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Unibet to Enter Belgium's Online Poker and Casino Market

The Belgian Gaming Commission (BGC) has approved an A+ online gaming licence to operate online poker and casino games to Unibet through its dot.be partner Blancas.

Online gambling licensees in Belgium are required to be affiliated with land-based casinos. To that end, Unibet brokered an agreement in August with The Rank Group, which owns Grosvenor Casinos. Rank runs two brick and mortar casinos in the country and Unibet has listed its physical presence as Casino van Blankenberge in order to meet Internet gaming regulations.

Unibet offers Internet sports betting through an F1+ licence–one of only four such providers in Belgium–and BGC officials stated that only 10 such licenses will be awarded in the market. No new licences have been approved this month, but five new sites were recently added to Belgium’s online gambling blacklist, bringing the total to 50 at this time.

Some of the new blacklisted domains include GamingClub.com, SupremePlay.com, SpinPalace.com, and Gamebookers–a Bwin.party brand. Two domains of Bwin.party–www.bwin.com and www2.bwin.com–have already been subjected to regulatory banishment, which prompted Bwin.party to respond with legal actions. The first lawsuit was unsuccessful, while the second has yet to be resolved.

One of the largest Internet gaming brands in Europe, Unibet is also one of the most popular online poker skins on the Microgaming Network. The Nordic-owned company also runs a poker room in France’s heavily-regulated market, but chose not to enter the Spanish market. Unibet also recently signed a sponsorship agreement with Standard Liège, one of Belgium’s most successful football clubs.

 

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Charles Rettmuller

Charles has been an avid poker player for a number of years, both live and online. He holds a degree in journalism and previously worked as a reporter for a Chicago-based newspaper. Charles joined the PokerUpdate team in early 2012 and writes daily news articles for the site.

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