On January 1, 2011 the Belgian gambling legislation was amended and its new version was enforced. One of the major changes made to the Belgian gambling legislation include the explicit regulation of online roulette. The Belgian legislature enacted a closed licensing system that states online gambling is illegal unless the casino in question has an A+, B+ or F1+ license. The licenses for online casinos are limited to nine A+ licenses 180 B+ licenses for a gaming arcade and the 34 F1+ license for any site that allows members to wager on games, like online roulette. In addition, getting a license for an online gambling site requires a mandatory physical connection to the Belgian territory: only those operators licensed to operate offline casinos via an A, B or F1 license can be licensed to operate online casinos as well, which includes needing an additional A+, B+ or F1+ license. This Belgian gambling legislation thus introduces a parallelism between the offline and the online licenses for Belgian gambling sites. For more information regarding online roulette, please check www.roulettedraai.nl
The amended Belgian gambling legislation carries with it a very broad prohibition clause. Not only is it forbidden to “operate in any place, in any form and in any direct or indirect manner, games of chance or gambling establishments without a license”, but also “participating” in illegal games of chance, “facilitating the operation” of illegal games of chance, “advertising”’ for illegal games of chance or “recruiting” for illegal games of chance is forbidden. Each of these acts is punishable under criminal sanctions. According to the Belgian legislative proposal the act of ‘facilitating the operation’ of illegal games of chance includes providing online access to online roulette and carrying out financial transactions that are crucial to the success of the games among online gamblers.
As a result, the Belgian online gambling legislation carries wide consequences, not only for those operators offering games of chance and wagers, but also for players, advertisers, internet service providers, financial institutions and anyone else who chooses to ‘facilitate the operation’ of illegal online roulette.