain’s general licensing conditions in the State Gazette on January 15, PokerStars has announced that its Franco-Spanish platform is now live.
Having satisfied the operational standards that ensure players in France and Spain can compete in the same games, the poker site is now awaiting similar regulations from Italy and Portugal before expanding it reach.
France and Spain Make the First Moves
Since the four-way agreement was signed back in July 6, 2017, France and Spain have been the most proactive in drawing up their own specifications.
Despite all four nations agreeing to share playerpools, each one will have national terms and conditions that operators will have to abide by.
France became the first country to get its paperwork in order, with Spain the next to complete the process in early January. With the two nations ready to move, PokerStars threw its hat into the ring first and will now offer combined playerpools.
With the necessary infrastructure in place and a base in both countries, PokerStars is already looking towards the future.
“French and Spanish players an access a larger player pool with bigger prizes, promotions and a better selection of games, all with the confidence provided by a trusted, licensed operator,” said Chief Operating Officer of Stars Interactive Group, Guy Templer.
Extra Value for Franco-Spanish Players
To celebrate the new deal and give Franco-Spanish players some early value, the poker site will be hosting the France Espania Hold’em (FRESH) series.
Running from January 28 to February 11, the new series will not only feature main events with guaranteed prizepools worth €5 million/$6 million, but deposit bonuses and freerolls. Alongside FRESH, players in France and Spain will also get access to a revamped tournament schedule with improved guarantees topping $25,000.
Although PokerStars has made the first move, it won’t be the last. As Italy and Portugal complete the regulatory process and relax their borders, more sites will be able to join the new pool of amalgamated platforms.
For players, the level of traffic at sites active in all four countries will naturally increase. However, what will be more interesting to monitor is how much busier sites and larger prizepools will attract new players to ante-up.