FRENCH SENATE MAKES PROGRESS ON SHARED ONLINE POKER PLAYER POOLS (Update)
 
New amendments to Digital Bill make provision for restricted sharing.
 
The patient but persistent lobbying of French regulator Charles Coppolani, chief of ARJEL, paid off this week when the French Senate approved amendments to the Digital Bill which clear the path for negotiations on player pool sharing with neighbouring jurisdictions which have similarly ring-fenced player pools.
 
The amendments also deal with gambling dispute mediation and data issues.
 
Coppolani has been able to achieve that which his predecessor could not, leading to the former ARJEL chief resigning in sheer frustration, some sources believe.
 
Sharing will be confined to "circle games" which observers claim refers to games specifically approved by ARJEL: Hold'em and Omaha. Only players with accounts with regulated sites in European Union member states or European Economic Area jurisdictions will be allowed to participate in shared pools.
 
Potential partners that immediately spring to mind, and with which Coppolani has been negotiating for some time include Spain, Italy and soon Portugal.
 
However, France's hefty tax structure on cash games is based on daily and per hand calculations and could present a problem; Italy, Spain and Portugal have the more usual and international "percentage tax on GGR" system, and the disparity might prove problematic.