Act of 7 May 1999 on games of chance, betting, gaming establishments and the protection of players

CHAPTER I – General Provisions


Article 1. This Act governs a matter falling under article 78 of the Constitution, with the exception of the articles in Chapter II, that govern an issue as stipulated in article 77 of the Constitution (S).

 

Article 2. For the purposes of the application of this Act and its implementing decrees, the following terms shall apply:

1. games of chance: any game by which a stake of any kind is committed, the consequence of which is either loss of the stake by at least one of the players or a gain of any kind in favour of at least one of the players, or organisers of the game and in which chance is a factor, albeit ancillary, for the conduct of the game, determination of the winner or fixing of the gain;

2. operate: to put or keep in service, install or maintain one or more games of chance or gaming establishments;

3. gaming establishment: buildings or premises in which one or more games of chance are operated;

4. gaming room: a place within a gaming establishment where the games of chance are operated.

5. bet: game of chance where each player makes a stake and that results in gain or loss which is not dependent on the acts of the player but on the occurrence of uncertain events that occur without intervention of the players;

6. bets between players: a bet where an organiser acts as intermediary between the different players who play against each other, where the stakes are merged and distributed among the winners, after deduction of a percentage meant for paying the taxes on games and bets, to cover the organisation costs and for allocating a gain;

7. bets against odds: a bet where the player bets on the result of a particular fact and where the amount of the winnings is determined depending on certain fixed or conventional odds and where the organiser is personally liable for paying the amount of the gain to the players;

8. media: any radio or television station, and any newspaper or temporary magazine whose registered offices of the operator or publisher are located in the European Union;

9. media game: game of chance that is operated via the media;

10. information-society instruments: electronic equipment for the processing, including digital compression, and the storage of data, which are transmitted, conveyed and received by wire, by radio, by optical means or by other electromagnetic means.

11° automatic games of chance with a limited stake: machine on which games of chance are operated on which it is less possible to play games of chance than on other machines in Class III gambling establishments, so that all stakes result in an average hourly loss of less than the amount per hour as referred to in Article 8, sub-paragraph 3, and that the stake per game may not exceed the value of the coin of the highest value in circulation.

The King shall lay down the scale of the stakes referred to in sub-paragraph 1, 11°. 

 

 

Article 3. The following are not games of chance within the meaning of the present law:

1.the practising of sports;

2.games offering the player or gambler the right to continue the game free of charge, up to five times;

3.card or board games played outside gambling establishments Class I and II, with the exception of card or board games, played in Class III gambling establishments that use a machine, as well as games operated in amusement parks or by fairground operators at fairs, trade fairs, etc. and on similar occasions, and games organised occasionally and no more than four times a year by a local association on the occasion of a particular event or by a de facto association with a social or charitable purpose, or by a non-profit association for the benefit of a social or charitable work, and only requiring a very limited stake and which can only provide the player or gambler with a material gain of low value;

4. [...]

The played card or board games referred to in sub-paragraph 1, 3., proposed on machines, are prohibited to minors and may only be played using machines explicitly authorised for this purpose by the Gaming Commission. The age of the player must be checked automatically using an electronic identity card reader.

The municipal authorities may submit the card or board games referred to in paragraph 1, 3., whether or not they are proposed on machines, and which require only a very limited stake and can only provide the player or gambler with a material gain of low value, to prior authorisation and non-technical operating conditions.

The King shall determine pursuant to sub-paragraph 1, 2. and 3., the conditions the type of establishment, the type of game, the amount of the stake, the gain that can be paid out and the average loss per hour.

 

Article 3bis

This Act does not apply to lotteries within the meaning of the Lotteries Act of 31 December 1851 or articles 301, 302, 303 and 304 of the Criminal Code, or to public lotteries and competitions falling under section 3(1), paragraph 1, of the Act of 19 April 2002 on rationalisation of the functioning and administration of the National Lottery.

 

[Art. 3ter

The present law does not apply to international passenger ships on which gambling or games of chance are available, and which use their right of innocent passage within the meaning of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, signed at Montego Bay on 10 December 1982.

The operation of gambling or games of chance on board the ships referred to in paragraph 1 is however prohibited between the time when the ship has a ship/port interface as referred to in Article 5, 5°, of the Law of 5 February 2007 on maritime security and the time when the ship weighs anchor.

Operating gambling or games of chance is prohibited for the duration of the ship's stay in the port.

 

Article 4.

§1. It is prohibited for anyone to operate in any form, in any place and in any direct or indirect manner whatsoever, a game of chance or gaming establishment, without a licence obtained in advance from the Gaming Commission as governed by the present Act and by the exceptions as governed by the Act.

