The Belgians have been given a tougher ride than most in Europe when it comes to the authorities stamping down hard on illegal online gambling sites. In a country which houses the European Parliament and Commission who created the anti-smoking laws, and yet has many pubs and clubs which allow people to smoke – you would expect a little more leniency, when it comes to online gambling. This has not been the case, although now, a suitable alternative may be in the wind.
At present, most of the major sports betting sites in the world are currently banned and blacklisted in Belgium. The countries authorities and specifically the police have made certain that access to Bwin, Bet 365, William Hill and a range of other top online sportsbooks is impossible to gain without the assistance of in the know technology to circumvent the block. Something which is actually punishable by law in Belgium, with a hefty fine, police charge or possibly jail sentence. Where previously, one’s best chance of playing a sports bet was to walk into one of the many Ladbrokes betting shops (land-based), and go about your business from there, a new company might have cracked the market.
The Belgian Gambling Authorities have been handing out licenses to small, petite if you will, businesses for online gambling in general, including sports betting, excluding some of the major companies, presumably out of spite. Kambi Sports Solutions is one such company to acquire a license, and Kambi Sports Solutions is a subsidiary of the Unibet Group.
Kambi Sports Solutions, having signed a deal with Mystery Games, will now be able to promote its Napoleon Games site’s sportsbook in the country. Napoleon Games itself is nothing new, having already obtained an online gambling license from the country, although the sportsbook on the site itself, is very much new.
The move could not be better timed, as with the withdrawal of many of major online sportsbooks in Belgium, including the absence of a William Hill online sportsbook (despite the fact that their land-based bookies remain), Napoleon Games’ sports books will be in prime position to pick up many of the former online sports betting players of those sites. With advertisement, it should also be able to dominate a market that for the moment at least, is covered by a very sparse number of online sports betting.
Belgium, and Brussels in particular has an extraordinary large number of ex-patriots (ex-pats) living there, particularly Americans and British who are more than likely to jump at the opportunity to join the fledgling new sportsbook. For online sports bettors in Belgium, there is a future in sports gambling; after all it would seem possible.