Belgian Gambling Regulator Adds Malta-Based Winzon Group, Others to Its Blacklist

Several new iGaming sites are no longer welcome in Belgium. This week, the country’s gaming regulator added a host of sites, including one owned by Malta-based Winzon Group, to its blacklist.

The Flower Carpet at the Grand Palace in Brussels, Belgium. The country’s gaming regulator is cracking down on illegal operators while clearing the air on legal land-based betting. (Image: Full Suitcase)
The Flower Carpet at the Grand Palace in Brussels, Belgium. The country’s gaming regulator is cracking down on illegal operators while clearing the air on legal land-based betting. (Image: Full Suitcase)

Among the latest additions to the blacklist of the Belgian Gaming Commission (BGC) is casinodep.com, an iGaming site operated by the Malta-licensed Winzon Group. The regulator updated its list on Wednesday, highlighting new online gambling and gaming operators without the appropriate licenses targeting consumers in Belgium.

The blocking of Winzon is of particular interest because of its ties to Malta. The Mediterranean island country has had its share of run-ins with authorities around the world.

Belgium Cracks Down on Illegal Operators

The regulator didn’t specify exactly why it targeted Winzon Group’s site. It only added the name to its “list of illegal gambling sites.” The company, according to its Maltese records, operates a total of 23 online gaming sites. Casinodep.com was the only one added.

Among the blacklisted additions, of which there are 30 total, are sites such as casino360.bet, calvincasino.com, casinolust.net and 24kcasino.com. The last time the regulator added names was in January, when it included 11. Among those were several Intertops.eu sites.

The commission warns that if the listed websites continue operating in the country, they may face fines between €100 and €100,000 (US$110 and US$110,620). Players who use unlicensed websites could also be facing criminal charges and fines between €26 and €25,000 (US$28 and US$27,650).

This past February, the BGC fined Malta-based Genesis Global €4.5 million (US$4.97 million). That was due to repeated anti-money-laundering failings, which have also caused the company trouble in other countries.

BGC Clarifies News Shop Betting

The BGC has also provided an update to the legality of sports betting in newspaper shops. The subject has been a source of confusion for the past couple of months, but the details are now in place.

As of March 5, existing newspaper shops with an F2 license that already offer betting action can continue to do so. However, they have to meet several requirements. Betting can take place only between 6 AM and 8 PM, and the total amount of bets cannot exceed €250,000 (US$276,325) per year.

Betting cannot be the shop’s primary business, which has become an issue. Therefore, Belgium has established new criteria. Newspaper shops must offer and display “at least 200 different titles of daily, weekly, and monthly newspapers with the current issue date.”

In addition, the shops must show a turnover of at least €25,000 (US$27,600) a year from the sales of the newspapers. They must also have an existing non-exclusive agreement with an F1 licensee.

F1 licensees are able to organize betting activities, with the license valid for nine years. F2 licensees can take bets on behalf of a betting organizer and the license is valid for three years.

The maximum bet amount an F2 licensee can process is €200 (US$221) per person per day. No TV screens are allowed and the shop must verify that the bettor is at least 18 years old.

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