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Belgium Implements Stricter Age Limit for Gambling



Belgium Raises Minimum Gambling Age to 21 Amid Regulatory Overhaul

In a significant move, Belgium is set to elevate the minimum age for gambling, tightening regulations across the industry. As a seasoned gambling expert, let’s delve into the implications of this decision and its broader impact on the gambling landscape.

Belgium Raises Gambling Age: Stricter Regulations Ahead

The Belgian gambling regulator, Kansspelcommissie, has announced the enforcement of a higher minimum gambling age, raising it from 18 to 21 effective September 1. This measure extends the existing age requirement for land-based casinos and arcades to encompass all forms of gambling.

Aligning with EU Standards: Belgium’s Regulatory Shift

Belgium joins Greece as the only EU countries enforcing a minimum gambling age of 21 for both online and land-based gambling. The decision reflects a broader trend toward harmonizing gambling regulations across European jurisdictions to enhance consumer protection and mitigate gambling-related harm.

Legislative Amendments: A Comprehensive Overhaul

The revised Gambling Act of 1999 introduces several changes beyond the age requirement adjustment. Proposed by Green Party minister Stefaan Van Hecke and approved by the Chamber of Representatives in January, the amendments include banning slots at bars and recreational clubs and imposing stringent marketing restrictions.


Crackdown on Gambling Advertising: Marketing Ban and Restrictions

Belgium has taken decisive steps to curb gambling advertising, banning all forms of promotional content since July last year. Additionally, licensed operators face new constraints from September, prohibiting free bets, bonuses, or gifts as incentives. Moreover, advertising igaming on platforms offering sports betting, bingo, or poker will be prohibited.

Industry Opposition: Challenges Ahead

Despite the regulatory overhaul, the Belgian association of gambling operators (BAGO) has expressed dissent. BAGO Chair Tom De Clercq voiced concerns about the total ban on advertising, warning of adverse effects and advocating for alternative solutions. The clash highlights ongoing tensions between policymakers and industry stakeholders.

Navigating the Regulatory Landscape: Impact on Operators and Players

For operators, compliance with the stringent regulations poses operational challenges, requiring adjustments to marketing strategies and promotional activities. Players, especially those aged 18 to 20, face limitations on access to gambling options, impacting their gaming experiences and choices.

Future Outlook: Evolving Regulatory Environment

As Belgium implements these regulatory changes, the gambling landscape is poised for transformation. The effectiveness of the stricter measures in addressing gambling-related harm and promoting responsible gambling practices will shape future regulatory discussions and industry dynamics.


Conclusion: Belgium’s decision to raise the minimum gambling age and tighten marketing regulations underscores its commitment to fostering a safer gambling environment. However, the industry faces hurdles in navigating the evolving regulatory landscape, necessitating collaboration between policymakers and stakeholders to achieve balanced regulation that safeguards consumers while supporting a thriving gambling sector.

Jerome, a valuable addition to the Gamingo.News team, brings with him extensive journalistic experience in the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry was sparked during his college years when he participated in local poker tournaments, eventually leading to his exposure to the burgeoning world of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now utilizes his accumulated knowledge to fuel his passion for journalism, providing the team with the latest online scoops.

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