Microgaming’s Prima Networks arm has launched online gaming in Belgium for win2day, the interactive division of Casinos Austria.
The Isle of Man-based provider has already launched its casino suite on win2day.be, with poker and bingo – Belgium’s first licensed online bingo room according to Microgaming – to be rolled out by the end of the summer.
Prima Networks director Loraine Schoevers said: “This deal is an exciting move for us as it is our first step into the Belgian market.”
Co-CEO at win2day.be, Emmerich Hager, said being the first operator to provide Microgaming products into the newly regulated market was “a great move.”
Win2day owner Casinos Austria, which operates the Viage land-based casino in Brussels, is the holder of one of four online licences issued to bricks ‘n’ mortar casino groups in the country. Unibet announced yesterday that it had signed a strategic partnership with Rank Group, which operates two casinos in Belgium, to launch online poker and casino in Belgium later this year. PokerStars launched on a regulated basis back in 2010 via its partnership with Belgian casino owner Circus Groupe.
Under the Belgian Royal Decree that came into effect on 1 January last year, online permits are restricted to licensed land-based gaming entities in Belgium, with nine A+ licences on offer to casinos, 34 F1+ permits to sports betting operators and around 180 B+ licences to arcade operators. The four largest internet service providers are also compelled to block sites that aren’t in receipt of a licence from the Belgian Gaming Commission, with unlicensed operators facing fines of up to €100,000 and players of up to €25,000 for playing on sites that haven’t been licensed by the Belgian Gaming Commission.
The EU Member State has consequently been subject to legal action from Betfair and Telebet last year over its requirements for online applicants to hold a land-based licence and to locate servers within the country, and from bwin.party and Bet-At-Home this year over being blacklisted and blocked in the country.