Belgian Gaming Commission to Block Unauthorized Online Poker Sites

Published Tuesday, January 03, 2012 -

The long protracted debate in Belgium regarding the fate of their gambling industry has come to some resolve recently with the government announcement that three online poker sites will be made available to the Belgium people. The Belgian Gaming Commission recently announced that it has given its blessing to only three online poker rooms. Poker,, and Casino are issued licenses to operate in Belgium while all other sites will be denied service.

It took two years of lobby efforts in the Belgium parliament to get to get this stage which some critics still consider a stop gap measure that doesn’t solve the taxation issue which Party Poker and iPoker have called “unenforceable”.
PokerStars formed a partnership with online casino operator Circus Groupe back in late 2010  that allowed the pair to offer their services complying with the regulations of the Belgian Gaming Commission.

Marketing manager for BeNeLux, Sander Siezen, commented on the partnership arrangement,  “ and the Circus Groupe are logical partners,” Siezen continued, “ has the largest live poker events offering in Belgium. is the world’s largest poker site and the largest in Belgium, as well. In addition, organizes the largest live poker series, the EPT. This is also in line with our global strategy to obtain online poker licensing wherever it is available.”
Chief Executive Officer for Circus Groupe, Emmanuel Mewissen, also commented on the 2010 arrangement,  “Attracting the world’s largest poker site was made possible by the remarkable work of the Belgian Gaming Commission and the Wallonia Ministry Of Finance, who were able to establish taxation that is perfectly suited for this type of activity.”

Belgium will ask Internet Service Providers to block unauthorized online gambling web sites and with some reserve they must comply. It is surprising that the Belgium government has chosen this oppressive measure to control internet operators. The move does not work with the standard European Commission model that calls for fair e commerce in the Union.


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