Friday March 21,2014 : BELGIAN ONLINE PUNTERS COULD BE TARGETED BY ENFORCEMENT
Gaming Commission boosts enforcement staff numbers and threatens to prosecute players using unlicensed websites.
Belgian online punters beware…there are indications that the heavy-handed Belgian Gambling Commission is about to start penalising players who use unlicensed online gambling websites.
The publication Poker News reported Thursday that a report from the DLA Piper law firm has revealed that the Commission has doubled its inspectorate head count with wider enforcement in mind.
The publication Pokerfuse seemed to confirm the new intent, quoting Commission spokesperson Marjolein De Paepe, who said that Belgian players have had enough time to adapt to the online gambling regulations and be aware of where they can legally play, and where they should not.
"After four years we expect that they should know what is legal and what is not," De Paepe said. "Therefore we will also tackle them."
Belgium has taken the unusual step of including in its legalization provisions to punish players using unlicensed websites, a draconian approach so far applied only in Washington State in the USA .
Under Belgian laws, players caught gambling on unlicensed sites can be fined up to Euro 150,000 or be sentenced to up to three years in prison.
Belgium's black list is continually updated and current names 97 websites, some belonging to top European operators.