Belgium Has Implemented Significant Changes to Its Gambling Regulations

March 6, 2024 | Advertising

ANTWERP, Belgium (March 5, 2024) — Belgium has implemented significant changes to its gambling regulations to address concerns related to gambling addiction and the increasing popularity of online gambling. The key points of the revised regulations include:

  1. Ban on Gifts and Incentives: Gambling companies are now prohibited from offering gifts, free games, extra play credit, bonuses, or any other benefits to entice players. This strict ban aims to prevent operators from influencing players’ behavior and recruiting or retaining them through such incentives.
  2. Minimum Age of 21: The minimum age for all games of chance and betting has been raised to 21. This change is motivated by the belief that young people are more susceptible to addiction. Operators failing to verify the age of young gamblers may be obligated to refund their stakes. However, the minimum age for National Lottery games and scratch cards remains at 18.
  3. Stricter Gambling Advertising Restrictions: There is a more comprehensive ban on gambling advertising, with limited exceptions granted by the government. Any form of advertising not expressly permitted is now prohibited, eliminating gray areas in the regulation.
  4. Focus on Online Gambling: The stricter regulations are particularly targeted at online gambling, which has seen a significant increase in participants over the years. The legal regulation of online gambling began in 2011, allowing companies to apply for permits. The Gaming Commission reports a substantial rise in both the number of online gamblers and the profits of gambling companies.
  5. Concerns about Gambling Addiction: The revised laws are driven by the goal of addressing the growing issue of gambling addiction. Research has shown a substantial increase in the number of gamblers, especially in the online domain. The Gaming Commission’s financial analysis indicates a significant rise in profits for gambling companies, mainly attributed to the surge in online gambling.

Overall, Belgium’s decision to tighten its gambling regulations reflects a broader global trend of governments responding to the challenges posed by the rapid growth of online gambling and the potential for increased gambling-related harm.


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