Associação Nacional de Apostadores Online, a group established to protect the interests of online gamblers in Portugal, has urged its members to boycott emerging ring-fenced sites within the new Portuguese market.
Online poker players based in Portugal are facing some tough times ahead.
A month ago, Manuela Bandeira, the Director of Serviço de Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos (SRIJ), and Head of Online Gambling, in Portugal, shocked the online poker community by announcing plans to ring-fence liquidity in the Portuguese market.
It’s a model that doesn’t work.
Everyone knows it.
Everyone except, the SRIJ.
In the past few days, it has also come to light via outlets such as PokerFuse and Poker News Report, that shortly after the SRIJ made the announcement, a group established to protect the interests of Portuguese online gamblers – Associação Nacional de Apostadores Online (ANAon) – met with SRIJ representatives to find a more adequate solution.
It seems an adequate solution could not be found.
It’s now time for the kickback.
At a meeting held on Jan 5, ANAon members took a vote on whether they should boycott any new sites that are offered licenses in the bad new world. It was positive for a boycott.
Three points emerged from that meeting (Taken from the ANAon blog):
• Online poker players, associates Anaon, publicly announced that they will boycott the online poker game in Portugal, if there is only domestic liquidity.
• The players argue that the opening of the online poker market with Portuguese players only is not the solution to the game, does not offer a satisfactory option to offer, and thus announce at once that, in these conditions, will not join the game.
• This position of Anaon of poker players intended to alert the Portuguese regulator (SRIJ) will not use the Portuguese case rooms open only to domestic liquidity, or the style of the French model that accepts foreigners provided they register at the Portuguese platform.
This leaves the online poker community with two options. Play on unrelugated black market sites, or access their favourite sites via VPN – an that’s what people will do.
The SRIJ told ANAon that the decision to ring-fence the market is a temporary one as they seek to resolve technocal regulatory isses at an EU level. The Portuguese regulator has told ANAon that they intend to open up the market when that happens. As we are all too acutely aware, the lawmakers can take years to clear up these types of issues
ANAon was established in 2012.