The government of Belgium has added four more online gambling sites to its ever-growing list of banned online poker sites, online casinos, and online sports betting sites.
Among the gambling sites blacklisted are Betsafe, which is an online gaming brand belonging to Betsson, and Amaya Gaming’s online casino brand InterCasino. Both sites run under a license issued in Malta and are considered to be among the top-rated and highly reputed online gambling companies in the industry. Belgian gambling regulators have also added Casino-Belgie.com, a Belgium friendly online gambling group licensed in Netherlands Antilles.
Ever since Belgium passed new online gambling regulations, it has blacklisted around 78 online gambling sites. The country’s new laws require its Internet service providers (ISPs) to block blacklisted sites, and the number of such blacklisted online gaming sites is expected to grow.
According to the latest online gambling regulations in Belgium, only land casino companies that are based in Belgium can apply for interactive gaming licenses in the country. In a bid to gain eligibility to offer online gaming services in the country, international gambling giants, such as Bwin.party Digital Entertainment Plc and WMS, have entered into partnership deals with land casino companies based in Belgium. For instance, Bwin.party has gotten into a partnership deal with Groupe Partouche, and this partnership enables it to launch online gambling products in Belgium.
Any company that accepts Belgian residents without a license from the Belgian regulatory body will have to pay fines as large as €100,000.
Last month, the Belgian Gambling Commission blacklisted five gambling sites, including BetVictor.com, which is licensed in Gibraltar. This led BetVictor CEO Michael Carlton, along with many others, to write a public letter criticizing Belgium’s new online gambling regulations.
In April 2013, PKR.com, the popular three-dimensional online poker room, was blacklisted. The above-mentioned sites, as well as the recently blacklisted four sites, now fall into the list of banned companies such as Betfair, Ladbrokes, Bet365, Unibet, Betfred, Sportingbet, and 888.
Belgium’s amended laws, which were enforced on Jan 1, 2011, regulates online gambling and implements a system of closed licensing, which means that any company that wants to offer such games in Belgium must first get a Belgian license. The law criminalizes the operation of unlicensed gambling activities. To apply for a Belgian license, international companies need to first form partnerships with Belgian gambling companies. Belgium has also placed a cap on the number of licenses it will issue.