Roundup: Rational Group Getting Physical in Spain; Belgium Gaming Commission Calls for RegulationPublished June 24, 2014 by OCR Editor
The provisional license granted by Spain for land-based casinos marks the first time an online casino has qualified for land-based operations, and may likely be the start of a trend of online operators opening physical casinos.
Under the auspices of Spanish subsidiary Reel Spain, Rational Group - the provider of leading online poker games PokerStars and Full Tilt - has received provisional licensing from Spanish officials to offer online casino games to the Spanish market.
First Foray for Online Provider
Spain’s governing regulatory body La Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ) issued the approval, launching digital online provider Rational's maiden voyage into real time physical land-based casino ventures.
Belgian Gaming Commission Identifies Regulations for Online Gaming
In other news, the Belgian Gaming Commission has requested stricter regulations in specific areas of concern from the incoming Belgian government.
BGC: Booming Online Gaming Calls For Regulatory Adaptations
In an open letter, the Commission expressed the basis for a need to further regulate the country's booming online gaming industry, which is taking revenue from land-based casinos that governments regulate and share an interest in.
The letter revealed that 600,977 players in 2014 have played at online sites, which is just short of triple the amount of players at land-based casinos.
The Commission pointed out three regulatory issues with the rise of online game play.
The first is that Belgians under debt collection procedures are prohibited from gambling; but their behavior is harder to monitor with the online option. The second is the concern that “social gambling” will lure players into addiction. The third is overemphasis by the government on revenue associated with gaming over protection of the players from addiction and potential financial catastrophes.
These are all issues which need to be ironed out, and are better acknowledged and discussed openly if online gaming is to succeed worldwide, to be implemented in a protective and responsible manner.