The recently concluded conference held at The International Expo (ICE) in London saw some of the world’s leading game operators and regulators come together to discuss and cover all sectors of the gambling industry.
Among the participants was Marco Trucco, Associate Director of Media and Market Development at Stars Group, who shared his company’s view on European online poker shared liquidity and the situation in Italy in a seminar titled International Liquidity: A Boost to Business and European Cooperation, organized by Gioconews.
“Shared liquidity is a success and the market figures that regulators share are clear. But this is only part of the story,” said Trucco during his speech at ICE London.
“As operators, we also see the improvements in indicators of player involvement: higher active days, more individual players each quarter, increase in net deposits. This is what is really important. We were not surprised that this would happen: it is the network effect of poker. But I can say that we did not expect such strong results.”
While France, Spain and later Portugal moved forward with the plan to permit cross-border shared liquidity in poker, Italy, originally a signee of the decree, has sat on the sidelines. Trucco squarely blamed local competition for lobbying against the progress of shared liquidity.
“The truth is that the shared liquidity was stopped by some of our Italian competitors for commercial reasons. They had better lobbying power at the time and they managed to stop it. It went like this, it’s part of the game,” said Trucco.
However, he is also convinced there were no political obstacles stopping Italy from moving ahead with the agreement, and the country could still join.