Playtech Pulls the Plug on Belgian Unlicensed iGaming Sites
Playtech, the software provider behind iPoker, has recently announced they will no longer allow their igaming software to be used via any unlicensed Belgium-facing sites.
A Playtech representative announced, “As part of Playtech’s commitment to the regulated Belgian market, we have reached an agreement with the Belgium Gaming Commission that Playtech will cease supporting non-licenced Belgian sites, including dot-com sites, in 2014."
This follows on the heals of news that two of the biggest gaming providers using Playtech's software, Gala Interactive and William Hill, notified affiliates that due to regulatory reasons they would no longer be able to accept customers with the borders of Belgium.
There is speculation that one of the reasons Playtech has made this announcement is Belgium's crackdown on unlicensed sites. In February, BetClic Everest had approximately €600,000 in transactions made to betclic.com seized by Belgian authorities. Betclic Everest pulled out of the Belgian market following this news and is subject to €1.2M fine for illegal operations.
Playtech is not fully pulling out of Belgium. Ladbrokes, one of the biggest igaming operators using Playtech's software, has gone through the hoops and red tape to receive a Belgian license. Ladbrokes just launched its dot-BE site earlier this week, giving Belgian players a trusted alternative to their Playtech skin if their preferred site will no longer offer local online gaming. It remains to be seen whether Playtech themselves will attempt to get a Belgian license or leave it up to each operator to do it on its own.
There are similar discussions going on between Playtech, their operators, and the Italian gaming regulators. They are encouraging all their operators that are servicing Italian customers to apply for a local internet gaming permit.
Stay tuned at PokerNews for more news as it happens in the Belgian online gaming marketplace.
Image courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Flag_of_Belgium.svg