Belgian Gaming Commission
On July 19, 2001, a Royal Decree was issued, which contains a list of gambling entertainment that is officially allowed and licensed by the Belgium Gaming Commission. In 1999, the law “On Gambling and Gambling Houses” was issued, and in 2010 it was supplemented with new changes. It is this law that regulates the procedure for issuing gaming licenses.
The Belgian Gaming Commission is one of the most stringent and principled regulatory bodies in Europe. The main goal of this commission is to ensure the safety of every player who takes part in gambling entertainment. For this, strict special licensing has been introduced, which only the best online casinos can pass. To date, operators have the opportunity to obtain 3 types of licenses, depending on the range of services provided.
Gambling rules in Belgium
In 1999, the Belgian Gambling Commission was founded. It is this body that is responsible for regulating sports betting and licensing online casinos. It is also worth noting that this commission ensures the protection and safety of each player, regulates the activities of its licensees and imposes fines on them in case of failure to comply with strict rules.
The Belgian government in the issue of gambling adheres to the advice and recommendations of the Belgian Gaming Commission. This body can assist in the drafting of royal decrees, the procedure for amending legislation and responding to official inquiries and petitions regarding the gambling industry. This commission has contributed to the passage of many important laws: the National Anti-Money Laundering Regulations, the Unusual Transactions Act, the Terrorist Financing Regulations and the Know Your Customer Policy. Now these points are mandatory for every gambling establishment in Belgium.
The duties of the Belgian Gaming Commission also include control over the quality of services provided by licensed gambling enterprises. This regulatory body closely monitors compliance with international standards and Belgian government decrees. Checks are carried out on a regular basis. Each licensee undertakes to complete an audit trail on a regular basis for each of its clients who have made at least one deposit. This journal keeps track of all individual bets and financial transactions.
Third party auditors have ongoing access to game systems and software logs. All the rules of the game process, the results of bets and payouts remain in the public domain for the Belgian Gaming Commission for 5 years.
Belgian Gaming Commission
As in any other country, an unlicensed international gambling market still remains in Belgium. Such illegal platforms without a special license continue to attract players around the world with “favorable” terms of cooperation. But in reality, no one guarantees users security and stability.
Despite strict European legislation, illegal online casinos continue to penetrate the gambling entertainment market. The main reason for this negative phenomenon is the lack of a clear procedure for regulating the gambling market. But Belgium is actively fighting the black market of unlicensed casinos, sparing neither money nor time for this.
For providing services in the gambling industry without a special permit, you can get a large fine, the amount of which can reach 100,000 euros. Therefore, few people risk running an unlicensed business in Belgium. In order to obtain a license for an online casino, an operator must first obtain a license for a similar land-based casino.
Belgium Gaming Commission is represented by the head of the organization, as well as 6 separate ministries and their representatives: the Ministry of Finance, Justice, Economy, Interior, National Lottery and Health.
In order to carry out gambling activities in Belgium, you will need to obtain the following permits, depending on the services provided:
• License A. Designed for land-based casinos. This permit is issued for 25 years. In order to organize the work of an online casino, an A + license is required;
• License B. Designed for the operation of sites with slot machines and arcades. This permit is issued for 9 years. To conduct similar activities in an online format, a B + license is required;
• License C. Designed for gambling establishments and cafes selling alcohol. The permit is valid for 5 years;
• License D. Issued to service personnel of gambling establishments. The license is issued for 5 years;
• License E. Designed for software vendors. The license is valid for 10 years;
• F1 license. Issued to bookmakers that accept sports and horse bets. The license is issued for 9 years. An F+ permit is required to provide similar services on the Internet;
• G1 license. It is necessary for the organizers of tournaments, competitions and lotteries. The permit is issued for 5 years. To broadcast gambling on TV, you will need a license type G2. The validity of this permit is 1 year.
The most popular license from the Belgian Gaming Commission is the B+ type license. The cost of obtaining such a permit is 8,920 euros.
Basic information about BGA licenses
In order to provide gambling services to Belgian citizens, all online casino operators are required to obtain a special license. Since the entry into force of the law on gambling in Belgium, only 9 operators have received a work permit.
Land-based casinos licensed by the BGA can also operate online. In addition, some operators work in partnership with existing online platforms. According to the rules of the Belgian Gaming Commission, the server hosting the casino must be located in Belgium. Due to this rule, international gambling without a Belgian presence is prohibited.
Responsible Gaming Principles
It should be noted that the responsibility lies not only with the online casino operators, but also with the players themselves. All users who use the services of unlicensed gambling establishments can also be fined. The fine can be up to 25,000 euros.
Belgian legislation is equally strict and demanding both for casino operators and for the players themselves. This is what makes it possible to ensure the integrity of the entire system of regulation of this industry. It is important to keep in mind that ignorance of the rules on gambling legislation does not become a reason for circumventing a fine. Ignorance does not exempt anyone from responsibility.
