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Barriers for gambling in Belgium

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General

Games of chance are regulated by the Law of 7 May 1999 on games of chance, gaming establishments and player protection (MB 30.12.1999.) And the Royal Decrees for its implementation. (Royal Decree of 19 July 2001 establishing the list of games of chance whose operation is authorized in the establishments of class I gambling, MB 31.07.2001; Royal Decree of 26 April 2004 establishing the list of automated games of chance whose operation is authorized in class gambling establishments II, MB 04/05/2004; Royal Decree of 2 March 2004 establishing the list of games of chance whose operation is permitted in class gambling establishments III, MB 18.03.2004.) This law prohibits the operation of games of chance unless they have obtained a license for this purpose, issued by the Gambling Commission. (http://www.gamingcommission.fgov.be/website/.)

Section 25 of the Act of May 7, 1999 and provides for five classes of licenses:

– The class A license allows, for periods of five years renewable, the conditions it determines, the operation of an establishment of class I gambling or casino;

– Class B license allows, for periods of nine years renewable, the conditions it determines, the operation of an establishment of class II gaming or amusement arcades;

– Class C license allows, for periods of five years renewable, the conditions it determines, the operation of an establishment of class III gambling or drinking;

– Class D license to the conditions it determines, the holder to take up employment of any kind in a setting I or class II games of chance;

– Class E license allows, for periods of ten years renewable, the conditions it determines, sale, rental, finance lease, supply, provision, import, export , production, maintenance, repair and gambling equipment.

The first three licenses (A, B and C) are granted for the operation of casinos, amusement arcades and cafes operating a bingo. The law of 7 May 1999 prohibited earn a license class A, B, C or D with a Class E license

The objective of protection of players and gaming addiction prevention is embodied in the Law of May 7, 1999 through a series of restrictions on the game offer (Articles 54 et seq. Of the law). Thus, measures of protection and prevention include:

– Recording and access to game rooms gambling establishments in classes I and II. Access is only allowed (1) on presentation by the person concerned, an identity document (a copy of it is made); (2) moyennent registration, by the operator, full names, date of birth, place of birth, profession and address of the person in a register and (3) the client must sign the sheet ‘registration.

– A series of exclusions. Thus, players (1) less than 21 years with the exception of major personal gambling establishments at their place of work and (2) judges, notaries, bailiffs and members of police services outside the exercise of their functions are automatically excluded from class I and II rooms. Furthermore, the gambling Commission pronounces the exclusion of class gaming rooms I and II (1) persons who have voluntarily sought people who were placed under extended minority status; (2) unable, at the request of their legal representative or their legal counsel; (3) persons to whom prohibition was made to perform certain functions (managers, board directors) or activities; (4) the mentally ill against which a protective measure is sought from the court. Finally, the practice of gambling is prohibited to minors in pubs. The operator has the right to prohibit the practice of the game in his establishment if the player refuses to give him his identity card. When an operator leaves play minor, it may lose its license and subject to penal sanctions. Also note that the staff of casinos and gambling halls can not play in the room where he works.

– It is also prohibited to anyone to grant to players or punters any kind of loan or credit, to conclude with them material or financial transaction to pay a stake or a loss. Operators of gaming establishments must inform their customers, legibly and clearly visible in all rooms accessible to the public, the prohibition of extending credit.

– The presence of automatic banknote dispensers is prohibited gambling establishments.

– Gambling may be charged only with paid cash cards or tokens, fit for gambling establishment concerned and provided exclusively by it within the latter or with coins currency.

– It is forbidden to offer customers gambling establishments of classes II and III, trips, meals, drinks or gifts free of charge or at prices below the market price of comparable goods and services.

– The King takes measures relating to the drafting of a code of conduct, to informing the public of the dangers inherent to the game in gambling establishments in classes I, II and III, leaflets containing information about. gambling addiction, the toll-free number and addresses of social workers should be made available to customers in a visible place.

