Belgium’s Strict Regulations May Be Counter-Productive

Belgium’s strict regulations might be having an adverse effect, according to concerned operators. According to Gaming1, a local gambling operator, stricter regulations alienate the players, pushing them to the more dangerous black market.

Citing recent Nepa surveys, the company pointed out that more and more gamblers are leaking to the black market every year. Data suggests that the use of unlicensed websites increased by 6% in 2023 alone.

Additionally, Gaming1 referred to the results of two studies on the matter, including a study from the Belgian Gaming Commission and a report by Yield Sec. The operator said that the number of unlicensed companies continues to increase in spite of the commission’s efforts to crack down on illegal gambling.

The operator explained that the unlicensed companies don’t play by the rules and therefore can offer bigger bets and winnings, no limits and the opportunity for under-21s to play. To make matters worse, recent surveys found that the top 10 most popular websites in the country are illegal.

As several big sporting events approach, Gaming1 highlighted the importance of standing up against the black market. The company noted that such companies pose significant dangers to player health as they have none of the limits the legal market does.

Over-Regulation Is Hurting the Belgian Market, Gaming1 Says

Speaking of limits, having too many of them seems to have an adverse effect, according to Gaming1. The company expressed its concerns about the restrictive nature of regulation in the country, arguing that it prompts players to turn to the black market.

For reference, Belgium has a variety of limits, including a EUR 200 weekly deposit limit. In addition to that, the country recently banned almost all advertising and is preparing to prevent under-21s from betting on sports from September.

 Additionally, bonuses, which tend to attract many bettors, have been banned since 2020.

Gaming 1 accused the regulatory framework of sporting a stigmatizing approach, instead of tacking the issue with moderation. The company asked Belgian authorities to be more careful with their regulatory efforts, saying that they should strive for a balance instead of over-regulation.