In order to qualify for a license from the Belgian Gaming Commission, an operator must provide proof of their financial stability. To do this, it is necessary to guarantee the payment of commission fees in the amount of €250,000.
All BGA licensees who operate online must also pay tax on gambling profits. The amount of this tax is 11% of the total revenue.
The Belgium Gaming Commission is part of the European Casino Association. The main goal of the organization is to protect the interests of the players and guarantee them the security of financial payments.
The implementation of such a task involves the following range of functions:
• Control over the size of bets;
• Ban on bonuses in accordance with the decision of the Belgian Council of State;
• Possible denial of access to the casino platform;
• Providing services only to persons who have reached the age of 21;
• The availability of free access to the contacts of the customer support service, as well as the rules of responsible gambling.
In cases where the client was unable to independently resolve the disputed issue with the representatives of the casino, he can file a complaint with the Belgium Gaming Commission.
In Belgium, taxation in the gambling industry is regulated by the “Code of taxes equal to the income tax”. The amount of taxes is determined by the regional government. Belgium consists of 3 autonomous regions: Wallonia, Flanders and the Brussels-Capital Region. Each of these jurisdictions has its own tax rates.
The Flemish region independently deals with the procedure of taxation in the territory of its jurisdiction. In other regions, the federal government collects taxes.
The general tax for all operators carrying out gambling activities is 15%. In Wallonia, this figure is 11%. This fee does not include bets on pigeon races, national lotteries and gambling from non-profit organizations.
The tax rate for gambling establishments that operate online is 11% of net profit.
Only those operators who are residents of Belgium or the European Union will be able to obtain a license from the Belgium Gaming Commission. Only such companies will be able to provide their services to users from Belgium. If the operator is a foreign legal entity, then a mandatory item is the presence of a local director who is a resident of Belgium. Then it is he who will be in contact with the competent state authorities and will conclude the necessary contracts on his own behalf.
It is also mandatory to have a bank account in any bank in Belgium. All users’ money will be deposited into this account. Licensed casinos can only cooperate with AGCC approved payment systems.
The list of requirements for obtaining a license may vary depending on the type of gambling entertainment provided.
A mandatory item is the monthly submission of declarations, which contain all the detailed information regarding income from games for recess, paid taxes and fees. All licensees undertake to exclude the possibility of playing by minors, as well as adhere to the permissible content of promotional materials.
Procedure for obtaining a license from Belgian Gaming Commission
In order to obtain permission to conduct gambling activities in Belgium, you must adhere to the following algorithm of actions:
1. Send your personal data by registered mail: registration number, registration address, company name, email address and website URL;
2. Provide a certificate of non-conviction, which was issued no later than 3 months ago;
3. Fill in the table on accepting responsibility for the financial condition and safety of several persons;
4. Provide information about your financial situation for the last 3 years. To do this, you must submit a copy of the tax return;
5. Describe your credit history in detail;
6. Provide information on the availability of accounts in foreign banks;
7. Indicate whether the licensee was a member of the company that went bankrupt. If the answer is yes, you will need to specify the details of such companies;
8. Provide personal data of all shareholders, as well as the company’s directors;
9. Provide a complete list of available gambling entertainment;
10. Attach rules for each game;
11. Provide an extract from the bank, which confirms that the company’s account has at least 10 thousand euros;
12. Specify the location of the server from which the casino site is managed.
This procedure is intended for licenses of categories A, B, C and D. For licenses of types G and F, the registration procedure can be carried out in electronic format.
The cost of obtaining a BGA license
In 2020, the Royal Decree on License Fees was issued. It is on the basis of this legislative act that the process of payment of fees by license holders of the Belgium Gaming Commission is regulated. The cost can vary significantly depending on the category of the license BGA obtained:
• License A – 22,085 euros and above (minimum deposit – 21,420 euros, as well as an additional 714 euros for each slot machine);
• License A + – 22085 euros;
• License B – 8920 euros;
• B+ license – 8920 euros;
• License C – 600 euros;
• License E – 1975 euros;
• F1 license – 10180 euros;
• F2 license – 1517 euros;
• G1 license – 17,840 euros;
• G2 license – 100 euros.
Belgium guarantees high security standards for online gambling. In this country, only operators with a land-based casino will be able to obtain a license to conduct online gambling business. Such high barriers to entry virtually eliminate the possibility of unreliable operators with a dubious reputation on the market. At the legislative level, the procedure for providing a clear history of cash flows for each licensee is fixed. On this page, you will be able to find online casinos that have a BGA license. All these gambling platforms have SSL encryption, so users can be sure that financial transactions are safe and the casino is reliable.
Belgian Gaming Commission