The Belgian government is going ahead with its plans for an exclusive Belgian online gambling regulation this year and proceeding with plans to restrict online casinos and Internet gambling operations to domestic providers, despite the fact that the European Commission has explicitly complained that its rules do not conform to EU requirements.
It has been reported in the Belgian newspaper, De Standaard that the operations of online poker rooms and casinos will be nationalized by the new regulations being enforced this year and will result in the exclusion of outside operators promoting to Belgians.
Belgium is trying to pass a law which requires licensees to be based in its country and be subject to its laws and taxes and restrict what type and where players can play poker even though the European Commission’s open market rules require Belgium to accept operations based in other EU territories.
The new rules will require Internet casino operators to acquire a Belgian license. There will be a limited amount of licenses granted and Belgian companies will be favored in the approval process. This system will, in effect, exclude other nations from entering the Belgian market.
Belgium will be amongst a few other countries facing damages for failing to allow competition by other EU nations with regard to their gambling markets.