Online Casino Games Face New Obstacles in Belgium

By Debra SaundersGoogle

Shortly after awarding an A+ gaming license to PokerStars, authorities in Belgium have made moves to crack down on unlicensed online casino games sites. This is the latest in a series of attempts that have paved the way towards gaming liberalization in Belgium.

The Belgian government maintains a black list of companies whose domains will be blocked by Belgian ISP’s in an effort to enforce online gaming laws. Even though, blocking a domain name is not a one hundred percent secure method to hinder illegal gambling, it does send a powerful message to those who may try to circumvent it.

Those on the list included some of the major companies in the industry, like 888 and Everest. Many of the banned addresses had .be suffix in their URL and had been operating openly and illegally in Belgium for a significant period of time.

Banned sites that agree not to afford Belgian players the opportunity to play can be taken off the list. Once this happens, Belgian authorities will allow them to begin the process of applying for an official license.

In an effort to make the laws as strong as possible, Belgian authorities have attached significant fines for site operators and players operating illegally. Anyone heading an illegal gambling site within the country or catering to Belgian players faces fines of up to €100,000 ($132,00 USD).

Belgian citizens can face up to a substantial €25,000 ($33,00 USD) fine for playing on one of the blacklisted sites as well as a guaranteed visit from local law enforcement. Belgian players are expected to check the list of banned companies to ensure that the sites they are playing on are legal.

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