– Belgian law provides for a series of limitations that a limitation of the hourly loss (Regarding the hourly loss, it is provided for in the Belgian legislation as more Property access is difficult, the more hourly loss average is high. For drinking establishments, the maximum hourly loss is € 12.5, € 25 for gaming halls and casinos for € 70. The control hourly loss is by computer and is controlled by technical protocols. In the pubs, the use of card debits or credits is not possible.) a number of games limitation (The number of sets is also limited to drinking establishments 2 machines Gambling may be authorized, the flippers and knickers are considered games of skill. For game rooms, up to 45 terminals. For the maximum number casinos is not fixed but must be related that of open tables (eg an open table for 5 hours, 15 machines can run). Gambling can be linked together to create a large jackpot. In addition, over the establishment is easily accessible, the less it is there machines.), A limitation of number of establishments (The maximum number of drinking establishments is 7,500, the maximum number of gambling halls is 180 , game rooms can not be near a school, hospitals, churches, places frequented by young people. The maximum number is 9. casino gambling are not possible in ASBL, in the trifecta agencies, …) restrictions in relation to the duration of the games, (Regarding the duration of the games, the Belgian legislation provides more access to the property is difficult, the longer Autoplay is short. The duration of a game of chance in casinos is up to 3 minutes in the playrooms of 3 to 6 minutes and in the pubs of 2 to 3 minutes. The “painting” systems (press all the buttons without awareness) and “machine gun” (the machine plays by itself) are not possible in Belgium.) and a ban on incentive advertising. (Belgian law prohibits the advertising incentive such as chips, wafers, free tickets for inciting the public to enter a facility or to stay there. The “arrangements” are not possible. For casinos The incentive advertising is not allowed, however. In addition, gift-oriented promotion Horeca are possible up to 50 € per customer per week. The casinos can distribute free lottery tickets. The external view of a game room is prohibited under Belgian law. For playrooms, non-incentive advertising is permitted without any gift can be given. The view into a games room should not be possible to the outside. For drinking establishments, all advertising is forbidden. Moreover, it can not serve alcohol in class II gambling halls.) Conditions are also imposed in view of the institutional staff. (Staff of class I and II establishments must be in possession of a class D license and be permanently bearer of the identification card attesting to the possession of this license. It is also required that the holder of a D license should continue to enjoy full civil and political rights and be a conduit meets the requirements of the function. It is forbidden for staff members to take part, personally or through intermediaries, to operate gambling to accept financial or material benefits other than those specified in their contract or agreeing to players or punters any kind of loan or credit.) Finally, it is foreseen in the Belgian legislation as any Class I facility and II must have an on-line system and the data devices are transferred to the Commission each day of the Games so she can check the time loss from these data. It is also prohibited under Belgian law (Article 64 of the Law of May 7, 1999) to advertising or handle the recruitment of players for an establishment of gambling prohibited by law or not explicitly authorized under law or similar institution abroad.

The Gambling Commission is an independent administrative commission, which was established within the Ministry of Justice. It is a mind body of decision and control over gambling whose members come from various Belgian ministries. The Gambling Commission grants operating licenses of gambling in relation to predefined criteria. The Commission also issues licenses for any model of equipment or device sold or exploited for use in an establishment gambling Class I, II and III. The gaming devices are also subject to regular review by the competent public authorities. Finally, the Gambling Commission monitors the implementation and enforcement of the Law of May 7, 1999 and its implementing decrees. The members of the Committee on gambling may enter the establishments. In case of non-compliance with laws and regulations, the Commission may suspend or revoke his license to the operator. The Commission gambling reports to relevant ministries and parliament.

The provisions of the Law of May 7, 1999 do not apply to lotteries, or to sports paris respectively which are governed by the law of December 31, 1851, (MB 07/10/1852). Law 33/2004 of 19 April the Court of Arbitration 10.03.2004 that all gambling games offered by the National Lottery will be subject to the full implementation of the 1999 law (V. the judgment of the Court of Arbitration of 10 March 2004, No. 33 / 2004, No. B 8.2: “The distinguishing criterion – the nature of the organizing institution – is not relevant to the objective pursued by the legislature’s objective, according to the legislator to exclude. the application of the law on gambling in view of possible problems of interpretation and others can justify that certain articles of the Law on games of chance are not made applicable, under the same law, the National Lottery, gambling establishments of the National Lottery and games of chance organized by the National Lottery. Application of the provisions of the Law on games of chance via the royal decrees to take or management contracts to be concluded is qu’éventuelle. No legislative provision requiring the executive to respect all the principles of the Law on games of chance regarding the National Lottery. It is therefore possible that the age requirement, the specific protection regime, conditions of location and similar items do not apply to these gambling establishments “Accordingly, the Court annuls the second paragraph Article 3a of the Law of May 7, 1999, inserted by Article 39 of Law 2002). It follows that a license must be obtained from the Gambling Commission when the National Lottery wants to offer games of chance in gaming establishments, ie any place where a game of chance would be offered to the public.

