Unibet’s strategic partnership with Rank Group to offer online poker and casino in Belgium has received licensing approval from the Belgian Gaming Commission.
The A+ licence to offer online poker and casino from Unibet.be has been secured via Rank’s ownership of two bricks ‘n’ mortar casinos in Belgium, which has so far restricted online permits to licensed land-based betting and gaming entities in the country.
CEO Henrik Tjärnström said in August that the launch would allow the company to consolidate its “No 1 position in the market…estimated to be around the size of €140m by independent analysts for 2013.” While a relatively small market, Belgium allows all products and enjoys a low 11% gross profits tax, in contrast to the major dot.country markets of Italy, France and Spain.
Unibet, which launched its dot.be sportsbook on 11 July, is one of only two pan-European online operators to secure licences in the EU Member State. 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 casino groups, 34 F1+ permits to sports betting operators and around 180 B+ licences to arcade operators.
Article written by Stephen Carter