Belgium applies capped license limit on betting businesses

The Belgium Gambling Commission (BGC) has reduced the number of betting operator/business licence concessions to 30.

The decision was granted by Belgium’s government, which approved new amendments to the Royal Decree of December 2010, which outlines the licence requirements and business obligations for betting operators (online or retail) to engage with customers.

As a result, betting business F1 licences will be limited to 30 from the period of 31 July 2022 to 31 July 2031.

The Commission will only be allowed to process a new operator licence should an active operator become vacant due to withdrawal or cessation.

Belgian gambling laws require all betting businesses to maintain an F1 licence detailing their domestic business registry and information of management.

Licensed betting operators are required to register further F2 licences dependent on the betting vertical they operate – retail, betting shop, newsagents or horseracing.

The BGC allows F1 licence holders to apply for a supplementary F1+ licence, which allows incumbents to operate online sportsbooks.  

2022 has seen the Belgium government revise the market safeguards for online gambling, in which the BGC has been ordered to impose a €200 weekly deposit limit on operators, to be enforced from 20 October.

In August, licensed incumbents were warned of further changes as the government submitted new safer gambling requirements and advertising restrictions to the European Commission.

Overseeing the market’s policy development, Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborn has proposed his recommendation of a self-drafted Royal Decree that would impose a near blanket ban on all forms of gambling advertising by the end of 2023.  

Van Quickenborn has stated that his mandate carries favour with all seven parties forming Belgium’s coalition government.

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