An important aspect of the legislation requires banning gambling incentives like bonuses and complimentary bets.

Belgium has taken a crucial step towards implementing stricter regulations to combat to surge in online gambling addiction. The Chamber of Representatives previously approved a set of new measures proposed by Green MP Stefaan Van Hecke. This marks a milestone in a five-year campaign for tighter controls.
The revised regulations are slated to take effective starting first of September. It follows the endorsement received last month. These measures come on the heels of a gambling advertising ban imposed in July of last year. This further solidifies Belgium’s stance on responsible gambling.
One of the law’s key provisions is the prohibition of gambling inducements. This includes bonuses and free bets, aimed at the curbing the practice of enticing players with tempting offers. Moreover, the legal gambling age will be raised from 18 to 21. It reflects the growing concerns about the vulnerability of young people to gambling addiction.
At the start of the year in January, the Flemish Expertise Center for alcohol, illegal drugs, psychoactive medication, gambling and gaming, VAD, proposed increasing the minimum age for gambling in Belgium to 21. It aligns with its efforts to prevent harm among young adults. The organization emphasized the need for cost-effective measures like advertising bans and price increases to mitigate the risks associated with gambling and consumption of alcohol.
Furthermore, the new legislation reinforces the existing ban on gambling advertisements, going as far as to ban all forms of advertising. An exception would be if it is explicitly approved by the government. This move underscores curbing the pervasive influence of gambling promotions of vulnerable populations as Belgium’s commitment.
There has been a criticism surrounding the exclusion of the National Lottery from the new regulations. This is while the measures represent an important step forward in promoting responsible gambling.