14th of February 2013 Author: Glo Wood
A report came this week that the Court of First Instance in Brussels upheld the Belgian State's right to blacklist unlicensed operators and order internet service providers to block their websites, thus rejecting online gambling firm Bet-At-Home's claim.
In the case, Bet-At-Home claimed under the EU Electronic Commerce Directive and Belgian Law, which both exclude gambling, that their fundamental rights of free speech and free commerce were being violated.
However, the court assessed that "where ISP's do have rights, they cannot be invoked by an illegal remote gambling operator," adding that no rights can be invoked in order to perpetuate an illegal activity.
Furthermore, Philippe Vlaemminck of legal firm Altius noted that the case is the second victory for the Belgian Government against illegal operators "proving 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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