Home to the EU headquarters, Belgium has been known as a center of commerce and culture since the Middle Ages. Belgium is one of the largest economies of Europe which has also developed in recent years to be a modern economy with a large services sector. It’s also a major hub for international trading and one of the few EU countries that give gambling licenses to online casinos.
All of these things make Belgium a great market for the online casino gaming industry- which is why the country can now be considered a European offshore gaming hub. Even gambling has an impressive heritage: historians have discovered documents referring to card games and lotteries existing in Belgium as far back as 1300, and a national lottery as early as the 15th century.
In the present day, gambling is still as active and as popular, although definitely somewhat more regulated now than in the days of old.
The government of Belgium offers casino operators, software, and service providers in the gambling industry, with a gambling license that allows gambling operators to conduct business related to casino, sports betting, and other gaming-related activities. Belgium Gambling License is one of the most popular licenses for online casinos worldwide.
While online gaming is and has been legal in Belgium since 2002, the introduction of the 2009 Gambling Act entailed that any companies that wish to operate an online gambling site in Belgium are required to first acquire a license. The country’s gaming industry regulator, the Belgian Gaming Commission (BGC), rewrote its Gaming Act in January 2011 to cover online gaming. The act stipulates that you must have a land-based license or be in partnership with a land-based company to offer online services. Moreover, the government limits the number of licenses that can be issued.
The Belgium license is undoubtedly a top choice for online gambling operators. Even though it’s very hard to be qualified for a Belgium license, the high standards that it holds is definitely an advantage for online casinos. Belgians have a long history of enjoying horse-racing, especially trotting or harness racing.
Belgium’s infrastructure offers a wide array of services for online gaming operators and providers, such as high-capacity private racks, private cloud services, custom dedicated servers amidst other hosting options.
Belgium has long been recognized as one of the preferred locations for Online Gambling operators to base their operations. This success has been due to a combination of factors, such as a progressive legislative system, political stability, first-rate telecommunications facilities, and a well established financial services industry. A wide range of gambling sites operates out of Belgium including sports betting, casino sites, poker, bingo, and more.
Belgium Online Gambling Regulations
Founded in 1999, the Belgian Gaming Commission is the leading betting authority in Belgium and has sole responsibility for licensing gambling in Belgium. Aside from its main role, the Belgian Gaming Commission is also responsible for: ensuring the protection of players, the regulation of license-holders, and imposing penalties on them.
The Belgian Gaming Commission issues advice to the Belgian government concerning games of chance. This can range from support for the drafting of royal decrees, advice on amendments to legislation, or answers about questions relating to games of chance. National Anti-Money Laundering Regulations, Unusual Transactions Act, Counter-Terrorism Financing Regulations and Know Your Customer Policies are applicable to all Belgium Gambling Companies.
As part of its duties, the Belgian Gaming Commission monitors gaming businesses and services to ensure that they operate according to the standards and regulations of the Government of Belgium. Compliance audits are conducted on a regular basis to ensure that the terms of the license are met. Licensees must maintain a complete audit trail for each player making a deposit with an operator, including financial transactions and individual bets.
Gaming systems, including back-end software logs, must be made available to third-party auditors. Gaming rules, results of the games, and pay-outs are to be made available to the Belgian Gaming Commission for five years.
Let’s talk more about the benefits by understanding the reasons why obtaining a Belgium igaming license may be ideal for you.
How to Start An Online Gambling Business in Belgium
When starting a Belgium Online Gambling Business, first of all, it’s important to think about one of the most essential procedures, that is company registration and acquisition of the license. Belgium Gambling License gives many excellent opportunities to each licensee and makes their business profitable.
In addition, an 11% tax is levied on all gross gaming revenues excluding horse racing tax, which is taxed at 3% for domestic races and 3.7% for pari-mutuel bets on foreign horse races. Belgium has political stability, first-rate telecommunications facilities, and a well-established financial services industry.
In addition, it maintains an attractive environment for international online gaming companies. Belgium Gambling License is recognized by many countries all over the world, so you will have a large potential customer base after getting it.
In order to obtain a Belgium Gambling License, the decision to approve the application is at the discretion of the Belgian Gaming Commission, based on the documentation submitted by our experts.
Belgium issues one Online Gambling license which covers all gaming operations, igaming service providers, network operators, affiliates, white-label operators, and igaming software suppliers.
With this Belgium Gambling License, online gaming companies can operate legally. Each applicant undergoes a thorough assessment, ensuring that licenses are only awarded to those applicants who are able to demonstrate such a financial standing and integrity as to preserve the international reputation of Belgium as an online gambling hub. In case something does not correspond to requirements, the Belgian Gaming Commission will provide a checklist of necessary improvements.
The Belgian legislature has set up a closed licensing system, which implies that offering online games of chance and wagers requires an online license (licenses A+, B+ or F1+). The “+” sign refers to an online gambling license. The number of available online licenses is limited to respectively nine A+ licenses (for casinos), 180 B+ licenses (for gaming arcades), and 34 F1+ licenses (for wagers).
In addition, an online license requires a mandatory physical connection to the Belgian territory: only those operators licensed to operate in the real world (and holding a principal license A, B or F1) can obtain a license to offer the same games of chance and wagers in the online world (additional online license A+, B+ or F1+). The Belgian gambling legislation thus introduces parallelism between the offline and the online licenses.
A Belgium Gambling Licenses covers all forms of online gambling including Casino, eSports, Poker, Sports Betting, Lotto, Bingo, Horseracing, Bitcoin Casino, Fantasy Sports, Games of Skill, and other gaming-related activities. Belgium Gambling License enables companies to operate all over the world.
Belgium Gambling Requirements
Residence in Belgium. Operators wishing to offer their services to Belgium gamblers must be residents of Belgium, EU, or EEA and they must obtain the relevant licenses and authorizations from the Belgium Gaming Control Commission. In case the company is a foreign entity, it must appoint a local director, whose domicile is in Belgium, to deal with the competent authorities in the country and have the power to conclude contracts on its behalf
Opening of a bank account with one of the banks in Belgium where the operator would need to deposit the players’ money. Licensed remote gaming operators will only be allowed to make payments to players through the payment processors that have been approved by the AGCC
Requirements regarding the minimum share capital of the company depending on the type of game it offers
A monthly declaration giving details regarding income from games of change as well as the fees due will have to be submitted to the AGCC on a standard form
Compliance with the principles regarding the protection of minors as well as with the content of the promotional material used and the locations where they can be displayed
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