Belgian Gambling Commission launches sanction proceedings against Betway.
The Belgian Gambling Commission (BGC), Kansspelcommissie, has launched sanction proceedings into Betway after a year-long investigation has found financial transparency failures relating to corporate ownership structures.
The investigation also found that Betway had breached licensing conditions. Betway could face a six-figure fine and could also lose its Belgian licence.
To offer their services in Belgium, operators must partner with a registered gambling provider. Remote operators can only be issued with one licence category. Betway has been active in Belgium 2015 and is partnered with the Grand Casino Brussels.
However, as part of the investigation, licensing checks were carried out, and it was discovered that a unit affiliated with the operator had a gambling machine manufacturer licence that was issued by the BGC. This goes against the Kansspelcommissie’s licensing policy.
Betway was also found to have made serious financial transparency failures. The Betway Malta subsidiary was granted a Belgian licence, but failed to disclose in full its corporate ownership structure. This is a key component of compliance with Belgian financial regulation.
This issue was documented in a national media scandal known as “the paradise papers”. As the sponsor of the Belgian Football Association and Sporting Anderlecht, Betway are a prominent operator in Belgium, and were named as part of the paradise papers investigation.
Currently, the BGC is considering which, if any, charges to issue Betway. While sanction proceedings have been launched, a sanction has not been applied. Betway will have time to respond to the charges.
Outlining the situation further, Marjolein De Paepe, communications advisor at the Kansspelcommissie, said:
Kansspelcommissie can close the investigation, carry out additional investigations, start sanction procedures, the representatives can inform their ministers about the situation… This depends on the assessment that the members of the Gaming Commission indicate this dossier.–Marjolein De Paepe, Kansspelcommissie communications advisor