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Online Casinos Belgium - 409 casino reviews 2020

Find most of the online casinos that currently accept players from Belgium.

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Online gambling in Belgium has been legal since 2011, unlike many other European countries which have effectively banned all gambling activities online. The country's position as the host of the EU puts a certain pressure on it to stand up as a model nation following the rules of free trade and the competitive marketplace. The country still wants some sort of control over gambling activities, both online and in physical casinos, in order to protect vulnerable players from addiction.

In order for a company to provide an online gambling service in the country, such as online casinos, they must also possess a license for land-based operations. The government has kept a limit on the licenses that can be granted, which makes it particularly difficult for new countries to comply with these restrictions. However, there are ways to circumnavigate these laws, as the case of bwin.party highlighted. Initially black-listed for being online only, the company was later granted a license by partnering with the Belgian based Casino Kursaal Oostende NV.

Licensing a gambling facility in Belgium is where it gets complicated according to the law of the land. Licenses are divided into many parts. A is meant for land-based casinos while A+ is meant for casinos providing online services as well. B is for land-based slot machine arcades while B+ is for the arcades which provide online services as well. C is issued to cafés and venues offering one-ball and Bingo only. D is issued to employees of a gambling establishment. E is for gaming equipment – renting, selling and production. F1 is the organizer of the bet, F2 is for individuals providing betting services, and F2 is for providing online sports betting services.

Lastly, G1 is for the televised games of chance while G2 is for the games of chance broadcasted using another media coverage.

There are companies, however, that choose to offer their online services to Belgian citizens without the proper licenses. In order to combat this, the Belgium Gaming Commission started compiling a blacklist of companies, which they pass on to ISP providers. The fines that accompany being placed on the list can be huge, with Belgian citizens caught playing on these sites potentially facing a fine of around €250. Although some companies, including Malta-based Bet-at-home, have claimed that blocking their domain names is illegal data collection, these claims have unsurprisingly been rejected due to the fact that it is also illegal for them to be trying to operate in Belgium in the first place.

Reassessment of their approach to regulations

In trying to both comply with the EU regulations and keep a grasp of control, the Belgian government has found its approach moving out of alignment with EU mandates.

While the Belgian approach is rather successful and does a good job at protecting players, it might also be quite outdated due to the shift from land-based to online/mobile. Word is the Belgian Gambling Commission is re-assessing the land-based connection to make sure it's still the best way forward nearly 10 years after its implementation. If the land-based connection were to be lifted, then online gaming halls would be able to offer a much wider range of games. It would also be possible for big casino giants such as Mr Green and Casumo to enter the Belgian market. The only question is whether the current online gambling sites in Belgium would be able to compete.

The Belgian Gaming Commission is competent to monitor illegal gambling in Belgium and to take subsequent action. It adopts a stringent approach with regard to illegal offshore gambling operators directing their activities to Belgian residents.

The Gambling Commission mechanisms

The powers of the Gaming Commission are very broad. It can issue warnings against illegal operators but also issue administrative fines. In the first instance, however, the Gaming Commission will not act as prosecuting authority but will only note infringements and transfer the file to the public prosecutor. If the latter takes action on the basis of the file handed to him or her, the illegal operator may be subject to criminal prosecution.

The Gaming Commission also has in place a mechanism to prevent Belgian residents from accessing illegal (including offshore) gambling websites. This mechanism involves the drafting of a blacklist which is available on the Gaming Commission website. This blacklist includes all websites that, in the Gaming Commission's official opinion, offer gambling to Belgian residents without the required license. Through a cooperation between the Gaming Commission, the special police IT-crime unit and internet service providers (ISPs), the Gaming Commission informs the police of the name and details of the illegal websites; that data is then transferred to the ISPs that will block the access to the website. The website will then become inaccessible to Belgian residents. If they try to access the website a stop-page will be displayed with the different logos of the enforcement authorities stating that the website is no longer accessible because it infringes Belgian law.

While the Belgian approach is rather successful and does a good job at protecting players, it might also be a little outdated due to the shift from land-based to online/mobile. Word is the Belgian Gambling Commission is re-assessing the land-based connection to make sure it's still the best way forward nearly 10 years after its implementation. If the land-based connection were to be lifted, then online gaming halls would be able to offer a much wider range of games. It would also be possible for big casino giants such as Mr Green and Casumo to enter the Belgian market.

Taxation in gambling

When it comes to taxation, things are regulated by a “code of taxes equal to the income tax”. Each of the regions within the country are responsible for what happens within their jurisdiction so there are actually different tax rates depending on where you are.

A general tax of 15% is levied on the gross amounts of wagers, excluding winnings on national lotteries and pigeon races if the participant is the one wagering and games of chance organized by non-profit organizations.

There are currently no specific rules regulating the use of virtual currencies or cryptocurrencies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is online gambling legal in Belgium?

Yes, however, you may only partake in gambling in operators licensed by the country's Gambling Commission.

What is the minimum age requirement for gambling in Belgium?

You must be 21 or older.

Is there taxation applied to wagering in Belgium?

Yes, rates are applied differently depending on the region within the country. It could go from 15% tax on winnings to tax exempted if it's on a national lottery or organized by non-profit organizations.

What's the gambling authority within Belgium?

It's for the Belgian Gaming Commission instituted by the Belgian administration, to license, regulate, monitor and audit all gambling facilities, activities, players and organizers in the country.

Can I gamble with cryptocurrency in Belgium?

There are currently no specific rules regulating the use of virtual currencies or cryptocurrencies. Only specific extra underlining by their gambling commission about whether certain activities with virtual currency are to be viewed as wagering.

What are the best gambling sites that accept players from Belgium?

These are currently the best casinos that offer their services to players from Belgium that are completely legal: Juicy Vegas Casino, Casino 777, Winoui Casino.