Online Casino News from Spain, Portugal and Belgium

9 February 2012 – By Jane Spiegel

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In the last weeks, there have been some changes in the online casino gambling field. The European market has seen some activity in the legalization and licensing domain and this time, in the spotlight are countries like Spain, Portugal and Belgium. The Spanish market is facing a rather odd situation, where a land-based gambling operator is challenging the online market. In Portugal, there is a new movement in favour of legalizing the online casino industry in order to gather more taxes. Belgium is starting to take measures against illegal online casino operators.

The Spanish market has been opened to foreign online casino operators some time ago. The latest problem on the Spanish casino market is that the biggest land based gambling operator called Codere is trying to get some online operators penalised. They argue that these online casino operators had already entered the market illegally before the new law has been applied and they gained an unfair advantage. Now, Codere is taking legal action and asks for no less than actions against those operators, making them start all over again in the country and paying penalty taxes for the period they functioned illegally. Amongst those in question are big names like PokerStars, Bwin and others.

In the case of Portugal, online gambling is still illegal in the country. Some sources say that Government might consider the legalization of the industry, expecting to gather up to 250 million Euros from initial gambling taxes. These funds could be used to cover for other expenses considered by the government. This is the only news that appeared in this subject and there is no clue about what online gambling activities could be legalized and how soon this move will happen. Although this is only a rumour for now, things look like it might be true and we might see a newly regulated market for online gambling in Europe.

In what concerns Belgium, the case is different and we deal with an already regulated market. Now, the officials want the illegal operators that still function in the country to be excluded. There were already some actions taken in this purpose and internet service providers have been instructed to black those sites that do not have a licence to operate. There is a blacklist with online casino names and all actions will be taken to stop their operations. The only possibility would be for the sites to block access to Belgian players on themselves.

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