§2. It is prohibited for anyone to participate in a game of chance, to facilitate the operation of a game of chance or gaming establishment, to advertise a game of chance or a gaming establishment, or recruit players for a game of chance or gaming establishment when the person involved knows that it concerns the operation of a game of chance or a gaming establishment which is not licensed in accordance with this Act.

§ 3. It is prohibited for anyone to participate in any game of chance whatsoever if the person involved may have a direct influence on the result.

 

Article 6. Gaming establishments are divided into four classes, being class I  gaming establishments or casinos, class II gaming establishments or gaming arcades, class III gaming establishments or drinking establishments, and the class IV gaming establishments or places exclusively meant for taking bets, according to the type and number of games of chance that may be operated in the gaming establishment, the maximum stake, the loss or gain on the part of the players and betters indulging in such games of chance and the nature of the associated activities permitted in each of the respective types of establishment.

The number of class I, II and IV gaming establishments is limited. If a licence for the operation of a class I, II or IV gaming establishment becomes available, applications to obtain such a licence can be made. The King determines how such an available licence is announced and also the method and term for making an application, and also the criteria for determining the priority which at least must relate to the location of the establishment and modus operandi of the operation.

 

Article 7. For each of these classes of gaming establishment, the King, by decree debated in Cabinet, fixes the list and number of games of chance whose operation is permitted under the terms of this Act. The Gaming Commission renders a recommendation in this respect within a period of three months.

 

Article 8. For each game of chance operated in a class II, III and IV gaming establishment, with the exception of bets, and also for all games of chance operated via information-society instruments and for all games of chance operated via the media, the King shall determine for each play chance the maximum amount of the bet, the loss and the gain of the players. He may furthermore fix the maximum amount of the loss that a player may sustain for each such period as he may determine.

 

There may be played in class II establishments only those games of chance where it is established that the player cannot on average sustain a loss greater than 25 euros per hour.

 

There may be played in class III establishments only those games of chance where it is established that the player cannot on average sustain a loss greater than 12.50 euros per hour.

 


 

There may be played in class IV establishments, with the exception of the bets, only those games of chance where it is established that the player cannot on average sustain a loss greater than 12.50 euros per hour.

 

The King may also determine these matters for games of chance operated in class I gaming establishments.

 

It is at all times prohibited to interconnect two or more machines in order to offer a single prize.

 

The amounts of the games of chance provided in article (S) are indexed as determined by the King.

 

 

 

CHAPTER II – The Gaming Commission

 

Article 9. There is instituted within the Federal Public Justice Department, under the name of the “gaming commission”, hereinafter referred to as the commission, an advisory, decision-making and regulatory body in respect of games of chance, whose headquarters is established within the administrative district of Brussels-Capital.

The commission is assisted by secretariat.

 

Article 10.

§1. The commission is made up of the following members: a President, twelve full members, of whom no more than two thirds can be of the same sex, and twelve alternate members, of whom no more than two thirds can be of the same sex. The head of the secretariat participates in the commission in an advisory capacity.

 

§ 2. In addition to the chairman, the commission comprises:

- one Dutch-speaking representative and one French-speaking representative of the Minister of Justice;

- one Dutch-speaking representative and one French-speaking representative of the Minister of Finance;

- one Dutch-speaking representative and one French-speaking representative from the Minister for Economic Affairs;

- one Dutch-speaking representative and one French-speaking representative from the Ministry of the Interior;

- one Dutch-speaking representative and one French-speaking representative of the Minister for Public Health;

- one Dutch-speaking representative and one French-speaking representative from the Ministry within whose remit the National Lottery falls.

 

The representatives and their substitutes are appointed by the King on a proposal by the Ministers concerned.

 

 

The mandate of the members ends at the time when their replacement is provided.

 

§ 3. The chairman is appointed by the King by decree debated in Cabinet on a proposal from the Minister of Justice from amongst the Dutch-speaking or French-speaking  judicial officers that, in accordance with article 43quinquies of the Act of 15 June 1935 on the use of languages in judicial matters, have furnished evidence of their knowledge of the French and Dutch languages, respectively.

 

The chairman shall occupy said office on a full-time basis.

 

During the term of his office, he may not carry on any other work activity.

 

As a judicial officer, the chairman of the commission retains his position in the grade list. He is deemed to carry out his office during the period of his appointment. The provisions relating to retirement and pension are applicable to him. The officer is replaced by means of an appointment from amongst two or more candidates, in accordance with the Judicial Code. Where the officer is a department head, his replacement will be provided for by way of appointment from amongst two or more judicial officers of an immediately lower grade. The chairman  is seconded automatically.

 

The chairman continues to benefit from his salary and the increases and benefits attached thereto. In addition, the chairman receives an annual salary allowance of 15,000 euros, not indexed, on top of a language bonus for which he may be eligible.