The Commission on gambling also performs a check on “respect the conditions set in the implementing decisions taken on the basis of Article 3, § 1, paragraph 2” (art. 21 of Law 2002) namely the royal decrees that allow the National Lottery to operate a particular game of chance, and in the gambling establishments of the National Lottery (The Arbitration Court has in fact stated in its judgment No. 33/2004 of 10 March 2004, (points B 13 and B 14) “Article 21, § 1 of the Law of 19 April 2002 provides that the Committee on gambling is responsible for monitoring compliance with enforcement orders issued on the basis of Article 3, § 1, paragraph 2, of the contested law. When the commission considers that a gambling activity or activities offered by the National Lottery is gambling, but that the Royal Decree taken on the basis of Article 3, § 1, paragraph 2, says otherwise, the Committee on gambling, pursuant to Article 21, § 1, paragraph 2, the opportunity to make its position known to the competent ministers. On the recommendation of the Minister of Public Enterprises and the Minister of Justice, the control of the commission of gambling spread to the games concerned. Failing assent, the King may, by decree deliberated in the Council of Ministers to submit the game to control. The preparatory work on Article 21, § 1 of the Law of 19 April 2002 that the legislature intended to institutionalize the collaboration between the National Lottery and the commission of gambling: “The past has demonstrated that collaboration between the two public bodies is necessary, but is possible only if it is created for this purpose a balanced institutional framework “(Doc. Parl., House, 2000- 2001, DOC 50-1339 / 001 , pp. 34-35). Parliament chose to limit the controls operated by the commission of gambling gambling activities of the National Lottery in gambling establishments and to extend this control to these same activities or when the National Lottery organized outside such institutions or public lotteries: “The assimilation to one another Lottery and gambling would enable private actors to move freely within the lottery market, with all the risks of these match more enslaving elements. “(Doc. parl., Senate, 2001-2002 No. 2-1003 / 4, p. 5) B.14.3. The distinguishing criterion – the nature of the organizing body – is relevant in light of the legislative objective. It wanted to submit to the control of the commission of gambling the possibility for the National Lottery to organize games of chance, albeit by taking also into account the nature of the Committee on gambling and the National Lottery. The National Lottery is not an operator of gambling within the meaning of the law on gambling. The Committee on gambling is responsible for monitoring gambling operators, namely private companies pursuing an aim of lucre and operate games of chance. The regulation means, firstly, that the Committee on gambling can not replace the legislator nor the King and / or the Council of Ministers and, secondly, that the Committee on gambling can effectively ensure its control over gambling establishments and on the gambling activities of the National Lottery in establishments of gambling, acting either on his own initiative or at the initiative of the National Lottery. “) . In judgment No. 33/2004 of 10 March 2004 the Court of Arbitration also takes care to annul Article 21§2 of the law of 19 April 2002 in the following terms (points B 15 and B 16 the judgment): “Given that under Article 21 § 2 of the Act of 19 April 2002, the Committee on gambling may not enter the buildings of the National Lottery, one sees how it can not exercise effective control, especially as some games are linked to the computer system of the National Lottery. The possible abuse of control is almost impossible, since according to the law of 19 April 2002, the controllers do not have access to the building. This means they have no access to the source of any information, the central computer of the National Lottery that contains the data to make the necessary investigations. The measure taken by the legislature is not proportionate to the objective pursued. In order to limit the control of the commission of gambling games of chance offered by the National Lottery, it is not necessary to prohibit access to the building of the National Lottery. Moreover, by blocking access to the building, the legislator denies the commission of gambling the ability to control gambling organized through tools of the information society. “.

Lotteries

The law of 31 December 1851 lays down a principle of prohibition of lotteries. Moreover, Article 301 of the Criminal Code deems publicly available all lottery operations and intended to provide a gain by drawing lots. The lottery offense is characterized as soon as four elements are present: a public offering, the hope of gain, the intervention of chance and a challenge.

Occasional Permits may be granted by public authorities. Are thus authorized, charitable lotteries profit (infra No. 9) and certain commercial transactions with premiums or repayable by drawing lots (infra No. 8). Furthermore, the Belgian legislator has granted a monopoly in the organization of public lotteries in the National Lottery.

The National Lottery

The Act of 19 April 2002 on the rationalization of the operation and management of the National Lottery (MB 04.05.2002.) Has reformed the structure of the National Lottery. Until institution of public utility, the National Lottery has become a limited company of public law. A management contract established between the Belgian State and the National Lottery, shall define the conditions under which the latter fulfills its public service tasks. The fixed management contract, among others, the annual amount of subsidies to charities owed by the National Lottery. In addition, pursuant to section 23 of the Act of 19 April 2002 on the rationalization of the operation and management of the National Lottery, the subsidies allocation plan for the benefit of certain charities (including the Cross Red, Child Focus etc.) is determined each year by royal decree. (See, for example, to the distribution plan for 2004 grants from the National Lottery, the Royal Decree of 22 November 2005 determining the subsidies distribution plan for 2004 of the National Lottery, 16.12 MB .2005.) The Explanatory Memorandum of the Law of 19 April 2002 found that “The purpose of the National Lottery must not only provide public lotteries, but to offer public lotteries and games of chance justified. Furthermore, this must take place in order to optimize the channeling of political authority in this area and this both to the player only to the authority. To this end, the National Lottery must work attractive and dynamic way. The social role of the National Lottery must be reviewed.

