Belgium online gambling restrictions

Belgium introduces monthly deposit limit for online gambling

The Belgian Gaming Commission (BGC) has introduced a €500 monthly deposit for iGaming activities. 

This restriction will remain in effect until the country’s Covid-19 lockdown has ended. 

Belgium’s gambling regulator has also advised players on how they can avoid using online gambling as a means of keeping themselves occupied while isolating. 

New spending caps 

While players are unable to increase their spending cap, they do have the option to decrease it further if needs be. This can be raised back up to a higher limit – again capped at €500 – at a later date. However, these changes will only be implemented three days after the request. This is so that the user isn’t put in a harmful position. 

Last week, the BGC issued advice for people in lockdown. In this, it said the following. 

“While gambling has never been the solution to any problem, the current situation could see people spending more time on the internet especially on gaming sites.In addition, many people lose social control because they are alone at home.  

“Therefore, there is a risk new players will become addicted or that existing players will sink further into addiction. It is of the utmost importance that the players, and in particular the vulnerable players, are not forgotten.”  

Personnel changes 

The BGC also announced a change of leadership earlier this week. Taking over from Etienne Marique, former Brussels High Court judge Magali Clavie will become the commission’s new chair. 

Clavie has set out to move the regulator forward, with the aim of emphasising player safety. She also wants closer control of regulated gambling activities here. 

Earlier this year, the regulator said that it will explore the possibility of stricter advertising regulations. 

Belgian gambling activity limited to online 

The lockdown of Belgium means that all land-based gambling outlets have shut their doors for now. Licensed selling points will remain closed until 19th April at least, in line with government advice. 

For each month that the closure continues, retail operators will be allowed to ask for a tax break. This will be equal to one-twelfth of their annual fee. 

Changes to lottery too 

The country’s National Lottery has decided to adapt its rules to the current situation. Since the virus began to spread through Belgium, ticket sales have declined by 30%. 

Newsagents will now earn commission on each ticket sold, as opposed to doing so for each week where this passes €100. To stop players from visiting shops on a regular basis, they can also make purchases for the next 10 draws. 

Rather than the previous 20-week prize collection period, players now have an extra 10 weeks to collect their winnings. Moreover, wins over €100,000 in value no longer require a visit to the lottery’s headquarters. Instead, players will be visited by a representative to confirm that their ticket is genuine.

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