Bélgica altera a lei de jogos e apostas
Imagem: Wallpaper Cave / dadson

Changes to Belgium‘s 1999 Gambling Law have been published in the official gazette, and most of them will come into force as early as June 2024. They include an increase in the minimum gambling age from 18 to 21 across all sectors.

Operators must take some measures

Meanwhile, operators of class one, two and four gambling venues will have to maintain a professional register containing the names of people who have access to gambling venues for professional reasons, without exclusion register (EPIS) verification.

Thus, police and Gambling Commission officials will be able to request registration as well as camera surveillance of venues. So, these changes also introduce annual meetings between the entity and license holder representatives.

In addition, other measures will be applied from a later date yet to be defined. Among them are:

  • Requirement that newsstands check EPIS
  • Introduction of punishments for people who use someone else’s identity to gamble
  • Lending your identity to someone else to place bets
  • Operators that accept minors

Greece has also introduced an increase in the minimum gambling age. In other words, other European countries also have rules about targeting ads to young players. They appear to be more vulnerable to in-game damage.

Belgium bans gaming and betting advertising

Belgium has already banned all forms of gambling advertising under a measure that came into force in July last year. From September, licensed operators will also be prohibited from:

  • Offer free bets
  • Bonuses or gifts as incentives
  • They will not be able to promote igaming on sites that offer sports betting, bingo or poker.

As for the ban on advertising betting games in football stadiums, this is already scheduled to come into force on January 1, 2025. The Belgian Association of Betting Game Operators (BAGO) opposed the new measures.

Chairman Tom De Clercq said: “BAGO has repeatedly spoken out in favor of limiting advertising, including through traditional media. But we also warn that a complete ban on advertising in places where illegal operators are present will have serious side effects.

Therefore, we must conclude, once again, that policymakers ignore the solutions we have proposed and opt for populist formulas.”