1 - Relevant Authorities and Legislation
2 - Application for a Licence and Licence Restrictions
3 - The Restrictions on Online Supply/Technology
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
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
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
The law distinguishes nine types of
Gaming industry providers must,
depending on the nature of their activities, obtain one or more of the
- 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+.
3 activities (establishments that sell alcohol and cafés) require a
licence C, for the permission to exploit a maximum of two games (bingo
- 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 _