Belgium is one of the largest economies of Europe which have also developed in recent years to be a modern economy with a large services sector. The country is a major international trading hub and Brussels also serves as a virtual capital for the European Union as it has a number of EU Institutions which are located here.
Belgium is also one of the few jurisdictions in the European Union which allows for an online gaming license. As a result, Belgium has developed as an offshore gaming hub within mainland Europe. The program is highly regulated and due to the exclusivity and strong regulatory oversight, a Belgium gambling license is considered as among the best in the world and is highly sought after. The Belgian Government is aware of this image and seeks to protect it through strict monitoring of gaming licenses.
A Belgium Gambling License, both for online gaming and offline gambling is issued by the Gaming Commission. It is the sole authority which is permitted to issue the licenses and it works in close cooperation with other governmental agencies. The entire sector is covered by the Gaming Act of 1999 which has subsequently been edited multiple times to keep it in sync with modern times and promote online gaming. The Commission has also been formed under this Act.
Types of Belgium Gambling Licenses
Belgium Gambling Licenses are normally divided into two groups:
a) Offline Gambling Licenses
b)Online Gaming Licenses
The Belgium Gaming Licenses which allow for online Gambling are generally an extension of the offline license which is issued to a party.
In a nutshell, the different types of gaming licenses and their features are as follows:
Type of License
A — It is the Belgium Casino License and allows opening a land-based Casino in Belgium
A+ — For a person already holding an A license, to open an online casino.
B — Allows operation of a land-based slot machine arcade
B+ — For a holder of a B license to operate online
C — To operate Bingo Machine with Id verification at Bars
D — For personnel working in the gaming industry
E — Manufacturers, repairers, and installers of gaming devices
F1 — For organizing Wagers on Sports and Horse Racing
F2 — For accepting bets on sports events at common areas
F1+ — For organizing online wagering
From the table, it can be seen that for remote gaming in Belgium, A+, B+, and F1+ licenses are relevant.
Conditions for a gaming License in Belgium
The requirements for the three types of Belgium Gambling Licenses are different and we evaluate them separately. All the applications are required to be made to the Gambling Commission. However, before all applications, a number of local permissions need to be secured.
A and A+ Gaming Licenses
The A License in Belgium is the Belgium Casino License for Land-Based operations. It is issued for a period of 15 years. The application has to be made to the Gaming Commission with the following details:
- Extract from the judicial record (no older than three months);
- Certificate of good conduct demonstrating that you hold full civil and political rights;
- Copies of your last three personal income tax returns and tax assessment notices;
- Copies of tax returns for the company together with the relevant records, supporting documents, statements, and details supplied for the last three assessment years;
- Documents stating the identity of all shareholders including names, first names and national numbers (for Belgian shareholders) OR the full identity (for foreign shareholders);
- The number of shares per shareholder;
- Copy of the Agreement concluded between the operator and the municipality where the gaming establishment is to have its place of business;
License holders are required to pay 11% of their Gross Gaming Revenues and also make provisions for a Guarantee amount of € 250,000.
An A+ Gaming license is issued for extending online operations to an operator already holding a Belgium Casino License (‘A’ License). Additionally, for the online license, the following details need to be submitted:
a) An A+ Gaming license is issued for extending online operations to an operator already holding a Belgium Casino License (‘A’ License). Additionally, for the online license, the following details need to be submitted:
b) a list of the type or variety of games of chance offered;
c)Proof of financial resources and the capacity to pay the security for the amount of 10,000.00 Euros;
d) The rules of the games of chance to be played
e) The Location of the server and the identification of the server along with the name of the website.
In addition to these conditions, a permanent link to the Gambling Commission also needs to be maintained for the online operations.
B and B+ Licenses
The B and B+ Gaming Licenses in Belgium are issued for operating Slot Machine Arcades. While the B License covers offline operations, the B+ allows for online operations for holders of the ‘B’ Gambling Licenses.
Almost all the other conditions remain the same as for an ‘A’ License except the fact that the amount of security deposit is reduced to 75,000 Euros and information on the other holdings of the Managing director and major stakeholders are also required.
The requirements for a ‘B+’ license remain the same as an ‘A+’ License, except that only a ‘B’ license holder can apply for a ‘B+’ license.
F1, F2 and F1+ License
This category of license relates to sports betting. The F1 and F2 Licenses are related because while an F1 License allows you to organize wagers on sports events and horse races, the F2 License allows you to accept the bets. All other conditions remain the same with ‘A’ licenses except that the amount of security is reduced to 10,000 Euros.
The F1+ license allows the holder of an F1 and F2 license to extend his activities online and the conditions and eligibility remain the same as for an ‘A+’ license.