 

§ 4. The chairman and effective and substitute members are appointed for a term of six years, renewable once for a period of six years. No earlier than three years after the end of their appointment may the members and their substitutes again apply for the position they have already occupied. They may be appointed once again for a non-renewable term of six years.

 

§ 5. On top of travelling and accommodation expenses, the members of the commission and their substitutes, with the exception of the chairman, shall for each meeting receive an attendance allowance, the amount of which shall be fixed by the King.

 

§ 6. The commission performs its tasks with complete independence.

 

 

Article 11. In order to be appointed and remain chairman, effective or substitute member of the commission, the following conditions must be met:

1. have the Belgian nationality;

2. have full capacity of one’s civil and political rights and be of irreproachable morality;

3. be at least 35 years of age;


 

4. have one’s registered address in Belgium;

5. not have carried out duties in a gaming establishment and not have had any direct or indirect personal interest for oneself, for a spouse or a partner living together, or for a family member or a relative to the 4th degree of any kind whatsoever in the operation of any such establishment or in any  other licensed activity falling under the present Act;

6. not be the holder of an elected mandate, whether at borough, provincial, regional or federal level;

7. have occupied an academic, legal, public administration, economic or social office for at least ten years.

8. not be a member of the commission’s secretariat.

 

Within five years of the end of their term of office, the President, full and alternate members may not perform any function in a gambling establishment, engage in any consulting or advisory activity, paid or otherwise, for a natural or legal person active in the gambling sector, or have any personal interest, directly or indirectly, for themselves, for the spouse or cohabitant or for a parent or relative up to the fourth degree, whatever the nature, in the operation of such an establishment, in another activity subject to a licence and governed by the present law or vis-à-vis the natural or legal person active in the gambling sector.

The prohibition referred to in sub-paragraph 2 also applies to police officers working for the commission, referred to in Article 15 § 3, for a period of five years following the end of their employment with the commission 

 

Article 12. The position of chairman is declared open when the holder is absent for more than six months, or when his mandate ends prematurely.  In the event that the chairman should be absent for more than three months, the Minister of Justice may provide a temporary substitute. In the event that the chairman should be indisposed, he is replaced by an effective member designated by the commission from its midst.

 

 

Article 13. The members and substitutes of the commission may not be present at debates on questions that present a personal interest, directly or indirectly, for themselves, for a spouse or for a partner living together, for family members or relatives to the fourth degree.

 

Article 14. The King determines the organisation, composition and functioning of the secretariat.

 

[Art. 14/1

For the exercise of its powers and for scientific research on gambling behaviour, addiction and prevention, the commission may request, with justification, all relevant information from all persons concerned. The commission shall determine the time limits within which the information must be provided. The King may lay down the procedures for collecting, recording and transferring such data, and for monitoring compliance thereof.

 

Article 15. § 1. For the conduct of all its tasks, the commission may use the services of experts.

 

It may instruct one or more staff members of its secretariat to carry out a site investigation. The members of the secretariat qualifying as public officers and designated to such effect by the King, act in the capacity of


 

officers of the criminal investigation police, auxiliary officers to the Crown Prosecutor, after having sworn the following oath: “I swear loyalty to the King and obedience to the Constitution and to the laws of the Belgian people.”

 

The powers of the officers of the criminal investigation police and auxiliary officers of the Crown Prosecutor, can only be exercised with the intention of finding and establishing offences against this Act and its implementing decrees.

 

In the exercise of their duties, they may:

1. enter at any time of the day or night into establishments, spaces and rooms where components of the information system are located which are used for the operation of the games of chance and areas to which they must have access in order to perform their tasks; however, they only have access to inhabited premises if they have reason to believe that a violation of this Act or its implementing decrees has been committed and with the prior authorisation of a police court judge;

2. carry out all investigations, checks and questioning and make all relevant observations and demand the delivery of all documents that might be useful in their investigation;

3. procure all additional information that they consider relevant from operators and their staff and from the police and official departments of the state;

4. seize all items, in particular documents, evidence, books and games of chance that might serve as evidence to convict in respect of an offence against this Act or its implementing decrees or that are necessary in tracing co-perpetrators or accomplices;

5. require the assistance of the police.

 

§ 2. The police officer or the person specified in paragraph 1 who is in charge of the investigation and establishes a violation of the provisions of this Act or its implementation decrees, shall send the original of the report to the public prosecutor.

A copy of the report in question is to be forwarded to the commission and also to the person who violated this Act or its implementation decrees, with the explicit mention of the date when the original was sent to or handed over to the Crown Prosecutor.

 

The report prepared by the officials specified in paragraph 1 regarding the violations of this Act or its implementation decrees, is probative until evidence to the contrary is provided.

 

Where the commission claims knowledge of an offence as regards application of and compliance with this Act and its implementing decrees, it may require that the police and the officials of the State deliver up to it all additional information that it considers relevant for the accomplishment of its task within

 

 § 3

Following authorisation from the Minister for Justice and the Home Affairs Minister, the commission may appoint a maximum of four police officers, who shall have the status of judicial police officer and assistant to the public prosecutor.

As liaison officers, they ensure contacts between the integrated police and the commission and also have access to all the information available to the commission Without prejudice to administrative and judicial police powers, during the period of employment, these police officers may exercise all the powers referred to in paragraph 1, sub-paragraph 4.

The administrative and financial status of police officers referred to in sub-paragraph 1, whether they are members of the federal police or the local police, is the same as that of an investigator or, where applicable, a judicial commissioner of the Central Anti-Corruption Office. The federal police or the police district to which the police officer belongs shall pay, in the first instance, as employer, the salary and any salary supplements, allowances, indemnities or interventions, including employer contributions These are reimbursed from the fund referred to in Article 19 § 2.

The terms for the employment of police officers, including their preferred profile, selection, content of their tasks and functions, shall be laid down in an agreement between the commission and the federal police.


 

such period has it shall fix, providing always that such officials have first obtained permission from the Crown Prosecutor.

 

 

Article 15/1. §1. If the Crown Prosecutor, within the term of six months, from the day of receipt of the original of the report, fails to announce to the commission or notifies the latter that, without questioning the existence of the offence, the violation shall not be prosecuted, the commission the commission shall apply Article 15/3.

 

§2. If the Crown Prosecutor notifies the commission within the terms specified in paragraph 1 that not prosecution shall be made or that he is of the opinion that no adequate objections are available, the option of the commission to apply article 15/3 shall expire.

 

 

[Art. 15/2

§ 1

The commission shall issue justified warnings to any natural or legal person who commits an infringement of the present law or its implementing decrees, shall suspend or revoke the licence for a specified period, and shall temporarily or permanently ban the operation of one or more games of chance.

§ 2

The municipality shall inform the commission, by post or electronically, when the holder of a C licence is the subject of an official report drawn up by the police for one of the following reasons:

1°public disorder;

2°an infringement of the legal provisions on the sale of fermented beverages, coordinated on 3 April 1953, and the Royal Decree of 4 April 1953 governing the implementation of the legal provisions concerning the sale of

beverages, or the Law of 28 December 1983 on the patent for the sale of spirits; 3°an infringement of the present law committed against a person under the age of 18.

After being informed by the municipality, the commission shall initiate a sanctioning procedure.

The decision of the commission shall be proportional to the gravity of the infringement that justifies it and to any recurrence of the infringement.

In the context of the above-mentioned sanctioning procedure based on an official report, the Mayor is authorised to have seals placed on automatic games of chance in Class III gambling establishments pending the final decision of the commission.

§ 3

The municipality shall inform the commission, by post or electronically, when the holder of a F2 licence in accordance with Article 43/4, § 5, 1°, is the subject of an official report drawn up by the police for one of the following reasons:

1°public disorder;

2°an infringement of the present law committed against a person under the age of 18; 3° non-compliance with the conditions regarding the secondary activity.

After being informed by the municipality, the commission shall initiate a sanctioning procedure.

The decision of the commission shall be proportional to the gravity of the infringement that justifies it and to any recurrence of the infringement.

In the context of the above-mentioned sanctioning procedure based on an official report, the Mayor is authorised to have seals placed on electronic machines used to accept bets pending the final decision of the commission. 

 

[Art. 15/3

§ 1

Without prejudice to the measures provided for in Article 15/2, the commission, in the event of an infringement of Articles 4, 8, 26, 27, 43/1, 43/2, 43/2/1, 43/3, 43/4, 46, 54, 58, 60, 62 and the conditions laid down in Article 15/1, § 1, shall impose an administrative fine on the offenders.

 

§ 2. The minimum amount and the maximum amount of the administrative fine is equal to the minimum amount and the maximum amount respectively of the criminal fine, provided by this Act, that sanctions the same offence, increased with the opdecimes.

 

 The sum of the administrative fine is proportional to the seriousness of the offence that gives rise to the fine and possible repeat offences.

 

§3. The decision of the commission determines the amount of the administrative fine and is justified with reasons.

 

§4. The notification of the decision that determines the amount of the administrative fine shall end criminal proceedings.

 


 

§ 5. The decision to impose an administrative fine can no longer be made five years after the circumstances leading to the violation of this Act.

 

 

Article 15/4. The measures provided in articles 15/2 and 15/3 shall be taken by the commission after the person involved has been given the possibility to present his defence.

 

The person involved shall be requested by registered letter to present his defence. This letter contains the following details:

1. the references of the report establishing the violation and the circumstances that gave rise to these violations.

