There have been many events related to European poker this year, and June 2018 can be considered an important date for the development of the Euro-pool, because exactly one year ago, in June 2017, the gambling authorities took the decision to merge the poker markets of four countries of Europe: Spain, France, Italy, and Portugal. Let's take a look at the results:
Two main events must be noted in this "window to Europe" room:
- Allowing access to players from non-European countries.
- Spain and France shared their pool at the beginning, and Portugal joined at the end of May.
Combined, this two facts had several implications for the room:
Although the average numbers of connections have decreased since the beginning of the year (the seasonal decline in traffic has not ended), compared to other rooms, the growth in the number of games is significant and the gap compared to the main competitors is more noticeable. Take a look at the numbers:
January 19, 2018:
January 23, 2018:
February 13, 2018:
June 23, 2018:
Poker fans from France, Spain, and Portugal are happy to have a large selection of games, and some regulars also play in the room despite the lack of rakeback and high rake are only partially compensated by a good software.
Apparently, the admission of players from other countries had no impact in the Europool environment.
Changing the rake
As for the rake, the whole picture changed after the Portugal annexation. In this country, it is legally prohibited to charge more than 5% for the commission in any cash table, and in France in Spain, Zoom Poker can be considered under the rules because there is a 5.75% of rake.
Therefore, PokerStars.es is now the most complete Europool poker room, with players of all three countries only at fast poker tables with a 5% of rake. So it's not surprising that earlier this month at the Zoom tables more than 250 connections were spotted on NL10, 100 connections in NL25-50 and in peak times 15-35 in NL200 up to NL1K.
As a "cherry on the cake", showing the success of the Europool project, the financial results of the Spanish game authorities for the first 2018 quarter showed a revenue growth of 30% in cash games and 57% in tournaments. In 2017 for the same period, the increase was only 5%.
PartyPoker and other rooms
At the beginning of the year, it seemed that the main competitor of PokerStars in the Euro market would be the French room Winamax. The poker room has done a lot of preparatory work:
- Recruited a Spanish speaking team
- Created a Spanish team with popular players as Adrián Mateos and Italian Mustafa Kanita
- Bought the Italian game operator Bet-At-Home
- In early February received a license to operate in the Europool
But, since February, no more information about the progress of Winamax has been posted, at least in the Spanish speaking market.
In his place came another room - PartPoker. In February, representants of PartyPoker stated the intention to start working in the Europool immediately in the four countries. Such statement caused great skepticism in the industry, which was fully justified later. Italy does not even have regulatory documents for Europool, and in Portugal, the license was only for PokerStars.
Therefore, PartyPoker went already along the well-trodden path. In April the got the license and incorporated Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier as Ambassador of the PartyPoker.eu room.
On June 4 the room started operation in the Euromarket, combining all the brands belonging to Party in Spain and France. Since only local players (Spain and France) have access to the room, so far there is no competition with PokerStars. PartyPoker.eu ranked 16th in terms of traffic, similar to networks as Chico or Microgaming:
It is possible that you can expect some major news from the only but only after the summer recession in online poker.
No other rooms as 888Poker or iPoker have shown interest in the European market.
The future of the unified European poker market will be associated with the expansion of other poker rooms that are already working on it (Winamax will finally come out of the shadows) and with Italy joining it.
The main problem facing the entry of Italians into Europool is the country's authorities and a strong internal lobby, which is against such processes. One of his threats is the withdrawal of money outside the country.
It will be interesting to see how PartyPoker will fight the PokerStars monopoly, which is even bigger than in the global market. The most obvious trend that we can definitely see this year in Europe is the strengthening of the position if PokerStars Europe Network and the increase in the revenues.
For those who wish to join the Europool, we currently have in our portfolio: