Gambling: Age Limit Raises to 21 and No More Advertising Under New Law

January 29, 2024 | Legislature

Belgium’s new gambling legislation will get even more strict, with the age limit being raised from 18 to 21 and a near total ban on advertising – even in football stadiums.

BELGIUM (January 27, 2024) —  Belgium’s new laws regarding gambling already came into force last summer, but the federal parliament has now approved an even stricter form of the legislation. The age limit for any kind of gambling will now be 21 and there is a total ban on all forms of gambling advertising – online and offline. The legislation is meant to tackle the growing number of gambling addicts in the country.

According to Flemish public broadcaster VRT NWS the most controversial part of the new legislation is the ban on advertising, which brings in much-needed revenue to websites, print publications and sports stadiums. Not only must gambling logos disappear from sports uniforms, the display advertising will no longer be allowed on stadium walls. Stadiums have four years to phase out gambling advertising – time meant to find other forms of advertising to compensate for the losses.

VRT NWS report the legislation will also see slot machines in bars, youth clubs and petrol stations coming to an end. Another change is that betting and casino-style games can no longer be combined in one location or on one website.

Various lawsuits have been holding up the passage of the gambling proposal for close to five years, but the final text has finally this week been approved in parliament. The proposal was originally introduced by the Flemish green party Groen. Following the final vote, a Groen parliamentarium said: “After four years of struggle against the gambling lobby and politicians that went along with them, we can finally better protect the players.”

SOURCE: VRT NWS (Flandersnews).

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