2. the right to, within thirty days starting on the day of serving notice by registered letter:

-          present his defence in writing, or

-          make a request to present his defence orally.

3. the right to assistance by legal council;

4. the possibility to consult the file, and the address and the opening hours of the department where he can obtain this information;

5. the postal address and e-mail address of the gaming commission for sending his defence.

 

If the person involved failed to collect the registered letter within the required term, the commission can send him a second invitation to present his defence.

 

This second invitation does not result in a new term of thirty days for presenting the defence.

 

Article 15. §1. The defence can be submitted in writing, including e-mail.

 

§2. It can also be submitted orally. If the person involved wishes to present his defence orally, he shall be heard after he has requested the commission to do so within the term as provided in article 15/4, second paragraph.

 

The commission may set up separate chambers for this purpose that consist of the chairman and two effective members.

 

The chamber of the commission set up for this purpose, shall invite to the hearing by registered letter the legal person or natural person involved.

 

The person involved can request a postponement of the hearing once by sending a registered letter to the chamber specified in the previous paragraph.

 


 

The chamber shall determine the new date when the case can be  handled, without further postponement.

 

The members of the chamber who heard the person involved, shall prepare a comprehensive report of the hearing. A copy of this report is sent by registered letter to the person involved. After receipt of this copy, the person subject to the proceedings has fifteen days to send his comments in this respect to the commission.

 

 

Article 15/6. § 1. The commission confers and takes a decision within two months.

 

This period starts, either upon receipt of the written defence  provided in accordance with article 15/5, §1, or after expiry of the period of 15 days as provided in the last paragraph of section  15/5, §2 in the event that the defence is submitted orally. 

 

The members of the chamber who heard the person involved, may participate in these deliberations and have the right to vote.

 

§2. The decision is justified with reasons and sent by registered letter to the person involved.

 

 

Article 15/7. § 1. The involved party who disputes the decision that imposes an administrative fine, can address an appeal to the ‘court of first instance’ of his domicile or registered office, that has full jurisdiction (S), within one month from the notification of the commission’s decision, by means of a petition.

 

§2. The appeal suspends the effect the commission's decision.

 

§3. Only a provision in appeal can be brought against the decision of the court of first instance.

 

§4. Without prejudice to the provisions in the preceding paragraphs, the provisions of the Judicial Code apply for the appeal to the court of first instance.

 

Article 15/8. The King determines the collection and recovery of the imposed administrative fine.

 

The collected administrative fines are paid to the Treasury.

 


 

Article 16. The commission must annually report on its activities to the legislative chambers and to the Ministers for Economic Affairs, of the Interior, of Finance, of Justice and for Public Health.

 

Article 17. Without prejudice to article 15, § 2, the members of the commission and of the secretariat, as also such experts as have been asked to give their assistance, are obliged to keep secret the facts, acts and information that they have had knowledge of in the exercise of their duties both during their appointment and after the expiry thereof.

 

Any offence against this rule carries the penalties laid down in article 458 of the Criminal Code.

 

Article 18. Article 327 of the Income Tax Code 1992 is supplemented with a § 6, worded as follows:

« § 6. The gaming commission referred to in article 9 of the Games of Chance, Gaming Establishments and Protection of Players Act of 7 May 1999 must immediately inform the Minister of Finance where it determines that there is evidence in connection with a body for the regulation of which it is responsible allowing a presumption to be made of the existence or preparation of a tax-fraud mechanism.”

 

Article 19 § 1 The costs for the setting-up, staffing and functioning of the commission and its secretariat are to be borne entirely by the holders of class A, A+, B, B+, C, E, F1, F1+, G1 and G2 licences.

 

The annual contribution to the Fund to Counteract Excessive Debt as intended under article 20, § 2, of the Act dated 5 July 1998 relating to collective debt settlement and the option of sale by mutual agreement of the immovable goods that have been repossessed as well as the contribution increase intended under article 20bis, fourth member, of said Act, shall be at the charge of the gaming establishments (Program Act 23/12/2009).

 

The contribution of class F2 the licence holder is owed by the holder of the class F1 licence holder for whose account the bets are accepted.

 

For the holders of class C and F2 licences, the contribution must be paid before the licence is granted. The amount is equal to the amount of a contribution that covers the entire duration of the licence.

 

The King, by decree debated in cabinet, determines the contribution to the functioning, staffing and setting-up costs of the gaming commission due by the holders of class A, A+, B, B+ C, E, F1, F1+, G1 and G2 licences, as well as the annual contribution, and, if applicable, the increase of the contribution to the Fund to Counteract Excessive Debt owed by the gaming establishments (Program Act 23/12/2009).

 

The King shall table before the legislative chambers a bill for confirmation of the decree passed in execution of the foregoing paragraph.

