Belgia

Belgium

Regulator: Commission de Jeux de Hasard – Belgian Gaming Commission (BGC)

Site: www.gamingcommission.fgov.be
Address: Kantersteen 47 1000 Brussel
Fax: 02 504 00 66

On 7th May 1999, the Belgian Parliament adopted a legalization law on organization and operating of gambling, which met the interests of gambling and, at the same time, reduced the adverse manifestations of passion among the most vulnerable strata of the society. The law had established the Gambling Commission, which was to oversee the creation of gambling regulation in Belgium and the issuance of licenses for land-based casinos, poker rooms and lotteries.

Soon after the establishment of the Commission, the Games of Chance Law (Act) was signed, which formed the guidelines under which casinos could work. Later, the legislation (2001 Bill on Gambling, Act 2002 National Lottery), provided additional guidelines for sports gambling and lotteries.

It should be noted, that online gambling games were banned until 2009. In that year, the Belgian Gaming Act legalized online gaming with the provisions for supervision, taxing, and business-management exploitation.

Supervision and Taxation

First of all, the Belgian gaming commission wanted to avoid wallowing in dealing with disputes. Therefore, it should be noted, that Belgium supervision is not as good as it could be.

The most of online casinos and bookmakers are allowed to work without any interference as long as they are not involved in cheating players. Many owners of gambling zones feel, that as long as they pay 11% tax on all net profits in a timely manner, they are free to work as they want.

Guide to Doing Business

The Belgian Gaming Commission has very strict licensing regulations for owners of online casinos offering iGaming services to residents of the country. Here are some of the important gambling laws in Belgium that must be complied with at all times:

  • The status of the player. All players must submit a document identifying their location (address or residence in Belgium).
  • The property rights. To manage an online casino for the benefit of Belgian residents, the owner must first obtain a license for the operation of a land-based casino.
  • The owner must provide the proof of solvency and a guarantee fee in the amount of € 250,000, which will be used as collateral for violations and penalties.
  • A system of rules – site infrastructure, including operations and IT services, must be located within the country's borders. Moreover, a live electronic link must be established between the computer system and Belgium gambling authority computers. Names of the persons participating in gambling must be registered with the Commission at all times.

Amendments to the law

On January 10, 2010, amendments to the law were adopted. Now, this law is the legal basis of gambling business in Belgium. All emerging issues are dealt with BGC Commission, which reports to the Ministry of Justice. Commission members are appointed by the king himself on the recommendation of the Ministry.

The Act VI chapter is devoted to protection against gambling addiction. Gambling Commission Belgium allows to visit gambling rooms and casinos only for 21 years old persons. The owners of gambling rooms are obliged to enter data about the visitors in the files:

  • first name and last name;
  • nationality;
  • date and place of birth;
  • an identification number;
  • occupation.

Thus, a joint information system is created.

In this system, the Commission enters data on those individuals who are denied in access to casinos and all gambling rooms. This list is generated basing on the personal statements of Belgian citizens, legal representatives or caretakers of “sick” gamblers and on the basis of medical reports about a human mental disorder.

All Belgian gambling institutions must place information on the dangers of gambling and special numbers of hotlines in an accessible and visible place, as well as social services.

Existing regulation of gambling and implementation of gambling license in Belgium has eliminated gaps in the law and stopped the development of corruption.

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