Belgian poker fans can now access the top quality online poker experience that Party Poker offers. On Friday, December 14, the poker room’s parent company, bwin.Party, announced its partnership with Partouche-owned Belcasinos, which is based in Brussels. The deal was signed after the Belgian Gambling Commission’s approval. Soon, it would be removing bwin.Party from the blacklisted online poker sites in Belgium.
Partnership for License
According to the Belgian laws, offshore gambling operators cannot offer online gaming services to Belgians unless they are licensed by the Belgian Gambling Commission. The gambling authorities would offer a license only if the operator partners with a land-based casino to offer its services. However, bwin.Party had failed to partner with a brick and mortar casino earlier, because of which it had not been able to obtain a license. In spite of that, Party Poker continued to offer online poker in the country.
Following this, the Belgian Gambling Commission had blacklisted Party Poker site and also imposed a fine of $100,000 on the company. But now with its partnership with Partouche, bwin.Party will hopefully put an end to this conflict and will be able to legally offer its online poker services within the country.
With its deal with Partouche, Party Poker will be joining three other online poker operators offering their services in the country. The first one is PokerStars, which has partnered with the Circus Group for a license. Second is Golden Palace Casino that partnered with Casino De Spa and the third is Partouche which has partnered with Casino de Dinant.
Bwin.Party for a Share of the Belgian Gambling Market
The CEO of bwin.Party, Norbert Teufelberger, said that the team was excited about being back in Belgium. He, along with his co-chief executive, Jim Ryan, stated that they have put their differences with the local regulator aside and have reached an agreement to offer online poker services in the country. They are now all set to make the most of this commercial opportunity.
Hopefully, this partnership of bwin, with Partouche, should end the long-raging battle that began early this year, between the Belgian Gambling Commission and the company. In May, when access to all the Party sites was blocked in Belgium, the CEO of the company, Teufelberger was also detained for a short time by the Belgian Authorities. Also, poker players in Belgium, who continued to play on the Party Poker sites, were fined heavily.
Bwin.Party retaliated by filing a lawsuit against the Belgian gambling Commission, stating that according to the EU gambling laws, the license requirements stated by the commission were not fair. And now, the executives have reportedly stated that they were working together with the partner Partouche for completing all the formalities and meeting the license requirements of the BGC. Hopefully, the Belgian Party Poker customers should not have any difficulty or face any interruptions in accessing the Party Poker site.
Partouche Belgium’s Chief Executive Officer, Jacques Frojman, said that their company was happy to collaborate with Party Poker, which is considered as one of the market leaders in offering top quality online casino, poker and sports betting services in Europe.
Rich Rewards for Party Poker VIPs this Winter
In the UK and other countries in Europe, where it has a license to operate, Party Poker is running special promo called Winter Magic, to reward its loyal players. The promo, which started on December 3, will take place through December 30, 2012 and is exclusively for the site’s Palladium and Palladium Elite members. The range of presents that these members have a chance to win includes an iPod Touch, a Nintendo 3DS and a Sony 3D Blu-ray Home Theater, among others.
To benefit from this promo, VIP members of the site have to opt-in for it. Following which, they will get a VIP Magic Winter instant prize card for every 500 points that they earn. The cash prizes offered start as low as $10 and can go as high as $500. Members also have a chance to win loyalty bonus points instead of cash. Also, as the VIP Magic Card is offered every time the players earn 500 points, they have a chance to bag more than just one prize during the promotion.