European poker liquidity starts to poolLuke Haward, CDC Gaming Reports · January 12, 2018 at 1:12 pmIn all, there are four countries planning to merge player pools and share poker liquidity in the near future: France, Spain, Portugal and Italy. The latter have stalled on the overall process due to some last-minute concerns over whether this might enable money laundering, but industry pundits still largely expect Italy to catch up and get involved in the action. Spain and France aren’t waiting around.The French Authority for the Regulation of Online Games (ARJEL) was the first regulator of the four nations to offer involvement to a licensed operator, namely PokerStars, to proceed as planned, with the Spanish not far behind; news came last week that the Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling (DGOJ) had started to license operators to take part in the shared liquidity treaty agreed to by the four nations back in July.The French and Spanish sites could well be up and running for actively sharing player pools within a matter of weeks, depending in part upon the haste which operators make to start providing this. PokerStars is currently the operator who stands to benefit most immediately from the changes, given that they are licensed and operating in all four countries already. 888Poker’s New Year’s move to add a poker client to their Italian casino and sportsbook offerings, complete with mobile gaming, seems timed in the anticipation that Italy will follow suit.Of course, it’s possible that Italy will continue to rebel against the notion of merging these player pools. But the benefit does seem decidedly mutual – a bigger game is always going to mean bigger guarantees, more sign-ups, bigger special tournaments and a more thriving poker ecosystem. Unless you only invite Scandinavians to play, of course.