Belgium’s BAGO Sets New Benchmark in Responsible Gaming with Pioneering Duty of Care Initiative
The Belgian Association of Gaming Operators (BAGO) is taking a proactive stance in reshaping the gambling landscape with its newly introduced Duty of Care, a commitment to promote responsible gambling and mitigate problem gambling risks.
Amidst criticism and demonization of the gambling sector, the six major members of BAGO, including Ardent Group, Betfirst, Golden Palace, Kindred, Napoléon Sports & Casinos, and Starcasino, have pledged to implement this comprehensive set of measures. Collectively, these operators represent a commanding 70% share of Belgium’s regulated gambling market.
The Duty of Care outlines four critical pillars: the use of a uniform algorithmic system to detect harmful gambling behaviors, player recommendations on safe gambling practices, extensive staff training programs, and collaboration with the national gambling regulator. This initiative marks a significant move towards fostering a safer and more transparent gaming environment in Belgium.
BAGO’s initiative reflects a growing industry-wide recognition of the importance of responsible gaming and the need for operators to play a central role in protecting consumers and ensuring the integrity of the gambling market.
Emphasis on Advanced Technology: Utilizing algorithms and artificial intelligence, BAGO members are now equipped to identify and address problematic gaming behaviors at an early stage, enhancing the effectiveness of intervention strategies.
Response to Industry Criticism: The move comes as a response to the negative portrayal of the gambling industry, with BAGO members challenging misconceptions and exaggerated claims about the sector’s revenue and impact.
New Restrictions on Land-based Gambling: Last month, Belgium’s Federal Council of Ministers implemented mandatory electronic ID verification for slot machines across retail, leisure, and hospitality venues. This decision, expedited due to inadequate existing rules, highlights the government’s commitment to tightening gambling regulations.
Implementation Timeline and Guidance: The Belgian Gambling Commission is tasked with developing the timeline and technical guidelines for the e-ID checks, ensuring a smooth transition to these new regulatory measures.
BAGO’s Duty of Care initiative represents a significant advancement in the Belgian gambling industry’s approach to responsible gaming. By integrating cutting-edge technology, educating staff, and enhancing player protection measures, BAGO members are setting new standards for ethical gambling practices. As the Belgian gambling market adapts to these changes, including the recent government-imposed restrictions, the focus remains on creating a safer, more responsible, and transparent gaming environment for all stakeholders.