Belgian gambling market is one of the oldest and most stable in the European region. Be sure to read the current article to learn more on the licensing operators rules, the legal jurisdiction features as well as the prospects for the Belgian market development.
Belgian gaming industry features
Belgians have been early provided with the chance to play casino since online gambling operations have been legally regulated since 2002. Belgian Gaming Commission is the industry’s control body.
The country provides nine gambling institutions, seven specialized poker rooms, three hippodromes, and one sports betting operator in the country.
The fact that card and board games, available at carnivals or fairs and those which have been organized for charitable purposes, can’t be defined as gambling, is one of Belgian gambling features.
Each gambling activity in the country is carried out only when having a license, issued by Belgian gambling regulator. Illegal gambling institutions advertising is subject to punishment by the law.
Key Belgian market feature is that there is no autonomous license for the web services provision right license. Those, who have already been provided with the gambling ground object activities permit, is entitled to become online operator.
Gambling is allowed in the country, according to Belgian law. The law defines gambling as the monetary rates implementation risk-related entertainment. So, the definition includes both table and card gambling, slot machines as well as sports betting operations.
Online industry is regulated by two royal decrees in addition to the law, which has legalized land and remote gambling. The first decree obliges operators to provide the remote casino’s official website name and structure data, as well as the server’s technical features. Online gambling operators are obliged to provide the gambling regulator with their own creditworthiness, fiscal obligations data and company’s marketing policy basics as well, according to the second. In addition, the operators undertake to provide information on users’ personal data and transactions protection procedure, as well as customers-related policies, belonging to socially vulnerable population groups. Besides social casinos are allowed in Belgium, where the users are able to play free slot machines without using own funds.
The current decrees actually stimulate a constant dialogue between operators and gaming regulator, ensuring online gambling industry efficiency.
Another royal decree, adopted in 2018, limits gambling advertising in the state.
The profit tax rate size is 33.99%. Additional gambling tax is 15%. 21% VAT is implied for online segment as well.
Belgian gambling license
Belgium provides various gambling operations licensing types. Land-based casinos’ gaming operators get A license. Its enhanced version, called A+ is available as well. Gambling halls operate in the country based on B license and its B+ enhanced version. C license gives a chance to provide gaming machines usage-related services in bars instead of separate premises. Both casinos and gaming halls employees are obliged to buy D license. E license is provided for land gambling institutions and game halls integrated management.
Bookmakers are provided with F1- F2 license. Those betting operators, striving to provide services on remote bookmaker offices, need to get F+ license. Television games are provided with G1- G2 license.
The enhanced license version law usually means the right to conduct web operations.
Certain documents list is required to get operation permit in a jurisdiction. Some requirements are extremely specific. For example, it is obligatory to provide a document, confirming the company owner strictly follows Belgian political and civil rights. Then it’s required to provide a certificate of good conduct certificate and several tax returns copies.
Each operator is required to open an account with a guaranteed amount of at least €250 thousand.
Licenses are issued for a period of 15 years with the right of renewal.
Belgian gambling industry development prospects
Belgium is the first European country to legalize both land and remote gambling. Belgian players were the first to play casino legally. The market is quite complicated due to the legal requirements rigidity in relation to operators, but its strength is both rules transparency and stability as well. In addition, the market participants are deemed elected while the activity itself is deemed prestigious due to increased control and complex licensing process.
We’ll remind that Belgian gambling regulator is actively fighting against lootboxes.