bwin.party’s Gamebookers.com domain was among five added yesterday to the Belgian Gaming Commission’s blacklist of unauthorised websites to be blocked by ISPs in the country.
The bwin and PartyPoker operator has already launched two legal actions this year over its websites being blacklisted and blocked in Belgium, while it awaited the outcome of its applications for land-based and online licences in the EU Member State.
The other dot.com domains added to the blacklist yesterday included Microgaming-powered online casinos SpinPalace.com and GamingClub.com, SupremePlay.com, which runs on the Rival software platform, and Agrandtopeudice.com.
Ysterday’s additions take the total number of blocked dot.com domains on the hit list of the Belgian Gaming Commission (BGC) to 50, albeit a tiny number compared to the 4,000+ on Italian regulator AAMS’ list of ISP-blocked sites, which has proved largely ineffective.
According to the amended Belgian gaming law which came into force on 1 January last year, online operators without a licence from the BGC now face potential fines of up to €100,000 for “facilitating”, “advertising” or “recruiting” for illegal games of chance in the country. Players also face fines of up to €25,000 for playing on non BGC-licensed sites.
Online permits are restricted under the law 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.
In addition to legal actions from bwin.party, Betclic Everest-owned Bet-At-Home also lodged an interim procedure before the Brussels’ Court of First Instance in July, aimed at getting its dot.com domain removed from the blacklist and access to the website restored from Belgium.
The EU Member State was also 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.
Article written by Stephen Carter