Belgium Awards First Online Poker Licenses

Belgium Awards First Online Poker Licenses February 10, 2012 Mario Alfonsi
by Mario Alfonsi  |  Published on Feb 10, 2012  |  Updated on Feb 10, 2012

PokerStars announced yesterday that they have secured one of the first full licenses to operate an online poker site in Belgium, giving the online poker giant a foothold into yet another regulated European poker market.The site,, has actually been in operation since March of 2011. However, PokerStars had been operating under a test phase period up until receiving their full A+ license from the Casino de Namur. PokerStars partnered with Circus Groupe to create the Belgium poker site.Of course, this is far from the first country-specific site PokerStars has launched since European nations began moving to a nation-by-nation regulatory framework. Similar PokerStars sites already exist in France, Italy, Denmark and Estonia.“This is an important step forward for the regulation of online gambling,” said Belgian Gaming Commission chairman Etienne Marique. “Not only is the legal framework offering the possibility for operators to offer their online games of chance, but from an economical point of view gambling operators are given opportunities in Belgium.”Along with providing licenses, Belgium is also taking the extra step of creating a blacklist that will attempt to stop players from participating at poker and casino sites that have not been licensed by the Belgian government. The first round of “banned” sites was published Wednesday, with sites including, and included on the list.In the near future, the Belgian government is expected to begin enforcing this list. Under Belgian law, this will mean that Internet Service Providers will be required to block access to the blacklisted sites, making it far more difficult (or at least inconvenient) for Belgian residents to access them.The Belgian online gambling regulations were designed to mirror those in several other European countries by bringing in revenue for the national government while also including safeguards for players. Belgium has created an exclusion list that players may voluntarily add themselves to that will prevent them from playing at any licensed site, and players may also set average hourly loss limits to help keep their gambling losses in check.

Hi Poker Enthusiasts.. My name is Mario, and I have been around the poker scene for the last 15 years, and is a dear passion of mine. I will be bringing you the best the poker world can offer in terms of news and offers