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   Thursday, June 08 2023 
Belgian law on online gambling: The European commission could recognize it

To slow down the increase of the number of online casino, poker and sports betting illegal websites, which are an extremely lucrative business according to the Belgian politicians, the Room of the representatives in Belgium approved a bill at the beginning of December. This bill about online gambling was only a simple modification of a text about games of chance published in 1999. The Upper House of the Kingdom of Belgium had adopted its own text at the end of November 2009, text which Belgian deputies had validated without making any modification. But the European commission seems to disagree on this new law.

After this news, the EGBA, the association gathering the principal operators of online gambling in Europe, decided to react. It opposes to the obligation imposed to the operators who want to have an online license to have before a terrestrial casino license. The EGBA estimates that the only benefiter of this decision are the casinos and the physical operators of sports betting already implanted in Belgium, three points of the adopted bill on December the 3rd which disturb also the European Commission. The text is opposed to the principle of freedom of traffic of services on the territory of the European Community. With this measure, Belgium makes a distortion to the Commission and runs the risk of an infraction of procedure. But the Kingdom could be saved by the close “Santa Casa” which authorizes each country to install barriers at the entry of their market when those are justified by an objective to fight against fraud and criminality.

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