Belgium are stepping up their game in order to try and get rid of illegal non regulated gambling within their borders. Their latest step is to more than double the amount of inspectors, going from seven to 15 in the gambling commission. The actions are primarily targeted against players playing on illegal slots in bars and other land based illegal gambling activity, but it could also be the online players turn next.
“It will be interesting to see how far the BGC wishes to go in fining individual players and whether the Public Prosecution office is also willing to make infringements in this area a matter of prosecution priority,” said Patrick Van Eecke, Lawyer at DLA Piper.
Belgium regulated their gaming markets back in 2011, where they did some of the most strict rules and laws that any regulated market has created so far. Among the rules were that the online operators wanting to obtain a gaming license in Belgium would have to work together with a land based casino, otherwise they would not be considered for a license.
The gambling commission also created a law to ensure that players would not simply play on unregulated gambling sites. The law states that if a player decides to play on an unregulated gambling site, they may be imprisoned for up to three years and pay a fine upwards of €150,000. There has been no players being prosecuted so for though, but that might change with the growing focus on illegal and unregulated gambling in Belgium.
Belgium has created a blacklist of operators that has accepted Belgian players, despite not having a Belgian gambling license, which almost all regulated countries do. The blacklist includes several well known brands such as 888 and Bet365 and a whole lot of not so well known poker/casino/sportsbetting and bingo sites.