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News Bite: Belgian Government Decides On Poker Sites To Legalize

Pokerstars.be, Partouche.be, Casino770.be and GoldenPalace.be are the four poker sites that have been accepted by the Belgian Government to offer real-money games to the citizens, leaving other major European poker sites apparently unable to give their product to the nation, according to iGamingBusiness.

For this to happen, the Belgian government are to produce a blacklist of poker sites that are considered not suitable for the Belgian citizens to play on, any site that is not the above poker sites mentioned and prevent any Belgian citizen access to play on sites which are unauthorised.

It continues a regular trend in Europe for online poker, with both Italy and France having already governed online poker rooms (Pokerstars in both nations) and has been deemed successful with both Pokerstars.fr and Pokerstars.it in the Top 10 for Online Poker Traffic for poker sites at PokerScout. While Belgium might struggle with competing with those statistics (Belgium’s population pales in comparison to France and Italy) it nevertheless shows US players another indication of regulated poker possibly working for their country in the future.

However, there are setbacks to this. Firstly, reports have suggested other poker sites which are deemed unauthorised by the Belgian government will still attempt to provide their products and services to Belgian citizens, claiming that such laws to ban blacklisted poker sites could be too difficult to enforce properly.

Another issue is taxation, the question on whether winning cash rewards via gambling should be deemed taxable is still ongoing, and as of yet the regulations laid down to enforce this in Belgium has not yet answered the question.

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Perry Garland

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