Betway facing Belgian sanctions
Betway is facing sanctions over issues related its ownership structure and the source of its funds, following an investigation into the business conducted by the Belgian Gaming Commission (BGC).
The BGC’s six-person board has ruled that there is enough evidence to justify launching sanctions proceedings against the operator following its year-long investigation.
The board, which is led by a magistrate and comprised of representatives from the country’s Ministries of Finance, Economy, Public Health, National Lottery, Justice and Domestic Affairs, has deemed sanctions are appropriate. It has also passed its findings to the Belgian government’s anti-money laundering unit and tax authorities.
This investigation was launched after Belgian newspapers De Tijd, Knack and Le Soir reported that the operator’s Malta headquarters was apparently a “mailbox company”, through which funding to and from entities based in the British Virgin Islands was funnelled. During the process, the BGC found that Betway Malta's ownership structure was unclear, which amounts to a breach of the licence requirements for gaming licensees in the country.
De Tijd reports that the BGC’s inspectors were also unable to determine the source of some €28m (£24.3m/$32.0m) in funding received by the operator’s Betway Limited parent company during the year-long investigation. It also noted that source of the money invested in Belgian football by Betway, through its sponsorship of the country's national team, domestic cup competition the Croky Cup and leading club RSC Anderlecht, remains unclear.
Betway, which is active in the Belgian igaming market through a partnership with Grand Casino Brussels, a venue owned by Casinos Austria International told iGamingBusiness.com it is cooperating with the regulator in a bid to resolve the matter.
In a statement, the operator’s director of compliance and regulatory affairs Roger Parkes noted that Betway had provided the Gaming Commission with all information requested, with this currently being reviewed by the regulator’s board.
“At this stage no further action has been decided on,” Parkes said. “We will continue to support the process in full and look forward to reaching a satisfactory conclusion shortly.”