Betting Sites in Belgium

Apart from its rich history and multicultural nature, Belgium has also created a dynamic ground for sports betting and gambling. Situated in Western Europe, Belgium has a legislation that has been flexible enough to accommodate the growing world of land-based as well as online betting. This evolution has not only simplified the operations of betting sites in Belgium but also controlled Belgium sports betting closely to protect the interests of players.

Betting Sites in Belgium
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The Genesis of Wagering in Belgium

Gambing has long history in Belgium and the earliest records of card games and lotteries date as far as 1300, after which there was a national lottery in the 15th century. Yet an important milestone in the gambling history of Belgium is associated with the building of the Grand Casino in Knokke which was designed by a famous Belgian architect Leon Stynen. Although damaged in the Second World War it was restored to become the largest casino in Belgium but also a center of culture for art exhibitions and musical performances.

Regulatory Milestones

Belgium gambling regulations have changed in the year 1999 with an establishment of the Belgian Gaming Commission. The legislative landmark symbolized the start of a licensed, controlled, and state-monitored gambling epoch in the state. The Law on Gambling of May 7, 1999, proposed gambling as game of chance, providing the platform for controlled betting activities.

An important update arrived with the Belgian Gaming Act of 2011, which unified online gambling with the land-based operations, legalized online games of chance. Despite the legalisation, online gambling stayed unregulated to a large extent till the Belgian Gaming Commission in March 2022 realised the need for a comprehensive approach to online gambling laws, stating that the “offline regulations” might be outdated or unsuitable for the online applications.

Gambling Law and Regulation in Belgium – 5 Things to Know

Large fines for unlicensed operation.

Player protection and ethical conduct.

Cannot advertise through Royal Decree.

You have to be at least 21 to gamble in Belgium.

Belgian gambling laws govern both the offline and online operations.

Betting Regulations in Belgium

Deregulatory regime is not the model which Belgium uses for the functioning of its gambling industry, as all gambling operators, be the land-based or online, have to be properly licensed. The types of licences are as follows:

  • License A: For a renewal period of 15 years with a restriction to class I gaming establishments (casinos).
  • License B: For class II gaming establishments (gaming arcades), renewable every nine years.
  • License C: For bars and other Class III gaming establishments with an unlimited number of licenses and a renewal period of five years.
  • License D: Licensing of professional activity in gaming operations of class I, II and IV, with no limit of licenses.
  • License F1: Especially for class IV gaming institutions (bettor organizers), with a renewal period of nine years.
  • License F1+: Needed to provide internet bets, showing the parallelism in land-based and online bet regulation.

The classification means that all aspects of gambling as well as sports betting in Belgium are regulated, beginning with casinos and online betting sites, and therefore, the secure and responsible betting environment is created.

Tightened Advertising Rules

To adapt to the changing gambling environment, the Belgian government applied severe advertising requirements through a Royal Decree in February 2023. The decree basically outlaws gambling advertisements with the exception of authorized circumstances, introducing horizontal limitations to promotional practices in order to save consumers, particularly minors, from the possible evil.

Gambling Laws and Licences Specifics

Belgian gambling laws have been carefully enacted to cover various aspects of both land-based and online gambling operations, as illustrated below:Belgian gambling laws have been carefully enacted to cover various aspects of both land-based and online gambling operations, as illustrated below:

  • 1999 Gambling Law – Legalization of regulated gambling activities.
  • 2011 Belgian Gaming Act – Unification and legalisation of Internet gambling.
  • Royal Decree February 2023 – Tight control on advertising of betting.

Illegal operation results in blacklisting, and enforcement actions include high fines for operators and for players who access the illicit sites. It is worth mentioning that minimum age for gambling in Belgium is 21, which supports the steps the country is taking to save young and at risk gamblers.

Navigating the Future: Betting Sites in Belgium

The tough regulatory approach in Belgium regarding sports betting and gambling is indicative of the fact that Belgium is very much dedicated to providing a fair, trustworthy and safe environment for the players. Licensing, supported by action against unlicensed operations and a restriction on advertising, reflects Belgium’s proactive approach towards the issues of intergation of traditional and online gambling markets. Belgium offers a well-regulated platform for sports bettors and betting enthusiasts who are promised a secure and fun betting environment based on the strictest player protection standards and ethical gambling practices.

Betting Sites in Belgium – FAQ

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