The Belgian Gambling Commission has added five internet domains to its list of illegal online gambling operators, including Gibraltar-based bookmaker BetVictor.com.
The company is among the highest-profile betting sites banned in Belgium following last year’s blacklisting of bet365 and William Hill.
Only companies with a land-based partner or land-based presence in Belgium are eligible for a licence to operate in the country, which is a policy many companies argue is in violation of EU law.
BetVictor’s chief executive Michael Carlton, whose company is based in Gibraltar, has been a vocal opponent of Belgium’s online gaming regulations, and was one of several executives to sign an open letter to the European Commission (EC) in 2012 asking the regulator to ensure the country complies with EU law.
Gibraltar-based gaming companies are a hot-button issue in Belgium. As news of BetVictor’s blacklisting broke, the EC said that it will not follow up on a complaint from Belgian MEP Marc Tarabella that Gibraltar’s gaming companies engage in anti-competitive behaviour by avoiding taxes.
“The Commission is not currently taking any actions in the area of direct taxation specifically targeting online gambling operators established in Gibraltar, nor is the Commission planning to undertake an impact analysis of gambling operations in Gibraltar,” said Algirdas Šemeta, European Commissioner for Taxation, Customs, Anti-Fraud, Audit and Statistics.
That hasn’t stopped BetVictor being added to Belgium’s egaming blacklist alongside Casino GrandLuxe, MonaCasino, City Club Casino and RoyaalCasino. The latest additions brings a total of 74 sites on the banned list in Belgium including Betfair and 888. Other sites which do have a licence to operate in Belgium are PokerStars and bwin party.