Clandestine gaming websites discovered in Belize

BELMOPAN, Belize, December 31, 2009 – The government of Belize has discovered several online gaming websites operating in the country without licences.

And it has advised the Internet community and the general public that there are only two companies licensed to operate from Belize – Fulton Data Processing Limited and Sports Offshore Limited.

“Any other company that claims to have such a licence from Belize is clandestine. We ask all Internet users to refrain from doing business with these,” Lincoln Blake from the Ministry of Economic Development told television station Channel 5 Belize.

He explained that all online gaming businesses in Belize are required under the Gaming Control Act and its online gaming regulations, to apply for a licence.

“They must follow strict requirements and they must have a proven track record in gaming. The other companies that from time to time, operating online and claiming to have a licence, sometimes it’s hard to find out who are the persons behind these operations,” Blake added.

Last week, a transnational internet gambling ring that involved Belize was uncovered.

The masterminds of the operation were two Israeli brothers, Idan and Shai Raviv who allegedly ran the scam from a luxury villa in Belize although the servers were located in another European country and collection duties took place in their homeland.

Users of the website, which has since been shut down, could place bets on various sports. Casino games were also offered.

Blake said no licence had been issued to the Raviv brothers and, in fact, had never before heard of them.