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Belgium Adds to Blacklist

Regulators in Belgium have added ten names to the country’s blacklist, taking the total number of unlicensed sites to nearly 60.  

The Belgian Gaming Commission’s monthly update also revealed that Nevada casino supplier WMS was granted a gaming license for its JackpotParty brand.

In addition to GVC Holdings’ CasinoClub, the latest round of blacklisted sites includes Playtech-powered CasinoTropez and iPoker skin Winner. Other banned sites: 21Grandcasino.com, Comeon.com, Eurogrand.com, Jetbull.com, Leaderbet.com, Spigo.be and Spelpunt.nl.  

PokerStars (via its partnership with Belgium’s Circus Groupe) and Unibet (in connection with Rank Group, which owns 11 casinos in the country) are the only prominent offshore operators to be granted licenses from the Gaming Commission.

Last month bwin.party co-chief executive Norbert Teufelberger, who will become lone leader after Jim Ryan’s retirement, was detained for questioning by Belgian police. The operator maintains that “it is acting and has always acted in compliance with applicable [Belgium] laws,” bwin.party said in a statement.

Online licenses are limited to land-based operators only in Belgium. Unlicensed sites face fines of up to €100,000, while players can be forced to forfeit winnings and pay penalties of up to €25,000.

Operators and lobbyists have criticized the regulatory regime in Belgium for favoring incumbent companies. In October, the European Commission published an action plan, pledging to crack down on legislation in breach of EU law.

Peter Naessens, head of the Commission’s regulatory unit, dismissed accusations of protectionism. He told eGaming Review last month: “In the absence of a common European framework on gaming we are taking actions and not just using words – we think [our system] is viable for European operators without such a [Europe-wide] model.”

 

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