Unibet will become one of only six companies to operate online poker under license in Belgium, according to an official bulletin from the Belgian Gambling Authority published Wednesday.
Stringent restrictions in Belgium have limited the number of white-listed online operations. To obtain a license, operators must be aligned with a brick-and-mortar casino based in the country.
Unibet announced a deal with UK-based The Rank Group, owner of Grosvenor Casinos, back in August in order to facilitate entry into the Belgium market. Rank operates two casinos in Belgium, and Unibet lists Casino van Blankenberge as its physical establishment on its A+ license.
Nordic-owned Unibet is one of Europe’s largest online gaming brands. It is one of the largest brands on the Microgaming Poker Network, and operates a poker room in France. It chose not to enter the newly regulated Spanish market.
Belgium online gaming licenses were first issued at the beginning of 2012. PokerStars.be, Poker770.be and Partouche.be received licenses to operate online poker, and were later joined by Win2day and GoldenPalace.be. PokerStars teamed up with local gaming group Circus Groupe in order to apply for a license.
Belgium players pools are not segregated from international pools, so if Unibet launches in Belgium on Microgaming, it will bring a new established network to Belgian players.