Online contributions to gambling take in Belgium increased in 2015, according to fresh statistics released by the country’s gambling regulator. Old But Telling That’s right, the year-old statistics were released as part of the Belgian Gaming Commission BGC’s 2016 annual report, providing financial information for Belgian-licensed operators at a snail’s pace. Increase in Online Take Nonetheless, late stats are better than none at all, revealing a total Belgian gambling revenue take in 2015 of €622m, representing a 17% year-on-year jump from 2014. Of that take, the online revenue contributed almost a third at €211.3m. Blacklist Continues The blacklist policy continues in BGC, with further expansion of the list with 12 new names, topped most notably by the first fantasy sports operator to make the list, Buabook.com. Administrative Penalties Abound As far as the enforcement process, the report further indicates that the BGC issued 85 administrative fines, with the BGC standing as one of only a handful of global regulators directly penalizing players for playing on unauthorized sites, with a total of nine players penalised over the course of the year 2016. The Draconian Spectre While the amount of players penalised is thankfully modest, the practice of penalising players is clouded by controversial questions such as how accountable players should be held for playing on illegal sites. The fact is many players are problem gamblers to begin with, and there is no telling how aware the player is of which sites are illegal and which sites are not, compounded by the responsibility of the government to inform them and how. There is also the question of the relative ability of problem gamblers to resist playing at any site, legal or illegal. Blacklist Backout While the questions abound, the blacklist issue in general is a source of concern for the majority of the iGaming community, because it tends to put all of iGaming in a bad light in an industry that is attempting to focus the public on the social benefits of regulated gambling markets. Belgium Overview The slow pace of statistical data seems appropriately reflective of a potentially lugubrious system that could get bogged down in penalty issuance and the greater challenges of enforcement if not adapted with more constructive measures in the future.
Bitcoin, the original and most widely used cryptocurrency, has seen its ups and downs over the years but on Sunday, it shocked the public breaking the $3,000 mark. Currently, however, it is around the $2,765 mark. The meteoric rise of the cryptocurrency started earlier in May, when bitcoin was valued at $1,400, and it continued to climb, despite the fact many experts seem to believe that bitcoin market is experiencing the bubble. Technology of the Future The rise of bitcoin started after Consensus Conference that took place in May. At the conference, there was a lot of talk about the underlying technology driving bitcoin, namely blockchain, and its application in many areas where data sharing and security are the primary concern. This encompasses a number of different industries, as information is the backbone of most businesses these days. Of course, the alternative use of the blockchain technology is in addition to the current bitcoin applications like paying for goods and services online, online gambling, and more. Many still maintain that the surge doesn’t have to be indicative of anything, as the bitcoin value heavily relies on the potential application of this new technology in the future. It is interesting to note that back in 2009, bitcoin was valued at just $0.01, reaching $18.50 by 2011, etc. Lately, however, bitcoin has been especially volatile, fluctuating a few hundred in either direction in the space of just a few hours. Bitcoin Online Gambling Although all the potential of the blockchain technology makes bitcoin as attractive as ever, it is the online gambling industry where this cryptocurrency really found its place, with many bitcoin online casinos opening up across the cyberspace. Places like VegasCasino, 1xBit Casino, and BitCasino all welcome bitcoin as a payment method for deposits, withdrawals, and gaming. Thanks to high processing speeds and relative anonymity, bitcoin gambling is becoming more widespread as the cryptocurrency is coming out of the shadows and people are no longer afraid of the notion. Additionally, given bitcoin’s natural fluctuations, using it is a gamble in itself, which adds an extra layer to the whole experience, making bitcoin and online gambling a perfect match.