 

§2. There is instituted a fund for the gaming commission within the budget for the Federal Public Justice Department. The fund is funded by the proceeds of the fees referred to in §1 as contribution to the costs for the setting-up, staffing and functioning of the Commission and its secretariat to be borne by the holders of class A, A+, B, B+, C, E, F1, F1+, G1 en G2 (S) licences.


 

Article 20. At the request of the ministers concerned or of Parliament, the commission shall render a recommendation on any legislative or regulatory initiative in the matters falling under this Act.

The commission supervises application of and compliance with this Act and its implementing decrees.

For application of the Money-Laundering Act of 11 January 1993, the gaming commission constitutes the regulatory and guardian authority within the meanings of articles 21 and 22 of said Act.

The commission receives complaints according to the procedures laid down by the King.

 

Article 21. § 1. The commission shall deliver its opinion with a reasoned decision about the applications for granting the licences provided in this Act.

 

§ 2. When taking its decision, the commission verifies whether all the conditions as provided by this Act and with respect to the applicant and the requested licence have been met.

§ 3. The commission may hear the applicant before making a decision about the application. If the applicant wishes to be heard, the commission shall organise a hearing.

The applicant has the right to seek assistance from legal council.

 

 

Article 22. Within a month of its being set up, the commission draws up its internal rules. These rules are submitted for approval by the Ministers for Economic Affairs, of the Interior, of Finance, of Justice and for Public Health.

The commission only validly deliberates if at least a majority of its members is present. It decides by absolute majority. In the event of a tied vote, the chairman, or in his absence his substitute, has a casting vote.

The substitute members only deliberate where they replace an effective member.

 

Article 23. The King determines the organisational and operating procedures for the commission.

 

Article 24. The commission meets at least once a year with the representatives of operators and with the representatives of employees of operators in a joint working committee, the composition and operating procedures for which are laid down by the King.

 

[Art. 24/1

§ 1

The commission shall meet at least twice a year with centres of expertise on behavioural addiction, prevention centres, centres of expertise on debts, and user representatives. These meetings and recommendations shall be reported in the report referred to in Article 16.

§ 2

Within the framework of its powers, the commission may organise all studies and public consultations in a non-discriminatory manner in order to hear the views and opinions of users, operators and organisations in the area of behavioural addiction and debt issues

These consultations shall ensure that, in the context of the commission's decision-making process, it takes adequate account of the interests of consumers and businesses, and the health and well-being of the population.

 

 

CHAPTER III – Licences 

Art 25.

There are nine classes of licences and three additional licences:

1.a Class A licence allows, for renewable periods of fifteen years or, where appropriate, for a shorter period pursuant to point 1/2, under the conditions it shall determine, the operation of a Class I gambling establishment or casino;

1/1.the additional Class A+ licence allows, under the conditions it shall determine, the operation of games of chance, through information society tools;

2.a Class B licence allows, for renewable periods of nine years, under the conditions it shall determine, the operation of a Class II gambling establishment or automatic gaming room;

2/1.the additional Class B+ licence allows, under the conditions it shall determine, the operation of games of chance, through information society tools;

3.a Class C licence allows, for renewable periods of five years, under the conditions it shall determine, the operation of a Class III gambling establishment or establishment which sells beverages;

4.a class D licence allows the holder, under the conditions it shall determine, to perform a professional activity of any kind in a Class I, II or IV gambling establishment; a Class E licence allows, for renewable periods of ten years, under the conditions it shall determine, the

5. sale, lease, financial lease, supply, provision, import, export, production, maintenance, repair of gambling machines;

6.a Class F1 licence allows, for renewable periods of nine years, under the conditions it shall determine, the organisation of betting;

6/1.the additional Class F1+ licence allows, under the conditions it shall determine, the organisation of betting, through information society tools;

6/2the Class F1P licence allows, under the conditions it shall determine and under the conditions laid down for Class F1 licences, and where applicable F1+, the organisation of betting on horse races;

7.a Class F2 licence allows, for renewable periods of three years, under the conditions it shall determine, the taking of bets on behalf of holders of Class F1 licences in a fixed or mobile Class IV gambling establishment. This licence also allows the taking of bets outside Class IV gambling establishments in the cases referred to in Article 43/4, § 5, 1° and 2°. For this licence, renewable three-year periods are also provided for;

8.a G1 licence allows, for renewable periods of five years, under the conditions it shall determine, the operation of games of chance in televised programmes using number series following the Belgian numbering system, which form a complete game programme;

9.a G2 licence allows, for a period of 1 year, under the conditions it shall determine, the operation of games of chance via a medium other than those presented in televised programmes using number series following the Belgian numbering system, which form a complete game programme.

If, at the time of the examination of an application for the renewal of a Class A licence, or the issuing of a new Class A licence, the Commission finds that the new or current licence agreement expires before the end of the fifteen-year licence period, it may renew or issue the licence for a period not exceeding the expiry date of the licence. 

