Posts Tagged ‘belgium’

Going Legit

by , Nov 17, 2012 | 1:53 pm

Black plus white generally equals grey, or at least gray.

The arrest questioning of Norbert Teufelberger in Belgium on Tuesday seems as good a time as any to post about something that may seem obvious to many but still gets asked often enough (and perhaps too often): how to build an Internet gaming business that’s onside the laws of the jurisdictions in which it operates.

The detention of Teufelberger, co-CEO of Bwin.Party, concerns the continued operations of a publicly traded online gaming company in Belgium and its presence on that country’s so-called “blacklist.” Bwin.Party is “whitelisted” in other jurisdictions, and contends Belgium’s laws restricting foreign-based operators run afoul of European Union law. But with that matter yet to be resolved, people are already wondering what Belgium’s legal interpretations mean for Bwin.Party’s licensing prospects in Nevada — and its partnership with US casino companies, MGM and Boyd Gaming. (On that subject, I defer to @BrianPempus‘s tweets, comments, and queries.)

But the Teufelberger-Belgium affair raises the question I still get asked all the time: What jurisdictions should I stay away from if I’m an Internet gaming operator?


Wider World of Poker

by , Sep 12, 2012 | 7:41 am

Neil Armstrong’s departure got me thinking. What’s the over/under on the number of years until there’s a tournament in space? Perhaps it’s a moot question. Maybe astronauts on the International Space Station have already gambled for rights to powdered space rations. At any rate we, sadly, aren’t able to leave the Earth during these week’s roundup of poker news, unless you count exploring the depths of a Frenchman’s imagination.

Gallic Theatre

If you’ve not been following the Cirque de Partouche over the last few days, here’s a quick summary: A smaller than expected crowd turned up to what they thought was a €5 million guarantee, expecting their hosts to fill in the missing €750,000. Then, the silver-haired Monsieur Partouche himself appeared on stage to tell everyone that, not only were they not going to honour the guarantee (that he denied even existed), but that this would be the last ever Partouche event.

Cut to a few hours later and the company are announcing that they will in fact bump the prize pool up to €5 million, but that this is still definitely the last ever Partouche Poker Tour. At some point during all this a poker tournament happened and Ole Schemion from Germany won it. [Card Player]

ISPT Adds Spokespeople

Speaking of a French-led spectacle, the much-trailed International Stadiums Poker Tour just added a few more pros to its list of representatives. The ISPT squad now includes David Beyamine, Patrick Antonius, Liz Lieu, Michael Mizrachi, and Sam Trickett. Expect to see them all in London for the first event in May 2013. [Poker News Daily]

Bwin.Party Poker on a Downswing

Sometimes I worry about a terrifying dystopian future where Daniel Negreanu is president and we need to use our PokerStars bankroll to buy bus tickets. You’d be worried too, if you’d taken a look at’s financial results from the first half of 2012. Overall, their revenues where up, but poker took a big hit. Thankfully, dishevelled underworld hero co-CEO Jim Ryan has vowed to fight on, “against a backdrop of an ever strengthening PokerStars.” [The Guardian]

Blacklisting in Belgium

After Black Friday I think you’d be hard pressed to argue against nationwide regulation for online gambling. Although I’m sure that Betfred and William Hill could put forward a case, after the Belgian government blacklisted their domain names and made it illegal for anyone to play there. That leaves only a handful of approved online poker operators for Belgians to enjoy. [Poker News Daily]

Excuse me while I unscrew my head and place it back among the stars. It’s lovely up here, but while the asteroids whizz between my ears I’ll remember to keep an eye on terra firma and keep track of all its poker doings. Until next time, pokernauts.

Wider World of Poker

by , May 20, 2012 | 1:10 pm

Today I would like to debut a new profession: Zournalism. If you’ve ever tried journalism before, then you will recognize a few similarities. For example, all of its constituent parts, practices, and disciplines are the same. Anyone who reads or undertakes journalism should be able to transition to Zournalism without noticing any difference, other than the added frisson of doing something that begins with a ‘Z’.

