Belgium’s Council of Ministers will revise a series of gambling safeguards and new industry proposals put forward by Justice Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Vincent Van Quickenborne.
The Berlaymont Assembly approved Van Quickenborne’s initial amendments to the Royal Decree on Games of Chance and the Protection of Players, 1999 last Friday.
The minister had recommended that his colleagues alter the Royal Decree to ‘revise downwards’. Belgium’s current €500 mandatory weekly deposit limit is set to be capped at €200 per week as a fixed standard.
During 2020, the Belgium Gambling Commission (BGC) enforced a €500 weekly deposit limit, adopted as a COVID-19 civic safeguard – which was due to be revised by the regulator as the government eased national lockdown restrictions.
However, Van Quickenborne’s intervention has called for the temporary restriction to be removed, by forcing licensed operators to observe a lowered deposit limit across websites set at a default rate of €200 per week.
The BGC and the National Bank of Belgium (NBB) are set to form a ‘cooperative agreement’, set to design and implement a centralised payer registry to protect consumers’ affordability to gamble. The lowering of the deposit limit across the online operators is one way in which the cooperative will protect those consumers who are vulnerable to gambling problems.
Further decree amendments saw Van Quickenborne recommend that Belgium update its ‘EPIS’ player self-exclusion scheme – as the system which was founded in 2004 only covered player entry to Belgium’s land-based gambling venues.
The draft proposal noted that the recommended amendments would require oversight by Belgium’s Data Protection Authority and further opinion from the Council of State.