 

Article 26. Transferring granted licences is strictly prohibited for all parties.

 

 

Article 27. It is prohibited for any single natural person or legal entity to hold both any class A, A+, B, B+, C, D, F1, F1+, F1P, F2, G1 and G2 licence, on the one hand, and a class E licence, on the other hand, whether directly or indirectly, personally or through the intervention of another natural person or legal entity.

 

Holders of a class A, B, C , F1 or F2 licence may as such, free of charge or for valuable consideration, transfer games of chance that are intended for use and used for the purpose of operating a class I, II, III and IV gaming establishment and that have been fully depreciated, provided the Commission is informed thereof beforehand and gives its prior authorisation.

 

 

 

CHAPTER IV – Gaming Establishments

Section I – Class I Gaming Establishments or Casinos

Article 28. Class I gaming establishments are establishments where games of chance are operated, automatic or not, as authorised by the King, and where at the same time socio-cultural activities are organised, such as shows, exhibitions, congresses and hotel and catering activities.

 

Article 29. The total number of authorised class I gaming establishments is limited to 9.

A class I gaming establishment may only be operated within the boundaries of the boroughs of Blankenberge, Chaudfontaine, Dinant, Knokke-Heist, Middelkerke, Namur, Ostend, Spa and within one of the 19 boroughs of the

 

Brussels-Capital Region. With the recommendation of the government of the Brussels-Capital Region and on the basis of the opportunities for locating such an establishment and infrastructure and on the basis of the social impact of setting up a class I gaming establishment, the King, by decree debated in Cabinet, designates the borough out of the boroughs in the Brussels-Capital Region that have applied by registered letter sent to the Minister of Justice within three months of this Act coming into force.

Only one class I gaming establishment may be operated in each borough. To this end, each borough enters into a concession agreement with the applicant operator.

The King may by decree debated in Cabinet set down the conditions that the concession agreement must fulfil.

 

Article 31. In order to be issued with a class A licence, the applicant must:

1. if he is a natural person, qualify as a national of a member state of the European Union; if it is a legal entity, which may not be a non-profit association, qualify as such under Belgian law or the law of one of the member states of the European Union;

2. if he is a natural person, be in full possession of his civil and political rights and be of such conduct as meets the requirements for the position; if it is a legal entity, each director must be in full possession of his civil and political rights and be of such conduct as meets the requirements for the position;

3. present a concession agreement entered into under the condition of obtaining the required class A licence with the council of the borough in which the class I gaming establishment is proposed to be established;

4. furnish evidence of his or its solvency and his or its financial means and, at all times and scrupulously, provide the Commission with all information enabling it to verify transparency in the operation and identify the shareholders together with any later alterations thereto.

5. be entered in the Central Database for Businesses as a commercial undertaking;

6. present a recommendation from the Federal Public Service Finance and the regional tax administration that proves that he has fulfilled all his recognised and undisputed tax debts.

 

Article 32. In order to remain the holder of a class A licence, the applicant must not only meet the conditions specified in article 31, but also:

1. if he is a natural person who participates in any way whatsoever directly or indirectly, personally or through the intervention of a legal entity, in the operation of a class I gaming establishment, be able at all times an unambiguously to be identified and his identity must be known to the Commission;

2. enable the commission at all times and unambiguously to identify and know the identity of all other natural persons participating in any manner directly or indirectly, personally or through the intervention of a legal entity, in the operation of a class I gaming establishment;

3. communicate to the commission the information enabling it at any time to verify transparency of the operation and identify the shareholders together with later alterations thereto.

4. completely and rigorously separate the gaming room from those spaces used for other purposes inside the casino and from the spaces external to the casino that are accessible to the public, so that it is in no event possible from outside the gaming room to gain a view of the games of chance. The operator is nonetheless permitted to operate a bar or restaurant in the gaming room or to entrust the operation thereof to a third party holding a class D licence.

5. Actually operate the games of chance or gaming establishments for which a licence has in effect been granted.

 

Article 33. The King determines:

1. the form of class A licences;

2. the procedures for lodging and examining licence applications;

3. the administration and functioning procedures for class I gaming establishments, providing always that the books of account for gaming operations must be kept separate from those for other activities in which that gaming establishment might engage;

4. the rules for the functioning of games of chance;

5. the procedures for the monitoring and supervision of games of chance, particularly by means of an appropriate computer system.

 

Section II.- Class II Gaming Establishments or Gaming Arcades

Article 34. Class II gaming establishments are establishments where only games of chance authorised by the King are operated.

The total number of authorised class II gaming establishments is limited to 180.