The National Lottery can obviously be considered as a simple “slot machine”, but its task is to support important social developments. The European approach to electronic commerce and commercial communications, the development of a new European sports policy and the implementation of Euro require a consumer-focused support that the National Lottery can contribute. Giving it greater autonomy, effectiveness and efficiency of the National Lottery can still improve. The idea, however, is that the National Lottery encourages the game or have a broadening effect on the market, but the player existing gambling be attracted to the National Lottery rather than the middle illegal games , thanks to modern and attractive products that can offer him the National Lottery.

In response to the State Council concern about the justification of additional supply of gambling, of paris and competitions by the National Lottery, the authors emphasize that the National Lottery is subject to the decisions of the government on lotteries and games of chance, paris and assistance it can offer. It is obvious that the government maintain its full control in the matter. This is also fully in line with the approach of the EC Court of Justice. ”

Under Article 3 of the Law of 19 April 2002, the National Lottery “is responsible for organizing, in the general interest and according to commercial methods, public lotteries, paris and competitions in the forms and according to the procedures laid down by the King, on the proposal of the minister of public enterprises within his remit. The National Lottery is also responsible for organizing, in the general interest and according to commercial methods of gambling in the form and manner specified by the King, by decree deliberated in the Council of Ministers, on the proposal of the Minister and the Minister of Justice and after consulting the Committee of gambling in Article 9 of the Law of 7 May 1999 on games of chance, gaming establishments and player protection. (…)

Alongside the development of business methods to promote public lotteries, paris, contests and games of chance which it has the organization, the National Lottery standby: to clearly inform the public of the actual odds of winning for each type of product offered; to organize information campaigns on the economic, social and psychological risks of gambling; to cooperate with the competent authorities and the various associations working in the area for an active and coordinated policy on addiction prevention and assistance in the game. ”

The National Lottery public offering of games called “to draw” (Lotto, Joker, Keno, Pick 3, Euromillions) and games called “scratch” (Presto, Subito, 21, Win for Life, Bingo Express, Astro, Fun for Life, Cabrio, Corso …).

Under Article 7 of the Law of 19 April 2002, the National Lottery has “public” organization of lotteries monopoly. Furthermore, Article 7 of the Law provides that “The activities referred to in Article 6, § 1, 1 ° to 4 °, are public service tasks. The National Lottery has the monopoly of the service referred to in Article 6, § 1, 1 °, and the right for the services referred to in Article 6, § 1, 1 °, 2 ° and 3 °, to use the company’s information tools. ”

Having regard to the offer of games of chance via the “tools of the information society” operated by the National Lottery, the memory of the Law of 19 April 2002 states that: “The Government therefore believe that the best solution in this area is the promotion of “pipeline politics” by the authority from the National Lottery by granting more power autonomy and extending its tasks within the existing legal framework and strictly controlled. By constraining the National Lottery (as required, for example, in the UK, for obtaining the new lottery license) to use new technologies (Internet and other interactive services), it could lead piping policy “general” more effective, which attracts players with a competitive and attractive National Lottery. In this way, the activities of licensed operators of gambling and sports paris “to lucrative purpose” would be restrained and a higher volume of existing recipe would go to the authority, which, according to European case law, would be the best method to conduct a “pipeline politics”. Such a policy fits perfectly with European economic law where, as the Advocate General Gulmann stated in Schindler, the rules of competition in relation to lotteries and gambling does not have the slightest relevance . In fact, by reducing gambling activities “lucrative” in favor of the National Lottery, a balance is achieved in Belgian politics, able to pass the test of European law. The Belgian policy can be anchored on two pillars: the “profit” sector under the control of the Committee on gambling and the non-profit sector, ie mainly the National Lottery under the control of the Government. In many Member States of the European Union, public lotteries (that is to say, services and / or public companies, semi-private and private operators operators) are managed and controlled by others bodies than other games (money).

Until now, this was also the case for Belgium. The need for greater coherence and coordination of the policy of the National Lottery on the one hand and the private sector on the other games of chance, clear from recent discussions in the media about it. Unlike the private sector, the National Lottery does not decide itself what lottery games are offered to the public. The National Lottery organizes public lotteries, a task entrusted to it by the King. It is therefore the Authority decides which lotteries are offered according to what terms of play. A possible batches plane is defined by the King. Such management substantially improves the possibilities to pursue a policy leading to the decreased risk of gambling addiction. “.

