Three Online Poker Sites Receive Belgian Licensing


01/30/2012
By Debra SaundersGoogle

Three online poker operators have received licensing from the Belgium Gaming Commission to operate real-money online poker sites.  The new licensing comes as a follow up to the Gambling Act passed in January 2011.  The Gambling Act outlawed the operation of online casinos in Belgium without proper licensing.  The licensing for online operation is dependant upon receiving license for land-based operation.  This requires any non-Belgian operator to open offices in Belgium and apply for license to operate a land-based casino if they want to operate an online casino for Belgian citizens. 

Three operators applied for and received said licensing: Partouche.be, Casino777.be, and PokerStars.be.  They are now placed on the “white list.”  The white list is the list of licensed online casinos that internet service providers are instructed to allow access to.  The “black list,” on the other hand, is the list of all the unlicensed online casinos that internet service providers are required to block.  Two top online casinos who have not applied for Belgian licensing, PartyPoker.com and iPoker, claim that the Belgium Gaming Commission will be unable to actually prevent Belgian citizens from accessing unlicensed internet casinos.  Some online casino reviews say that although it may be difficult to enforce the black list, white-listed operators will surely have a large advantage in the Belgian market.

Though Spain, Denmark, and Belgium are leading Europe in online gambling regulation, the European Commission on online gambling has expressed concerns about their individualized regulations.  The EU commission was established to create unilateral regulation in the spirit of EU’s fair-trade policies.  They claim that the individual member states’ legislation creates local monopolies and limits competition. 


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