Belgium introduces a betting limit of 500 euros for online gambling
The Belgian gaming regulator, Commission des Jeux de Hasard, announced a new statutory betting limit for online gambling earlier this week. From now on, each player can only deposit 500 euros per week on gambling websites licensed to you by the authority. There had previously been no cross vendor limit.
The Commission points out that customers cannot avoid this limit by contacting the relevant gaming providers. However, a reduction in the betting limit or an exclusion from gambling is still possible at any time.
Funds could therefore also be reclaimed retrospectively if a gambling provider has already accepted a deposit of more than 500 euros.
Players are also encouraged to report violations of the new regulation should they notice this. The Commission will issue sanctions in this case.
Online gambling in Belgium is only allowed to those gaming companies that already have a Belgian license for land-based gambling. However, the operators of casinos, arcades and betting shops must apply for a separate license for online gambling. Foreign gambling websites are considered illegal in Belgium.
Player protection more important than ever
The introduction of a cross-provider betting limit is an important measure to protect players from excessive online gambling in times of the corona crisis and the associated isolation.
Already on April 2, the authority published a guide [page in French] on how vulnerable players or their families can help themselves during this special time.
The Gambling Commission is aware that in these times numerous people suddenly have to stay at home and are confronted with additional free time […] Many people also lose the ability to control themselves because they are alone at home. Therefore, there is a risk that new players will develop a dependency and problem players will increase their dependency.
Under the motto “Out of sight, but not out of mind”, players with problematic gaming behavior are encouraged to continue to contact the telephone counseling service.
Relatives, on the other hand, should intensify contact via social media or video chat so that those affected do not feel alone and play even more in response.
Land-based gambling in Belgium is said to remain closed until April 19. Whether casinos and bookmakers are allowed to reopen afterwards depends on the development of the corona pandemic and the subsequent government reactions.
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