Notwithstanding Article 7 of the Law of 17 April 2002 gives the National Lottery the right and not the monopoly of organizing games of chance via the “company’s information tools,” the Court of Arbitration, however, held in its judgment No 33/2004 of 10 March 2004 that this law is in this case a monopoly: “Regarding Article 7, it should be noted that this article was amended by section 490 of the program act I of 24 December 2002 and that, therefore, the National Lottery no longer has a monopoly but only the right to organize games of chance via the “tools of the information society” . The Council of Ministers and the National Lottery state that, with this amendment, the applicants in Case No. 2555 were more interested in their action for annulment of the aforementioned article. Under Article 4 of the Law of 7 May 1999 on games of chance, the operators of the private sector gambling are not allowed to offer the public games of chance via the “tools of the Information Society ‘information”.

Indeed, the general principle of the law on gambling is to prohibit the use, in any place, in any form and by any direct or indirect manner, one or more games of chance or gambling establishments (Doc talked, Senate, 1997-1998, No. 1-419 / 1, p 2,… No. 1-419 / 4, p. 25). It échait therefore be held that if the law on games of chance does not expressly organization of games of chance via the “company’s information tools’, these gambling can not be considered authorized. It follows from this finding that the “right” granted to the National Lottery constitute a monopoly in this case (…). ” (V. shutdown March 10, 2004, No. B 2.4.)

In the same judgment No. 33/2004, the Arbitration Court held that the exclusive right granted to the National Lottery is justified and in accordance with constitutional law. Referring to the parliamentary work of the law, the Court stated (No. B 11.1 and following) “is clear from the legislative history of the Act of 19 April 2002 that Parliament’s goal was to fill a gap in the law on gambling (Doc talked, Room 2001-2002, DOC 50-1339 / 009, pp 15-16 and pp 44-47….): “By forcing the National Lottery […] to use new technologies (Internet and other interactive services), it could lead piping policy general more effective, which attracts players with a competitive and attractive National Lottery. In this way, the activities of approved operators sporting chance and games paris ‘in profit-making’ would be clamped […]. “(Doc. Parl., House, 2000-2001, DOC 50-1339 / 001, p. 19) The distinguishing criterion – the nature of the organizing institution – is relevant to the legislative goal. By giving the only National Lottery the right to organize lotteries, games of chance, of paris and competitions using the “company’s information tools,” the legislator tends to channel the propensity to play. legislature is party effect of the principle that an outright ban, on the one hand, did not fit the sociological reality and on the other hand, made it impossible to control the gambling industry. A tentative book ban the player himself and a growing sector illegally. Moreover, the choice not grant this right solely to the National Lottery can be justified, given the fact that the National Lottery is under the direct control of the Government and therefore there is enough scope to regulate and control gambling it organizes by making use of “the company’s information tools”, while the control of individual farmers is more difficult to achieve. ”

Based on the preparatory work of the Law of April 19, 2002, the Arbitration Court finds that (No. B 11.4) “The contested law of 19 April 2002 has the effect of limiting the freedom to provide services”. This restriction is however justified by the Court (B 11.4): “The objective of the impugned legislation is to” optimize the channeling of political authority, “especially in the gaming sector and the” idea is […] not just the National Lottery encourages the game or have a broadening effect on the market “(Doc. parl., Room 2000-2001, DOC 50-1339 / 001, p. 65). Indeed, the law allows business to conduct a policy to limit a coherent and systematic activities related to paris. It should be noted in this regard that under Article 3, § 3 of the contested law, the National Lottery, along with the development of business methods to promote public lotteries, paris, contests and games of chance which it has the organization also seeks to organize information campaigns on the economic, social and psychological risks of gambling addiction and to work in concert with the relevant authorities and various associations working in the sector, to active and coordinated policy of prevention and assistance for gambling. The contested measure is reasonably justified. The legislature has indeed to consider that the grant of an exclusive right to the National Lottery, linked to the grant to that institution with the aforementioned tasks in the prevention of gambling addiction, would result in limit games clandestine chance in a consistent and systematic manner and preventing their exploitation for fraudulent or criminal purposes’.

Casino Gaming

In order to operate a casino, and notwithstanding the prohibition of gambling, Article 4 of the Law of May 7, 1999 requires obtaining a license issued by the Gambling Commission. The casinos are so-called gambling establishments “class I”. They must organize, together with their exploitation of gambling, socio-cultural activities.

