Belgian Poker Players Fined

Belgian Poker Players Fined

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Online poker players grinding in contentious jurisdictions may have to start looking over their shoulders thanks to the Belgium Gaming Commission.

Traditionally, unlicensed operators have been the only target of the government fines, but in the last few days it's emerged that 79 players in Belgium are going to be fined for playing on Betclic Everest's platform.

The site, which offers sports betting, casino games and poker, has a dispute with Belgium's gaming authority dating back to February 2014. At time the BGC seized €600,000 ($668,384) in player funds after it ruled that the site was operating illegally within the country.

Since that time the operator has been on shaky ground and the government organization has decided to step up its efforts against the site by slapping 79 of its players with a €200 ($222). Moreover, this round of fines is said to be the first of more and, while the amount of subsequent levies hasn't been disclosed, it's been suggested that high rollers could be fined between €1,000 ($1,113) and €16,000 ($17,823).

Despite maintaining that the BGC's policy is to always target operators before players, the latest move seems to suggest that the gaming commission is keen to completely eradicate unlicensed sites.

Although it doesn't seem as though there is a reason for players to start worrying just yet, there is no doubt that other European countries could start to follow the lead of Belgium on this issue. Targeting operators will also be the main aim of gaming agencies, but if more players receive fines then it could start to become a cause for concern among players in countries where igaming rules are unclear.

Tags: Belgium, regulation