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Court Rules Belgian Gambling Blockade Legal

The Court of First Instance in Brussels, Belgium has ruled that the state's blockade against unlicensed internet betting operators is legal, dealing a blow to several big name operators.

The ruling was made in a large legal brief on Monday by the court who rejected a claim filed against Belgium by the gambling operator Bet-at-Home, who claimed the blockade violated both the EU Electronic Commerce Directive and Belgian Law. The company claimed that the laws specifically exclude gambling, and therefore claimed that the company's right to free commerce and free speech were violated as a result of the law.

The court noted that illegal remote betting operators cannot invoke rights held by Internet Service Providers in the country.

Commenting on the case Philippe Vlaemminck of the legal firm Altius said that the victory proves "that the enforcement of law against illegal operators through blacklisting and website blocking is the first and most important method to protect consumers against illegal operators."

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