Section 29 of the Act of May 7, 1999 sets a supply restrictions casinos. The total number of casinos is thus limited to 9 and can be operated only on the territory of the municipalities listed in the law (Blankenberge, Chaudfontaine, Dinant, Knokke-Heist, Middelkerke, Namur, Ostend, Spa and one of 19 municipalities of the Brussels Capital Region), under a concession agreement with the municipality. Following the opening of the ninth casino in Brussels in late 2005, all casinos are currently operational. In practice, and in so far as the provisions of the Law of May 7, 1999 authorized the opening of a single institution by town, no new casino may be operated on Belgian territory.

Furthermore, Article 1 of the Royal Decree of 19 July 2001 sets out an exhaustive list of games whose operation can be allowed in casinos. They are distinguished games called “table” (baccarat, big wheel, blackjack, poker, rail, craps, mini baccarat, noon punto banco, the maxi punto banco, French Roulette The US e roulette, English roulette, sic bo and bingo) and said automatic games. ((a) real roller slot type games; b) the games of video slot type, with the exception of video poker, video blackjack and video roulette; c) games wheel of fortune kind; d) paris on horse racing multiple terminals where at least 12 players can take place; e) the type of keno games.) Section 2 of the Order limits meanwhile to 15 the number of automatic game by game table open for at least five hours. Game table by open means that at which a dealer is present and where it is possible to play. Finally, Article 3 limits to 70 euros the amount of the average hourly loss per unit of automatic games under certain conditions.

The activity of the casinos and closely monitored by the Commission dependent on gambling Ministry of Justice (supra, No. 1). The Gambling Commission is also responsible for the supervision and control of casinos for money laundering. It is indeed the supervisory authority and guardianship under Articles 21 and 22 of the Law of 11 January 1993 on prevention of the use of the financial system for the purpose of money laundering (MB 02/09/1993). . Denunciations casinos are always directed to the Financial Intelligence Processing Unit (CTIF-CFI) (http://www.ctif-cfi.be/).

Finally, the Financial Intelligence Processing Unit (CTIF-CFI), in accordance with the law of 11 January 1993 on prevention of the use of the financial system for money laundering and terrorist financing, also exercises control over the casino business.

Machine Gambling Outside Casinos

The amusement arcades

In order to operate an establishment of gambling, and notwithstanding the prohibition of gambling, Article 4 of the Law of May 7, 1999 requires obtaining a license issued by the Gaming Commission . The amusement arcades are Class II facilities.

Section 34 of the Act of May 7, 1999 sets a supply restrictions of amusement arcades.

The total number of class II establishments, the operator of automatic games machines, and is limited to 180. In late June 2004, 172 gambling halls were in operation.

Article 1 of the Royal Decree of 26 April 2004 provides an exhaustive list of automatic games of chance whose operation is authorized in class II establishments. Articles 8 and 9 limit to 45 the number of authorized terminals in class II gambling establishments, or 30 units per establishment including three multi comprising six terminals.

The activity of the amusement arcades is closely monitored by the Commission dependent on gambling Ministry of Justice (supra, No. 1). Class II facilities are not required to report financial transactions made in their establishments to the Financial Intelligence Processing Unit (CTIF-CFI).

Betting

The law of May 7, 1999 enacts a prohibition in principle of paris (except sports paris).

Regarding paris sports other than horse racing, it is the provisions of the Act of June 26, 1963 that find application. The 1963 Act applies only pool betting.

Article 1 of the Law of 26 June 1963 submitted organizing sports paris, other than paris on horse races, to the prior authorization of ministers responsible for physical education and sports in each region, This material is not under federal jurisdiction, but the jurisdiction of the communities. The paris on horse racing are subjected to a formal authorization from the Minister of Finance (section 66 CTA).

The Law of 26 June 1963 does not apply to sports paris organized by the National Lottery (art. 1 of the 1963 Act juncto art. 38 of the Act of 19 April 2002). The Bloso (the Flemish community) and Adeps (for the Walloon community) delivers the authorizations. The Bloso Adeps and are also responsible for the continuous monitoring of the prognosis.

