Initially the Circus Groupe / PokerStars partnership was granted a partial licence but now it has been given a full licence. So PokerStars is among the first operators to offer a fully licensed legal online gaming experience to Belgian players.
PokerStars and Circus Groupe’s site pokerstars.be is one of the first online sites in Belgium to gain an official full licence enabling it to offer online poker in Belgium. The licence was granted under the Casino de Namur A+ licence. The Casino de Namur in Wallonne in Belgium is one of 17 casinos owned by the Circus Groupe. The casino has 152 gaming machines and 45 table and poker games.
The Casino de Namur is experienced in the provision of land based casino poker and has the largest live poker events in Belgium. PokerStars is the world’s most successful online poker site so now Belgian players can legally engage in play on its site.The casino operator Circus Groupe and the world’s largest poker site PokerStars set up an online partnership in 2010 so now both groups can offer online poker regulated by the Belgian Gaming Commission. Belgian players can now play on the largest online poker site in the world and also take part in events and tournaments including the PokerStars Sunday Million, the World Championship of Online Poker and the Spring Championship of Online Poker.
PokerStars’ objective is to gain online gaming licences in all the regulated markets when licences are available. The company has already been granted gaming licences to legally offer online games to players in Italy, France, Estonia and Denmark. The Belgian Gaming Commission which was set up in 1999 regulates gaming and oversees the protection of players from illegal online gaming web sites. Its aim is to give legal operators the chance to offer Belgian players the opportunity to play online games in a safe and responsible environment. By being legally authorised the operators aid the economy in Belgium by paying taxes.The Belgian Gaming Commission has stated that it will go after unlicensed operators who offer their services in Belgium. The Gambling Act that was passed after two years of debate only allows Belgian players to play on licensed sites and unauthorised sites are to be blocked by the main Belgian internet service providers. Only fully licensed operators are permitted to offer online gaming. The Belgian Gambling Commission recently announced that only three online poker sites are to be allowed to operate in Belgium, PokerStars, Partouche and Casino777.