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Belgium blacklists bet365 and bwin (again)

bet365 has become the latest major European online operator to have its dot.com domain added to the Belgian Gaming Commission’s blacklist of sites deemed illegal under Belgian law.

Following the failure of its legal action last month aimed at getting its bwin.com website removed from the blacklist, bwin.party has now had another domain added to the list – www2.bwin.com. Stan James’ Austrian partner website, SJbet.at, Betsoft Gaming-powered casino 7Red.com and Belgian casino Maaslandgames.be make up the five sites added by the Commission today, taking the total number of sites on the blacklist to 35.

Under the Belgian law, operators of the have been given 30 days to lodge a complaint against the Commission’s decision at the Belgian Administrative Court, after which time local internet service providers will be compelled to block their websites.

Unibet however became only the second major European online operator, after PokerStars, to receive a licence from the Belgian Gaming Commission, being issued with one of 34 F1+ permits. Under the Belgian Royal Decree that came into effect on 1 January last year, online licences are restricted to licensed land-based gaming entities in Belgium. PokerStars was awarded its licence via its partnership with the land-based Circus Groupe of casinos.

According to the amended legislation which came into force on 1 January last year, the four largest internet service providers are compelled to block sites on the Belgian Gaming Commission’s blacklist. Online operators without a Belgian licence now face potential fines of up to €100,000 for “facilitating”, “advertising” or “recruiting” for illegal games of chance in Belgium. Players in the country also face fines of up to €25,000 for playing on sites that haven’t been licensed by the Commission.

As well as bwin, the 35-strong blacklist includes primary domains belonging to many of Europe’s leading online operators, Betfair, William Hill, Betsson, BetClic Everest, 888, Titan Poker and Winamax.


Casino Choice journalist

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