The paris on horse races are governed by the provisions of Article 66 of the Code of taxes assimilated to income taxes (CTA) and beyond the scope of the 1963 Act Section 66 makes the CTA organization of horse racing to the prior authorization of the Minister of Finance. The Belgian PMU organizes horse racing in paris but not the PMU has a legal monopoly of exploitation of horse-races run in Belgium on paris. (Organizers Companies horse-races run in Belgium (asbl “Koninklijke Waregemse Koersvereniging”; vzw “Steeple Chase Corporation and Sport of Belgium”; association “Belgian Society of trotters and Sports Belgium “; vzw” sport Warmblood Society “; vzw” Waregemse Ren Rijvereniging “; vzw” Wellington Oostende “; vzw” Drafrennen Tongeren ‘; l ‘vzw’ Drafwedrennen-Kortrijk; “vzw” Belgalop “and vzw” Hippodrome de Wallonie Mons “) are authorized, according to the law, to accept paris on say horse racing. The treatment of paris, general management of accredited offices, the implementation of all necessary means for the treatment and development of games is done through a common agency, the PARI MUTUEL COMPANY CONSOLIDATED BELGIAN SC AUXILIARY OF ORGANIZING RACES OF COMPANIES, abbreviated PMUSC, with the web-site http://www.pmu.be) The paris to the coast are only allowed in the enclosure racetracks. Note also that only paris to the coast are allowed to bet on foreign races and, to date, only four companies have the necessary licenses to receive (Ladbrokes, Tiercé Franco Belge, Dumoulin and Vincennes). In addition, the PMU is not allowed to offer online gambling.

Bingo

Notwithstanding the prohibition of gambling, it is possible to operate an establishment offering such games by obtaining a license from the Gambling Commission (Article 4 of the Law of May 7, 1999). The pubs are class III establishments. Under the Royal Decree of 2 March 2004 made under the Act of 7 May 1999 on games of chance, only two types of gambling are permitted in licensed premises: Bingo (as’ pool electrical variable issue ‘, see definitions above and point 4 “Machine Gambling casinos outside”) and the One-ball. The bingo operated in pubs in Belgium does not match the activity organized in bingo halls, as understood in some neighboring countries of Belgium.

Organizing a bingo type ‘table game’ is authorized only in casinos (class A licensed establishments) under Article 1, 1 ° of the Royal Decree of 2 March 2004 (Royal Decree of 2 November 2004 amending the Royal Decree of 19 July 2001 establishing the list of games of chance whose operation is permitted in gaming establishments in class I, MB 8.12.2004) or after approval of the Mayor of the town in which the bingo is held.
The authorization of a bingo casino off is subject to conditions (only a non-profit organization can organize a bingo and 50% of profits must be donated for a charity).

Media Gambling Services

The law of May 7, 1999 establishes a principle of prohibition of all games of chance, as defined in Article 2 as “any game or bet to which any kind of issue is engaged, resulting in either loss stake by at least one of the players or punters, or the gain of any kind, in favor of at least one of the players, punters or organizers of the game or the bet for which chance is an element, even accessory for the course of the game, the determination of the winner or the setting of the gain. ” The qualification of gambling presupposes the meeting of three conditions: a game, a challenge and response, even incidental, accidental.

Only free games are allowed. Regarding especially gambling offered via media, jurisprudence considers not constitute making the purchase of a newspaper containing a set, the payment of a stamp to send an entry form or the sending an SMS no surcharge. (Antwerp, 27 March 2003; Brussels, 11 September 2002.) The televised games via SMS, MMS or premium numbers resulted in special provisions.

Article 3-4 of the Law of May 7, 1999 (entered into force on 1 January 2005), provides that “The King the conditions to be satisfied by the games offered in the context of which it is authorized to charge the calling, in addition to the communication of prices, also the price of the content, provided that this price is limited to the series for which the end-user price does not depend on the duration of the call, and form a program full game. ” The game shows via MMS, SMS or overcharged numbers and are an exception to the prohibition of gambling provided that several criteria, which remain to be defined, are met. These games are also guided by the provisions of the Code of Ethics for electronic communications relating to premium rate numbers.

Moreover, the top of the French community of Audiovisual Council has issued an opinion (No. 01/2005) (A available on the Commission website Audiovisual: http://www.csa.be/first .asp) in which he presents a number of guidelines and regulations of the games competitions organized by the editors of radio and television broadcasting.

The material of broadcasting is a matter for the competence of communities. A draft royal decree concerning the conditions to be met by television programs that contain a game program, not yet published in the Moniteur Belge (last visited, February 23, 2006), has recently been proposed by the King and the competent ministers . Article 1 of the draft Royal Decree states that “are included for the purposes of this Order all games that contain a complete set of programming through television shows and who must meet cumulatively the conditions following: (0) both for landlines for mobile phones, is asked a payment for the content considered as a set; (1) the loss of this layout is possible and / or the prize may be won; (1) (sic) chance, albeit ancillary, is present in the course of the game, when determining the winner or during the determination of the importance of winning. ” Articles 5 and following of the draft list of rules for the protection of players and minors. Thus, Article 5 of the draft obliges operators to clearly display the resolution of the game. In addition, specific rules relate to the handling of complaints by the operators, production companies and game providers (Article 10 of the draft Royal Decree). Article 12 1 of the draft provides that operators are obliged to monitor deviant behavior of “high-volume callers” (“The ‘high-volume callers” are persons who, according to the observations of operators spend 50 euros day games under prefix “games for content” or, as production houses or game providers, show abnormal behavior “(definition given by the Royal Decree in Section 2).) and block the participation of all minors and problem gamblers who so request. Under article 12, 2 °, production houses and game suppliers commit to take measures to avoid abnormal behavior of play.

