Belgium: operators to challenge new deposit limit

Belgian Association of Gambling Operators (BAGO) to submit an appeal to the Belgian Council of State over the new weekly €500 limit. 

Belgium.- Belgian online gaming operators are preparing to challenge the measure imposed by the Belgian Gaming Commission (BGC) to put a €500 weekly limit on deposits

The limit was imposed last week and also allows players to set even lower weekly deposit limits if they wish.

But because licensed operators were not consulted before the restrictions came into force, the Belgian Association of Gambling Operators (BAGO) will submit an appeal to the Belgian Council of State. 

L’Echo newspaper quotes Emmanuel Mewissen, President of BAGO, as saying that operators were infuriated about the decision and that he is concerned that players would turn to websites that are licensed internationally, but not in Belgium, as a result of this measure.  

Official numbers reveal that online gambling is declining since the pandemic began.

According to Justice Minister, Koen Geens, online gambling traffic has fallen 38 per cent since the country entered lockdown down to Covid-19. Ticket sales for the National Lottery have also dropped by 30 per cent. 

Geens explained that the decrease is due in part to the lack of sporting events, but also because people are “losing confidence”.

“In the current anxiety-provoking climate, people are losing confidence and playing less”, Geens added. 

The country has extended its national lockdown until 19th April. If the infection rate does not slow by then, this will be pushed back to 3rd May. 

All of Belgium’s land-based gambling outlets have been closed, meaning that gambling is limited to online for now.

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