GGPoker went live in Belgium on July 31, marking its return to the country after nearly two years. The operator is now serving local players through its partnership with local casino Deba Square.
Previously, GGPoker offered online poker to the Belgian market via an offshore license. But due to regulatory concerns, the operator withdrew from the country in late 2019.
Grassroots Poker
GGPoker now becomes just the third site to secure a local license in Belgium, joining PokerStars and Unibet. The Belgian market shows strong potential, and GGPoker wants to be part of its success. This represents a new chapter for the fast-rising online poker site, as it continues to expand its operations across the globe.
But apart from gaining another gaming license and strengthening its international foothold, GGPoker is entering Belgium with bigger plans, among them is to create opportunities for amateur players and proactively engage with the local market by building more partnerships with local companies.
GGPoker’s Paul Burke said their goals for launching in Belgium go beyond just securing another license. He said they will now be able to engage with players at the grassroots level.
Belgium has a population of just 11.4 million, making it one of the smaller countries in Europe. Regardless of its small size, the country is home to a promising poker market. Currently, players have at least a dozen poker rooms to choose from, some of them are running as poker clubs such as The Bubble Boy located in Wervik, while others are operating inside casinos, like the Grand Casino Viage and Casino Blankenberge.
A great indication of Belgium’s strong grassroots poker community is its hosting of events organized by Europe’s largest organization for recreational players, the Amateur Poker Association & Tour (APAT). This is what GGPoker is setting its sights on – to attract more amateur players and boost its presence in Europe.
Apart from a flourishing amateur poker scene, the country is also home to a number of famous poker pros, including Jonas Mols, who is considered among the best online cash game players in the world. He has accumulated more than $2 million in winnings playing high stakes cash games on PokerStars.
Another high-profile player from Belgium is David Kitai, who secured the first gold bracelet for his home country. Kitai triumphed in a $2,000 PLO tournament during the 2008 WSOP, where he won $244,583 in top prize alongside his maiden bracelet.
Kitai now has three WSOP gold bracelets under his name, after winning an additional two in 2013 and 2014. The poker pro is currently ranked number 1 in Belgium’s all-time money list, with $9.9 million in total live earnings.
No Plans for GGPoker Live Tour Yet
In terms of how they plan to tap into the booming amateur scene in Belgium and across Europe, Burke said holding live tours is currently out of the equation. This is in contrast to the approach adopted by rival sites PokerStars and Unibet which have been running their respective live events designed for amateur players across the region. Burke said they have no plans at the moment for a live tour in Europe.
GGPoker plays host to some of the biggest MTTs out there today, with a $10,300 online tournament running at the site on a weekly basis. While tournaments at this level are quite difficult to reach for amateur players, the site makes sure average players are still being provided with opportunities to win big by hosting low buy-in, huge-value events.
For instance, the ongoing international leg of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Online Bracelet Series features bracelet events with entry fees of only $50, a first in WSOP history, and this has been made possible through the continuing partnership between GGPoker and the WSOP.
With GGPoker live in Belgium, local players now get the chance to take part in the WSOP online series, while also gaining access to GGPoker’s great selection of cash games and tournaments.

Tight Poker Staff

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Tight Poker Staff

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For nearly two decades, we’ve provided the best in class for poker site reviews, top online poker bonuses, strategy tips, poker news, and exclusive free poker content.  Consisting of a team of poker and gambling experts, we deliver the best online poker brand experience for players of all levels, from the fish to the sharks.
For nearly two decades, we’ve provided the best in class for poker site reviews, top online poker bonuses, strategy tips, poker news, and exclusive free poker content.  Consisting of a team of poker and gambling experts, we deliver the best online poker brand experience for players of all levels, from the fish to the sharks.