Created on 07-10-2016



Gambling 2016

Published: 30/11/2015

1 - Relevant Authorities and Legislation

2 - Application for a Licence and Licence Restrictions

3 - The Restrictions on Online Supply/Technology Support/Machines

4 - Enforcement and Liability

5 - Anticipated Reforms


Relevant Authorities and Legislation


Which entities regulate what type of gambling activity in your jurisdiction?


All matters that are subject to the Law of May 7, 1999 (Wet van 7 mei 1999 op de kansspelen, de weddenschappen, de kansspelinrichtingen en de bescherming van de spelers, as amended by the two laws of January 10, 2010) are regulated by the Gaming Commission.  This includes all gambling and betting activities.


Matters that fall outside the scope of this law, due to the fact that they are not considered games of chance, are: promotional contests that do not include an element of chance (this excludes sweepstakes); sporting activities; games that offer no financial gain and only allow the player to continue playing for a maximum of five consecutive times; card games or parlour games that do not offer any financial gain and are played outside gaming establishments; and games exploited by amusement parks or fairs and occasional games organised by local associations no more than four times a year on account of a special event or by an unincorporated association with a social or charitable cause or a non-profit organisation for a social or charitable cause, that require only a very limited bet and can only muster a material advantage of limited value to the gamblers.


The Gaming Commission is a commission composed of a president and two representatives from each of the six competent Ministries (Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Ministry of Public Health).


1 Specify all legislation which impacts upon any gambling activity (including skill and social games), and specify in broad terms whether it permits or prohibits gambling.


The law of May 7, 1999 on games of chance, bets, gaming establishments and the protection of players, as amended by the law of 10 January, 2010 (De Wet van 7 mei 1999 op de kansspelen, de weddenschappen, de kansspelinrichtingen en de bescherming van de spelers, as amended by de Wet van 10 januari 2010), explicitly states that all games of chance and bets and the exploitation of gaming establishments are prohibited unless they are licensed by the Kansspelcommissie.  Offering these unlicensed games is prohibited, but it is also prohibited to promote them, and to participate in them, if you are aware of their unlicensed nature.


Games of chance are all activities that combine a direct or indirect payment by the player with the chance to win or lose something insofar that this chance depends, even partially, on coincidence.


The consequence of this is that commercial contests, sweepstakes, lotteries organised by advertisers, private poker games and bingo games are restricted or even forbidden.


Other applicable legislation includes Book VI of the Belgian Commercial Code concerning Consumer protection and Market Practices (Boek VI van het Wetboek Economisch Recht betreffende Consumentenbescherming en Marktpraktijken), which contains a series of rules that also apply to gambling providers (information to the consumer, fair trade practices, distance sales for online gambling, etc.).


The law of December 31, 1851 (Wet van 31 december 1851 op de loterijen) gives the Belgian National Lottery a monopoly on all lottery games, scratchcard games with money prizes and tombola games with very strict and limited exceptions for tombola games organised for a good cause.


Several articles in the Belgian Penal Code sanction illegal gambling activities (articles 301, 302, 303 and 304 of the Belgian Penal Code – Strafwetboek).


Application for a Licence and Licence Restrictions


Who can apply for a licence to supply gambling facilities?

The law distinguishes nine types of licences.

Gaming industry providers must, depending on the nature of their activities, obtain one or more of the following licences:

  • Class 1 activities (casinos) require a licence A.  If activities include the offering of games or bets over the internet, an additional licence A+ is required.
  • Class 2 activities (amusement arcades) require a licence B and, if the activities take place over the internet, an additional licence B+.
  • Class 3 activities (establishments that sell alcohol and cafés) require a licence C, for the permission to exploit a maximum of two games (bingo and/or one-ball).
  • Class 4 activities (bookmakers) require a licence F.  To organise bets, an F1 licence is required.  Bookmakers that take bets on the account of licence F1 holders (gaming establishments) require an F2 licence.  For betting over the internet, an additional licence F+ is required.

 Who or what entity must apply for a licence and which entities or persons, apart from an operator, need to hold a licence? Are personal and premises licences needed? Do key suppliers need authorisation?


All employees of Class 1, 2 or 4 establishments need a separate licence D.

A licence E is required for the sale, rental, lease, delivery, making available, import, export, production and services of the maintenance, reparation and equipment of games of chance.





_ there was tonnes more legislation in the new guidelines _


of course,