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PokerStars Rebounds From US Debacle To Gain Belgium License

PokerStars is still feeling the effects of facing an indictment in the US, but that has not stopped the company from expanding their reach in other countries. Belgium's new online gaming laws went into effect when the new year began, and PokerStars will be one of the beneficiaries of those new laws.

The Belgium government has made it clear that only certain online sites are accessible to Belgium online players. The country released their list of acceptable sites this week, and only three online poker rooms made the list. Two sports books, and four casinos will also be available for Belgium customers.

The country crated theiur online gambling regulations back in 2011, but they did not come free from controversy. The country's first attempt at regulatioon brought several gray areas that operators in other countries plan on taking advantage of.

According to Poker News Daily, PartyPoker and other poker rooms operating on the iPoker network plan to allow customers from Belgium. The network's sites believes that the laws created by the Belgium government are not in compliance with European union law. The contention is that the laws would never hold up in court, so the sites plan to continue to do business in the country.

The US faced a similar situation after they passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. While the government felt they were prohibiting online gambling, foreign operators claimed that the UIGEA was vague, and did not directly outlaw Internet wagering.

PokerStars, along with Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker, were indicted for violating the UIGEA, however, the site operators were charged with fraud and deceiving US financial institutions into processing online gambling payments. PokerStars has not yet reached an agreement with the US to settle the case.

In Belgium, online sites must partner with land-based casinos to be on the accepted site list from the government. PokerStars has partnered with Casino de Namur. Partouche, another licensee, had their own land-based casino open in Belgium since 1995.

Foreign comp[anies suspect the same rules will apply when the US government changes their laws and regulates online gambling, leading to partnerships already forming. PokerStars had a deal in place with Wynn Resorts, but Steve Wynn pulled his company out of the deal after the indictments last April.

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