Online gambling is licensed and regulated in Spain and Italy but since regulation there has been a fall off in the number of online poker players in internet casino sites in both countries. One way for European countries to respond to this problem is to form alliances with other countries with regulated online poker markets and to alter existing regulations in each country to enable them to link up their respective pools of poker players.In the United States since some states have begun to legalize online poker within their own borders the same problem of a relatively small pool of poker players has also arisen.
At the moment online gambling is only legal in three states but these are already looking into the possibility of forming “agreements” with other states to allow the players in the individual states to play poker with each other. In this way they may circumvent the problem of interstate gambling which is still forbidden. In a similar move Spain and Italy are working to allow poker players in both countries to interlink with each other and so enjoyment and the prizes in tournaments will increase as the number of players available rises.With regulation of the online gambling industry there are specific taxes to be paid on online poker games and operators in Spain and Italy are obliged to separate poker players from other online casino players (William Hill Casino). They need to do this so that the correct amount of tax on online poker can be calculated and paid. This situation has had a detrimental effect on online poker in both countries with a reduction in the number of online tournaments and lower prize amounts. In Italy last year income from online poker dropped by almost 50 percent because many players stopped playing online due to the new regulations and there is the possibility that some of these players may have turned to unlicensed internet poker sites who do not separate poker players and who offer higher winnings.The announcement about the new rules that would allow the merger of the Spanish and Italian poker player pools was made recently by the Direccion General de Ordenacion del Juego. The hope is that this move would be in place before the end of 2013. It may also revive online poker in Spain and Italy.