ICE: Shared liquidity is ‘lifeblood’ of poker - PokerStars

ICE: Shared liquidity is ‘lifeblood’ of poker - PokerStars

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Poker depends on shared liquidity more than any other gambling activity, according to Lee Jones, director of poker communications at PokerStars.

Speaking at ICE Totally Gaming, Jones, who is also known as a “poker evangelist”, explained that shared liquidity is a crucial issue to protect companies against losing players.

“With blackjack you can have just one machine and one customer and be happy with that. Poker is not the same,” he said.

“It is a peer-to-peer game. You are not trying to win against your customer, you simply provide them with a place to play.

“The key to success is to have enough poker players in a player’s room – either in a land-based or virtual one. If you don’t have them, you don’t have a game.

“The problem here is that successful sites become more successful while weaker ones get weaker. Without shared liquidity you have only two options: either you grow in size or you don’t have a poker game because you don’t have enough liquidity.”

German gambling regulation expert Guido Schluetz added that one of the major challenges in providing shared liquidity lies in negotiating the different regulation requirements from country to country.

“If you go for international shared liquidity you have to have common juridical norms,” he said.

“We now see that some European poker markets, like Italian, French and Spanish, think about sharing the market together. But the problem is that they don’t have similar requirements to do that.”

Richard Schuetz from the California Gambling Control Commission agreed that sharing markets also means sharing the responsibility.

“Everyone sits in their little world and that is our issue,” he said. “If something goes wrong, how would we hold anyone accountable?”

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