The legal battle between renowned gambling operator bwin.party and Belgian gambling authorities continues in Brussels. Bwin.party took the matter to the Brussels Court of First Instance.
The matter circles around the fact that when bwin.party applied for licenses to operate online casinos in Belgium, it has ignored the Belgian requirements to stop offering gambling opportunities to the country’s players until the licenses were awarded.
Subsequently the regulators overseeing Belgian gambling laws put bwin.party on the blacklist on May 9, making the operator lose a lot of money. Bwin.party went on to file a suit against the Gaming Commission and the Minister of Justice, asking to take them off the blacklist and stating how much damage they suffered in commercial, financial, and reputation aspects.
Belgium gambling news reports that the operator didn’t stop there and asked for a restitution in the amount of EUR 300K/day, until removal from the blacklist. Belgium responded by launching a counterclaim for the same amount until bwin.party complied with the initial requirement to stop operations.
The matter is now in the Brussels Court, and the law firm, representing Bwin argues that Belgium didn’t have the right to blacklist the company, as no Royal Decree was issued for such a move. Belgium’s attorneys claim that having the right or not was immaterial since it was not the state who blocked bwin.party, but the commercial ISPs.
To add some oil to the fire Belgium’s lawyers put forwarded several 2011 rulings by the Belgian Constitutional Court and the Correctional Court in Brussels, which found bwin.party to be violating Belgian gambling laws.
The Court has time until June 25 to come up with a verdict, however lawyers expect it earlier.