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Thanks to an apparent mix- up in its newly drafted regulations, online poker players in Portugal are most likely set to a four months waiting period until they are eligible to play online regular poker again.

At the end of June Portugual’s online gambling reforms actually came into action, as foreign operators were now given access to the previously monopolized market. The new market seemed to be eaeger to share its poker liquidity with other countries, unless the fact that there were still a few things wrong with the drafter legislation by the lawmakers. Too many operators were initially scared away by a punitive tax regime.

The news that the country’s online poker market would follow the Fren self- asphyxiating model. To Adolfo Mesquita Nunes, as one of the authors of the legislation, was completely surprised by the announced of the government in December 2015.

‘[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][The open model] was the model approved by the government of which I was part,” he said in bewilderment. “This was the model that I left prepared as a government member, and these were the instructions I left.’

Change of Plans

This year, in April, the lawmakers flip-flopped again, following calls for poker players to completely boycott the market.

Because the sharing of player pools with countries would be permitted after adopting an open model, where liquidity sharing was not prohibited by those countries.

‘But someone had blundered. Representatives of SRIJ, the Portuguese gambling regulator, told the player advocacy group ANaon that lawmakers had neglected to create a B2B licensing system within the regulatory framework.’

The creation of a regulatory framework for consumer licenses only wasn’t enough as networks heavily rely on B2B licenses so they can be able to operate with a license on ther platforms. The regulator explained that until someone gets around to passing new law, liquidity sharing networks are precluded from participation in the market. This passing of new law could take two years.

Things might however workout OK for Portugal’s poker players as PokerStars was able to join the market under these circumstances. PokerStars is still world’s operator with the greatest liquidity.