Belgium and the Netherlands Amend Their Online Gambling Laws

The gambling industry is very massive, and with the potential harm gambling can cause, it needs to be regulated. The way gambling is regulated in individual regions is quite different. Some countries use a central governing agency to enforce gambling laws, while others give each state the freedom to regulate gambling as it deems fit.

In today’s article, we focus on gambling laws in Belgium and the Netherlands. Previously, gambling online in the Netherlands and Belgium was prohibited. But with the passage of the Remote Gambling Act (KOA), players can now place legal sports bets and play casino games over the internet. But with this freedom comes other restrictions, which we will shed more light on in this article.

Changes Belgium and Netherlands made to their gambling laws

The gambling laws in Belgium and the Netherlands were tightened recently. These changes aim to promote responsible gambling. Regulators want to create a safe space for players and, at the same time, reduce the number of youths involved in gambling. These changes imply that operators will likely look for new markets where the gambling laws are not so demanding. But what are these laws, and how do they impact the operators in the regions?

Universal loss limit

One of the changes made to the gambling laws in these regions is the push for a universal loss limit. This change was reportedly partitioned by Bikker in the Netherlands. This partition aims to protect players who may be struggling with problem gambling. Gambling can be addictive, and cause players to make irrational decisions.

As a result, the universal loss limit aims to reduce the deposit limits allowed to be accepted by all licensed operators. This change was introduced on the 13th of February, 2024, and was announced by the Ministry of Justice & Security. With this new gambling law, players won’t be allowed to make an affordability check.

Financial risk checks

Before voting for the universal loss limit proposal, Franc Weerwind, the Minister for Legal Protections, rejected ChristenUnie’s (CU’s) mandate. Weerwind argued that there’s no need for a universal loss limit since a financial risk check was already incorporated in the approved and imminent amendments.

Weerwind further went on to say rather than a universal loss limit, compulsory financial risk checks for players’ accounts that are more than €350 or equivalent in spending will be more beneficial to the state, players, and operators. The Minister for Legal Protection whose job is to oversee KOA reforms, argued a €150 spending restriction will be imposed on gambling accounts of customers under 24.

Stricter financial penalties

Another change we can expect to see in gambling is stricter financial penalties. This amendment aims to create a safe space for players to gamble. A former member of the House of Representatives, Michiel Van Nispan of the Netherlands for the Socialist Party (SC) proposed a stricter financial penalty.

Van Nispan argued that with stricter financial penalties in place, gambling operators would be more cautious not to violate gambling laws. Amongst the penalties, Van Nispan suggested a fine of 10% of turnover for gambling companies that violate the KOA regulations. The former member of the House of Rep also suggested revoking the license of operators who fail to provide satisfactory player protection. Up to 102 MPs supported Van Nispan’s mandates, and it was passed.

Belgium increases gambling age

In Belgium, the official gambling, whether online or offline, was previously 18. However, the new gambling legislation has increased the legal gambling age to 21 and it has been approved by the Chamber of Deputies. The aim of increasing the legal age to gamble is to reduce the number of youths involved in any form of gambling.

Regulators believe that by reducing the number of youths involved in gambling, they will be more likely to get involved in more productive acts that will contribute to the development of society. Also, increasing the legal gambling age will help reduce the cases of gambling problems as it protects minors from the potential harms of gambling.

Online gambling advertising ban

Another of the three motions proposed by the CDA MP Derk Bosswijk is the call for a blanket ban on gambling advertising. However, this proposal was rejected as it fell short by 6 votes of the required 76-vote majority. Nevertheless, the Dutch minister thought of the proposal as useful and maintained that overreaching player limits must be included in the KOA Acts going forward.

Although Belgium’s National Lottery will be exempted from the ban. Also, online operators in the Western European country are prohibited from offering more than one type of gambling.


In summary, the aim of these new gambling laws in Belgium and the Netherlands is to tighten responsible gambling. Regulators want to provide a safe space for gamblers, and also reduce the number of youths involved in gambling.

The post Belgium and the Netherlands Amend Their Online Gambling Laws appeared first on Casino News Daily.

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