French gambling operator Betclic Everest Group has re-entered Belgium’s online gambling market after spending several years in the country’s blacklist.
SBC News reported last week that Belgium’s Gambling Commission (BGC) finally gave Betclic Everest the approval to offer licensed online sports betting and slot services under its betclic.be domain.
Betclic, via its joint venture with Belgian land-based arcade operator Pres Carats Sports SA, received a B+ license, which according to the BGC website, is a supplementary license that operators need “to offer games of chance online.”
Current online betting laws require digital companies operating in Belgium to partner with a domestic brick-and-mortar business.
If you recall, Betclic was among the operators that made the very first blacklist issued by the commission in 2012. Two years later, BGC not only seized €600,000 of Betclic Everest fund in transit to and from Belgian players but also ordered 79 of the site’s players to pay a fine of €200 each for gambling on BetClic.com, which it said is not holding a BGC license.
The commission, however, removed four Betclic Everest domains from the blacklist in September 2015 after the online gambling operator reportedly agreed to pay €80,000 to cover the total fines against about 160 of its players.
At the time, BGC said Betclic’s moves showed it has a “fundamental respect” for the Belgian Gaming Act.
Betclic, which holds a license in Malta, is expected to “re-start its marketing services for Belgium in the coming months,” according to the report.
The Belgian license announcement came several weeks after Betclic closed one of its two poker sites in France. Betclic executives said the EverestPoker.fr site will be closing on May 31 because there was “no logic” in maintaining two poker sites in a market that has demonstrated disdain for operator profits. Everest Poker will still continue operating outside of France in the meantime, and all accounts that remain open after the deadline will be refunded sometime in October.