New gambling law in Belgium

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Peter Brandt 27. September 2021

The old gambling law in Belgium was recently overridden by the Belgian constitutional court. Since the introduction in 1999, the old gambling law has regulated the Belgian gaming market in all its facets. Now it is discontinued with immediate effect. A revised, new gambling law comes to the open position, which takes care of the gambling market – especially from a technical point of view. The new law was already adopted in April 2019, but it was initially subordinate to the existing gambling law and has remained almost ineffective in the past 2.5 years. However, the new regulations are now focusing on a holistic concept.

The old gambling law of 1999 was replaced and is no longer valid in Belgium. ((©Ernestovdp/Pixabay)

Boom of online gambling makes a new gaming contract inevitable

The step towards a new gambling law was essential in Belgium. The Happiness is changed in the past two decades. While gambling was almost only possible in land-based arcades and casinos at the millennium, the gaming market has also digitized with the advent of the Internet and in the form of online bookmakers, the Poker-Boom Found the way to the living room at home on online poker platforms and online casinos.

The old gambling law no longer met the massive changes in the gambling market. The adoption of a revised regulatory model was more than necessary. With the discontinuation of the old legislation, the problem of the non-regulated and partially illegal online gambling game be got under control. According to a report by the Belgian newspaper L’écho, this problem was simply not available in the old gambling law. At the time of the adoption in 1999, many developments and the resulting problems were not yet known.

Gambling in Belgium. Unlike in many other European countries, not only state providers can provide their gaming offer to the player on the Belgian online gambling market. Foreign gambling providers from all areas can also apply for a valid license. The range of gambling sites on the Internet, which can be legally visited and used, is therefore particularly large for Belgians compared to many other European countries. Nine Belgian casinos, 41 operators of online casinos and 26 online sports betting providers currently have the necessary Belgian happiness. A comparatively quite extensive offer, although there are even around 270 gambling providers on the Belgian blocking list. They also include well -known names such as bookmakers William Hill, Betfair and Interwetten as well as the poker platform GGPoker.

Online gambling providers are limited on their website

Clearness and transparency are at the center of the new Gambling Act. From now on, there is now the regulation that online gambling providers only on their websites be allowed to offer a form of gambling. That means either sports betting, online slots or poker. So far, large providers had mostly combined the various sectors on a website. For example, if an online bookmaker wants to offer some online slots in addition to the sports betting offer, he can only do this on a separate website. The online casino and sports betting must be strictly separated and must not be connected to each other via direct links. URL and customer s must not show any overlap points. That Belgian constitutional court Promises a kind of brake for the players from this strict separation because the registration and identification process becomes more complex.

Belgian constitutional court points to loopholes. In its reasoning, the Belgian Constitutional Court explicitly pointed out existing loopholes in the online gambling market, which must be combated with the new gambling law. In contrast to land -based casinos and casinos, in which the players can be better checked and playing at the same time at several machines, gambling providers are in abundance on the Internet. As a result, players can play on several websites at the same time or change casino in seconds. With the new regulations in the law, players must now refer to every online casino or bookmaker. The hope of the Constitutional Court is that this fact acts like a brake on the players. It is another step to combat existing loopholes in the online segment of gambling.

Such a progress was also recorded in the sense of player protection. Players from certain areas such as sports betting would come like this less often in with other gambling areasthat they actually didn’t want to select at all. The likelihood that betting enthusiasts did not get into the area of online slots, for example.

Popular table games only possible in land -based casinos

In addition, the popular table games such as Black Jack, Roulette or Baccarat may no longer be offered in online casinos. These are only the land -based casinos and the Websites of the licensed casinos permitted. Various online casinos that have had the table games so far in the repertoire must now remove them from their offer. The situation is different in the poker area. This can continue to be offered everywhere. However, a website must then specialize in the Poker gaming area and remove all other offers.