Zoom Poker Exits Beta

In unrelated news, PokerStars have officially launched Zoom Poker. When you fold a hand during a Zoom game you are instantly transported to another table and dealt a new hand. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure there used to be a company called Full Tilled, or something like that, who had this ‘Rush Poker’ idea that was strikingly similar. They didn’t have an Android app though so I’m sure this is totally different. [WPT Mag]

Blaze Poker Enters Beta

In even more unrelated news, Ladbrokes have launched Blaze Poker, an exciting new format in which players are dealt a new hand every time they fold. They are the first company on the Microgaming network to unveil this new software. Other Microgaming sites are expected to add Blaze Poker to their roster, in a wave of brazen plagiarism. [Card Player]

Overpriced Bulgaria Slashes Fees

Bulgaria may have overestimated their attractiveness to the online poker industry. After following the increasingly common European model of ordering local ISPs to block all external gambling sites, they set about imposing their system of regulations and taxes. Unfortunately, their ambitious attempts to impose a 15% levy on all gambling outfits have been foiled by the major EU nations charging what amounts to half that much. The Bulgarian tax rate is set to drop to either six or eight percent. [Casino Choice]

Belgium Welcomes Online Gambling

Belgium, on the other hand, are having no such problems. Their ‘ban all outsiders and offer our own licenses’ plan is working out very well, with both PokerStars and Partouche setting up camp in the centre of the world’s waffle industry. The particulars of the Belgian system require a company to be partnered with a local bricks-and-mortar casino, but – in a move that sets them apart from the continental trend – does allow players to join networks that include players from around the world. []

Bwin.Party’s Mixed Results

It’s all business over at bwin.Party, with Q1 financial results revealing a 1% rise in overall revenue, masking a 3% fall in poker figures. They will doubtless be hoping that their upcoming ‘social gaming platform’ adds a little extra boost to their poker numbers. A man in a press release said they would be “leveraging core assets,” so it’s bound to be good. [Tight Poker]

I’ve scrapped my plans for Zournalism, it wasn’t working out. Tune in for next week’s Wider World of Poker where I plan to unveil Bournalism, a new style with hundreds of brand new, never before seen, tried and tested, well worn features. I can feel your excitement bubbling at the mere thought. Try your best not to rip me off in the intervening days.

Wider World of Poker

by , Jan 4, 2012 | 4:25 pm

This is the bleakest time of year. When festivities have faded, but the bitter cold maintains its grip. A time when you are forced to chain yourself to the grindstone for another 12 months, as fresh-faced resolutions are crushed under the weight of your own inescapable weakness. Sorry about that. Maybe I can cheer you up with some news from poker’s farthest shores. This week we’ve got tales of resignation, government crackdowns, robbery, and assault. Feeling better yet?

France Announces Online Poker Crackdown

It’s a good time to be in European online poker, so long as you’re on the list. France have been running a strictly regulated market since May 2010, but have this month enacted laws which require ISPs to proactively prevent French players from accessing unlicensed sites. This follows similar action taken by the Belgian government. Meanwhile, Spain – one of the big EU countries without a regulated market – has elected to delay its online gambling plans until June 30th. [Poker News]

Duthie Says Cheerio

John Duthie has left PokerStars. You might be thinking, “Who cares about John Duthie! So long as they still have Liv Boeree, it’s all good. She’s so hot, ship it holla check-raise.” Oh you and your staggering ignorance. The wiser heads in the audience will know that Duthie is lauded among the poker community thanks to his founding of the European Poker Tour. John spearheaded the tour to great success, but as part of his resignation, has also decided to step down as EPT CEO. Although he may not be as high profile as some of his former team mates, John is a highly respected member of the industry and you can be sure that the game’s movers and shakers have taken note of his departure. [Poker News Report]

Regal Reward for Betting Queen

The founder of Bet365, Denise Coates, has been named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the UK’s New Year’s Honours list. Now that our empire has shrunk to size of a tiny thimble, this title has become a purely symbolic ‘well done’ from the monarchy. For your reference, a CBE is one rank below Knight and Dame-hood in Britain’s chivalric hierarchy. As part of the ceremony, Denise gets to meet the Queen and listen to her say things like, “What do you do?” “Oh that’s nice,” and “I have this special badge for you.” [BBC]

WSOP Bracelet Theives are All In Jail

In Canada, which is mostly empty, four men and one woman will have to locate the Longueuil courthouse. They are summoned to hear charges that include aggravated assault and armed robbery, all accrued while breaking into the home of former World Champion, Jonathan Duhamel. Although their cases are yet to be heard, it seems that the nexus of the robbery may have been Duhamel’s former girlfriend, Bianca Rojas-Latraverse. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. [CTV]

Cheer up mate! Things are looking good for poker after all. I mean, barring some sort of Even Blacker Friday, 2012 has got to be an improvement over last year. If that much-analysed DoJ opinion bears the fruit we’re all desperately hoping it does, perhaps this will prove to be one of the industry’s finest hours. Hope springs eternal.