A number of countries around the world are looking at addressing growing concerns of problem gambling in their respective markets.
The Netherlands, Germany and United Kingdom are two countries that have experimented with lowering weekly betting deposit limits in order to get them to spend less and keep their gambling in check.
Belgium has decided to roll out a similar set of restrictions based on its new draft regulations proposed by the Council of Ministers. The current betting deposit limit was set at €500 which was considered too high for Belgian players. The new betting weekly limits will now be restricted to €200 per week.
This betting deposit limit proposal was introduced by Minister of Justice Vincent Van Quickenborne. Do note that this betting limit will not be imposed on a national level but be rolled out for each operator instead. Belgium introduced the €500 deposit betting limit only in April 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic forced a global lockdown.
The gaming regulator in Belgium has been keeping a close watching on problem gambling stats especially in light of the lockdown. The Netherlands imposed stringent restrictions on its gambling market during the pandemic to ensure that Dutch players will not be targeted by gambling operators during the lockdown. Belgium is looking to adopt a similar strategy in an attempt to protect its players.
Some Of The Other Proposed Regulations
One of the other main clauses in the draft regulation proposal is the request from the Belgian Gaming Commission to get confidential data from the National Bank of Belgium on the financial status of each player. The gambling watchdog wants the National Bank to share private information and confirm if a player is known to default on their debts.
The proposal first needs to get clearance from the Data Protection Authority before being sent to the Council of State for a vote. Unless it gets a majority vote, it will not be rolled out. This is a big decision because if it gets the necessary approval, then important financial information of Belgian players will be disclosed to gaming operators and the gambling watchdog.
One of the other proposals is to include betting shops around the country to the Belgian national exclusion registry. The Council of Ministers believes that this is an important step as the self-exclusion registry has worked well in Belgian and opening it up to betting shops will offer better protection to all players.