Belgium is a federal state located in Western Europe. The country has a population of approximately 11,000,000 people and was one of the original members of the European Union. As a society, gambling has been a part of the culture since the 1300s. After well over 600 years of unregulated gambling, the federal government finally decided it was time to start regulating and taxing the industry. T&C's apply to all bonus offers on this site. Click for a list of all jurisdictions.
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Establishment of the Belgium Gaming Commission
In 1999, the Belgium Parliament passed legislation that established the Belgium Gaming Commission. The Commission's original charter was to oversee the establishment of gaming regulations and the issuing of licenses for land-based casinos, poker rooms and lotteries.
Soon after the establishment of the Commission, the Games of Chance Act of 1999 was signed, which formed the guidelines under which gambling establishments could operate. Later legislation (2001 Bill on Games of Chance, The 2002 National Lottery Act) would provide additional guidelines for sports gambling and lotteries.
It's noteworthy that online gambling was prohibited until 2009 when the Belgian Gaming Act (effective 2011) legalized online gaming with provisions for oversight, taxation and business operation guidelines.
Oversight and Taxation
One of the things the Commission wanted to avoid was getting bogged down dealing with disputes. With this in mind, it should be noted that oversight in Belgium is not as good as it could be.
Most online casinos and sportsbooks are allowed to operate without much interference as long as they are not set on a path to intentionally cheat players. The feeling is that as long as they operate above board and pay 11% in taxes on all net profits on a timely basis, they are free to operate as they see fit.
Business Operation Guidelines
While oversight is not exactly a strong suit for the Belgium Gaming Commission, they do have very strict guidelines for issuing gaming licenses to online casino owners who want to offer iGaming services to residents of the country. Here are few of the more important guidelines that must be adhered to at all times.
- Player Regulations - All players must submit proof of identification and residence or location in Belgium..
- Ownership Regulations - In order to operate an online casino for the benefit of Belgium residents, the owner must first secure a Belgium license for a land-based gambling operation. The owner must also provide proof of solvency and provide a financial guarantee fee of €250,000 to be used as collateral against violations and fines.
- Systems Regulations - The site's infrastructure, including operations and IT services, must be located within the country's boundaries. Additionally, a live electronic link must be established between the computer system and the Belgium Gaming Commission's own computers. The name of the person in charges must be registered with the Commission at all times.
Belgium has a rather liberal attitude about all forms of gambling. The industry is robust in most parts of the country and the Belgium Gaming Commission reports that everything seems to be running smooth and there has been very little in the way of issues between players and providers.
The Belgium Gaming Commission was established in 1999, and the Chance Act of 1999 signed to form the guidelines under which operators could do business. Online gaming was illegal until 2009, when the Belgian Gaming Act was proposed and came into effect in 2011.
Click to visit Belgium Gaming Commission website.
By Denise Marie