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Online poker in Belgium takes a big step forward

Regulation of online poker in Europe continues to take shape

by Jackhunter PokerJolt February, 9th 2012
Overall: 3
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PokerStars is now fully licensed in Belgium

Above: PokerStars is now fully licensed in Belgium

Online poker in Belgium is expected to really take off this year

Poker players in Belgium will now be able to play on PokerStars indefinitely after the country's gaming commission granted the site a full license.

It is the latest move by authorities to officially regulate online poker in Europe.

PokerStars was permitted a 'test' status last year, but after a deal with with Belgian operator Circus Groupe, the license has been made permanent.

Etienne Marique, Chairman of the Belgian Gaming Commission, said: "This is an important step forward for the regulation of online gambling.

"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.

"And all this in an environment that protects players more than illegal websites do - for example, excluded players cannot play at licensed websites and an average hourly loss is applicable to each player."

The commission has insisted that only fully-licensed operators will be able to  offer online gaming services in the country .

PokerStars.be is jointly operated with Casino de Namur and is the largest site to be authorised and operational in Belgium. Belgian players are able to play in all PokerStars international tournaments, including the Sunday Million, World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) and Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP), as well as cash games.

"PokerStars is proud to be among the first fully-licensed operators in Belgium," said Guy Templer, PokerStars' Head of Business Development.

"We are delighted to be able to offer a locally licensed product to Belgian players through our partnership with Circus Groupe. This furthers our goal to obtain licences in all newly-regulated markets and we look forward to working with the Circus Groupe and Gaming Board."

Belgium is the latest country to regulate online poker after similar moves in Italy, France, Estonia and Denmark.

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