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BELGIAN GAMBLING COMMISSION HAMMERS BETCLIC
28th February, 2014 at 02:57:02
Euro 600,000 seized for unlicensed gambling activity.
Online gambling operator Betclic ran afoul of the Belgian Gaming Commission this week and suffered a Euro 600,000 seizure of its funds held by Belgian financial institutions following allegations that it was providing unlicensed gambling services to Belgian online punters.
The seizure was carried out by the Public Prosecution Office on grounds that the funds are the fruit of illegal activity. Early reports are that the financial institutions reported the funds to the authorities as being transactions involving online gambling.
Under Belgium's energetically enforced anti-online gambling laws, illegal operators can be fined up to Euro 600,000, and even players at unauthorised websites are liable to hefty fines of up to Euro 25,000. Betclic is already on the Belgian's public black list (see previous reports).
Other punitive measures open to the Belgian authorities are prosecutions of board members of offending companies and provisions which allow maximum fines to be boosted in particularly serious cases.
However, Belgium's rather heavy handed approach to online gambling and its disregard of EU principles of free movement of trade and services do not sit well with the European Commission, and Betclic may try to leverage that in fighting back.
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