Finally, advertising of games of chance, including via media (including the “Sweepstakes”) is prohibited by Article 23, 10 ° of the law July 14, 1991 (Act V of 25 May 1999 amending Law of 14 July 1991 on trade practices and on information and consumer protection, MB 23.06.1999.) if it arouses in the consumer hope or the certainty of having to earn or product, service or advantage by the effect of chance. However, advertising is permitted a lottery authorized or including offers of equity securities to licensed lotteries. Article 1 of the Code of Advertising and sponsorship on radio and television of September 20, 1995, applicable to the Flemish Community also states that broadcasters can not broadcast advertising contrary to the legal provisions on radio or the television. The ban aims advertise unauthorized lotteries.

Sales Promotional Gambling

Raffles (V. the judgment of the Court of Cassation on November 4, 1965, “the organizer of a lottery shall issue, to the one who won the lot as it was stipulated by the Convention to which he was joined by buying the ticket. “), or sweepstakes, rely solely at random to determine the winners. (V. the judgment of the Brussels Court of Appeal of 27 July 1984:. “For there to be lottery, you have a transaction offered to the public and designed to provide a gain through the fate When fate has already played and determined the winners, it has no operation “offered” to the public as the potential recipient of the draw should not approach to participate in a game that has already taken place and only the results have been temporarily kept secret. “) They are thus distinguished contests that appeal to the sagacity of the participants. Sweepstakes and fall under the provisions of the Act of December 31, 1851 which lays down a principle of prohibition of lotteries. This prohibition is applicable or that participation is not accompanied by an obligation to purchase. The provisions of Article 7 of the Law of 31 December 1851 (infra No. 9) to allow nonprofit organizations to organize lotteries and sell them to commercial enterprises.

Only items in kind, however, are admitted and resale authorization of equity securities is subject to the obligation to repay at least 50% of net profits to the association.

Furthermore, the Act of May 7, 1999 in principle prohibits gambling, that is to say “any game or bet to which any kind of issue is engaged, resulting in either loss of the stake by at least one of the players or punters, or the gain of any kind, in favor of at least one of the players, punters or organizers of the game or the bet for which chance is an element, even accessory, for the course of the game, the determination of the winner or the fixing of gain “(Article 2). Only free gambling are allowed.

As for the advertising of games of chance, Article 23, 10 ° of the Law of 7 May 1999 prohibited if it arouses in the consumer hope or the certainty of having to earn or product, service or advantage by the effect of chance. However, advertising is permitted a lottery authorized or including offers of equity securities to licensed lotteries.

Finally, the Code of Ethics of the Belgian Association of Direct Marketing (BDMV) of 18 September 2002 addresses several issues relating to licensed lotteries. Section 97 of the Code provides that the consumer should be able to tell the difference between a gift given under certain conditions and a prize awarded as part of an authorized lottery.

Similarly, Article 103 stipulates that “no communication can be designed to encourage the recipient to believe that he has won or will win a price determined with certainty if it is not established that it has won. ”

Charity Gambling

The law of 31 December 1851 establishes a principle of prohibition of lotteries.

However, a legal exception provided for in Article 7 of the law for lotteries “exclusively for acts of piety or charity, to the encouragement of industry or the arts or any other purpose utility Public. ” Section 7 of the Act of December 31, 1851, however, submits organizing such lotteries to prior authorization. This authorization is made by:

– The College of Mayors and Aldermen if Ticketing is made and announced in the town and is only published in print newspapers thereto;

– Of the permanent delegation of the provincial council, if the note issue is made and advertised in various municipalities of the province or published in printed newspapers thereto;

– The government, if the issuance of the Notes is made and announced or published in more than one province.

Furthermore, the Belgian National Lottery also supports many charities. Thus, the management contract concluded between the Belgian State and the National Lottery’s annual fixed amount due from the National Lottery to the works of bienfaisances and a royal decree sets every year – pursuant to section 23 of the Act of 19 April 2002 on the rationalization of the operation and management of the National Lottery – a distribution plan of subsidies granted by the National Lottery to certain charities (including in particular the King Baudouin Foundation, the Red Cross, Child Focus etc.) . (See, eg, subsidies allocation plan for 2004. Royal Decree of 22 November 2005 determining the distribution plan for 2004 grants from the National Lottery, MB 16.12.2005)

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