Though the borders between the countries of the EU become more and more conditional, there are still a lot of differences in the legislative systems of different states. This is true for all scopes of activity, including gambling. While the governments of some countries prohibit all forms of real-money gaming completely, others allow almost everything. Belgium is known for its quite liberal attitude to gambling, but the whole industry is controlled and regulated by the state. This is not bad for final consumers, i.e. players, as they can feel protected by the state by playing in licensed reliable casinos offline and online.
There are quite a lot of licensed online casinos available to the residents of Belgium. By default, gaming in non-licensed casinos is illegal. Moreover, it can be unsafe, as these casinos are uncontrolled. So the first rule is to choose casinos that are approved by the authorities of Belgium. Also, there are other aspects to consider.
Actually, there are a lot of decent online gambling sites for the residents of Belgium. If you don’t want to waste your time on searching and comparing, just use our ready-made ranking of the best Belgian web-casinos. Our specialists have a serious gaming experience, which helps them to conduct comprehensive analyses and give unbiased estimations to the tested casinos.
Being an existing member of the European Union, Belgium has to comply with basic norms and standards adopted by the EU. And still, it is a unique country with its own legislative system, which makes it different from other European states.
The good news for gamers is that Belgium has legalized all kinds of gambling. In practical terms, it means that you can play at online and offline casinos officially without the fear of been fined or imprisoned. You may also use your bank cards and bank accounts for casino payments. Belgian banks don’t block such transactions. That said, residents of Belgium can play only at selected licensed casinos. Non-licensed venues have no right to provide gambling services.
When it comes to licensing, according to the Belgian laws, if the gaming operator wants to get a license for running an online casino, it must have at least one land-based venue registered in Belgium. This restriction reduces the number of online casinos to some extent, but still, there are quite a lot of sites to choose from. And what is more important, you can be sure that any licensed casino is fair and reliable. No shell company or fly-over-night will ever get a license in this country.
The licenses are issued by the main regulatory body of the country – the Belgian Gambling Commission. This is an authority, which is responsible for assessing online and offline casinos, monitoring their activities and resolving all sorts of problems associated with gambling.
Gambling in the territory of the present-day Belgium was born in the Middle Ages. For example, lotteries were popular in the 1400s, while some card games were played even earlier – in the 1300s. Of course, at that time there was neither regulation nor control over gambling.
Speaking of the modern days, the initial version of the Gaming Act in the country was adopted in 1999. In the same year, the Belgian Gambling Commission was established. That document covered only offline casinos, while online venues became regulated only in 2010 when an upgraded version of the Act was issued.
Belgium is definitely a safe and comfortable place for gamblers of all kinds. It is one of the few countries that managed to take under control the entire gaming industry and provide the most favorable conditions for both players and gambling operators. Thus, players using licensed casinos know for sure that they are protected by the state. Gambling operators, in turn, understand that they can obtain a license by fulfilling basic requirements and work legally and without being fined. We tend to believe that the number of legal casinos in Belgium will grow in the long-term perspective.