Bwin.com recently announced that it has gotten into a partnership deal with Belcasinos, as a result of which Party Poker, an online poker gaming brand belonging to Bwin.com, can once again enter the Belgian market. Needless to say, the Belgian online poker gaming community was delighted as it means safe, licensed, and regulated online poker services right at home.
It may be recalled that online gaming regulators in Belgium had blacklisted Party Poker this May owing to the online poker room’s failure to get into a partnership with a land casino company in Belgium.
As a result, Party Poker had to pay a fine of $100k for not complying with Belgian online poker regulations and for providing online poker services to Belgian players without a proper license. According to Belgium’s online poker law, online poker companies who wish to offer real money poker services in Belgium ought to first enter a partnership deal with a Belgian land casino company to become eligible for a Belgian online gambling license.
The Bwin.com and Belcasino partnership is expected to bring peace between Belgian gambling regulators and Bwin.com. The government of Belgium had directed its Internet service providers (ISP) to block access to Party Poker. It may also be recalled the Belgian law-enforcement agencies had temporarily detained Norbert Teufelberger, chief executive officer (CEO) for Bwin.com, in November at Brussels and had also been severely criticized for doing so.
Jim Ryan, co-chief executive officer for Bwin.party Digital Entertainment Plc, and Teufelberger, had issued a press note on the partnership, in which they stated:
We are excited to have reached an agreement with Partouche to offer our market-leading products under license to consumers in Belgium. Following recent developments in Belgium and after further dialogue with the local regulator, we have put our differences of opinion behind us and are now focused on the immediate commercial opportunity.
Together with our new partner we are now in the process of securing the necessary approvals to meet the requirements set by the BGC and do not expect any interruption to our service for customers in Belgium.
Voicing his opinions of the latest developments, Jacques Frojman, chief executive officer for Partouche Belgium and Belcasinos, said:
Bwin.party is a market leader in online gaming with strong brands in sports betting, poker and casino. We are thrilled to be working with such a quality partner in Belgium.