Belgian Telecom Companies to Block Unlicensed Casinos

By Maria McCoyGoogle

Beginning this coming calendar year, Belgium’s leading internet service providers, Belgacom, Base, Mobistar, and Telenet, will block IP access to any online gambling sites blacklisted by the Gaming Commission.  The Gaming Commission delivered a list of gambling sites to the major telecom companies.  Those sites that are licensed, the “white list,” can operate as usual.  Those sites that have yet to receive licensing, the “black list,” will be blocked at the source.

The statistics provide a stark image of the need for such drastic measures.  While approximately 30-40 thousand Belgians use the licensed sites, a whopping 150,000 use the unlicensed sites.  The Gaming Commission, which operates under the auspices of the Belgian Department of Justice, has signed agreements with members of the Belgian financial community in addition to the internet service providers.

The head of the Belgian Gaming Commission’s regulatory unit Peter Naessens said that the Belgian police department has provided them with a report detailing which sites are not operating in a legal manner; among those sites, the commission will check which have the most Belgian users and deal with them accordingly. 

Though the new Belgian Gaming Act kept the illegal status of online gambling, it does offer exceptions via a licensing system.  Licensing is provided by the Gaming Commission who is also in charge of regulation, inspection, and supervision.  Though the Gaming Commission of the European Union objected to the contents of the Belgian Gaming Act, the Belgian government passed it nonetheless.  Belgian lawmakers see the BGA as a way of protecting Belgian citizens from fraud. 

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