The operation of a class II gaming establishment must be done pursuant to an agreement to be entered into between the borough in which the establishment is located and the operator. The decision to enter into such an agreement is within the discretionary powers of the borough council. The agreement sets down where the gaming establishment is established together with the procedures, days and times of opening and closure of class II gaming establishments and who exercises supervision by the borough council.


 

Article 36. In order to be issued with a class B licence, the applicant must:

1. if he is a natural person, qualify as a national of a member state of the European Union; if it is a legal entity, qualify as such under Belgian law or the law of one of the member states of the European Union;

2. if he is a natural person, be in full possession of his civil and political rights and be of such conduct as meets the requirements for the position; if it is a legal entity, each director must be in full possession of his civil and political rights and be of such conduct as meets the requirements for the position;

3. furnish evidence of his or its solvency and his or its financial means and, at all times and scrupulously, provide the commission with all information enabling it to verify transparency in the operation and identify the shareholders together with any later alterations thereto.

4. ensure that no class II gaming establishment is established in a location in proximity to teaching establishments, hospitals, places frequented by young people, places of worship and prisons;

5. present the agreement entered into between the class II gaming establishment and the borough council for the place of establishment under the condition of obtaining the required class B licence;

6. be entered in the Central Database for Businesses as a commercial undertaking.

7. present a recommendation from the Federal Public Service Finance and the regional tax administration that proves that he has fulfilled all his recognised and undisputed tax debts.

 

Article 37. In order to remain the holder of a class B licence, the applicant must not only meet the conditions specified in article 36, but also:

1. if he is a natural person who participates in any way whatsoever directly or indirectly, personally or through the intervention of a legal entity in the operation or setting-up of a class II gaming establishment, be able at all times and unambiguously to be identified and his identity must be known to the commission;

2. enable the commission at all times and unambiguously to identify and know the identity of all other natural persons participating in any manner directly or indirectly, personally or through the intervention of a legal entity in the operation or setting-up of a class II gaming establishment;

3. communicate to the commission the information enabling it at any time to verify transparency of the operation and identify the shareholders together with later alterations thereto.

4. completely and rigorously separate the gaming room from those spaces used for other purposes inside the class II gaming establishment and from the


 

spaces external to the class II gaming establishment that are accessible to the public, so that it is in no event possible from outside the gaming room to gain a view of the games of chance. The operator is not permitted to operate a bar or restaurant in the gaming room or to entrust the operation thereof to a third party.

5. actually operate the games of chance or gaming establishments for which a licence has in effect been granted in the sense of article 2, 2. of this Act.

 

Article 38. The King determines:

1. the form of class B licences;

2. the procedures for lodging and examining licence applications;

3. the administration and functioning procedures for class II gaming establishments, providing always that the books of account for gaming operations must be kept separate from those for other activities in which that gaming establishment might engage;

4. the rules for the functioning of games of chance;

5. the procedures for the monitoring and supervision of games of chance, particularly by means of an appropriate computer system.

 

Section III.- Class III Gaming Establishments or Drinking Establishments

 

Article 39. Class III gaming establishments are establishments in which are sold drinks that, whatever their nature, must be consumed on the premises and in which a maximum of two automatic games of chance and two automatic games of chance with a limited stake are operated.

 

Article 41. In order to be issued with a class C licence, the applicant must be in full possession of his civil and political rights and be of such conduct as meets the requirements for the position if he is a natural person. If the applicant is a legal entity, each director must be in full possession of his civil and political rights and be of such conduct as meets the requirements for the position. The applicant or, if the applicant is a legal person, each director or manager, may not, for the five years prior to their application, present an unfavourable record in terms of criminal acts or public disorder which are incompatible with operating a gambling establishment. The King shall determine the detailed criteria in this regard.

The applicant must produce an opinion from the Federal Public Service Finance and the regional tax administration, certifying that it has paid all its tax debts, certain and non-contested.

 

Article 42. The applicants for a class C licence must be entered in the Central Database for Businesses as a commercial undertaking.

 

Article 43. The King determines:

1. the form of class C licences;

2. the procedures for lodging and examining licence applications;

3. the administration and functioning procedures for class III gaming establishments, providing always that the books of account for gaming operations must be kept separate from those for other activities in which that gaming establishment might engage;

4. the rules for the functioning of games of chance;


 

5. the procedures for the monitoring and supervision of games of chance, particularly by means of an appropriate computer system.

 



Section IV - Class IV Betting and Gaming Establishments

 

Sub-section I: Betting: betting establishments.

 

Article 43/1. It is prohibited to organise betting on an event or activity which undermines public order or morality, or concerning an activity in which the majority of the participants are minors.. 

It is prohibited to organise betting on events or activities of which the results are already known or when the uncertain event has already occurred.

 The commission may prohibit betting if the proper conduct of the event cannot be guaranteed, or if it considers that specific betting possibilities are exposed to fraud The relevant licence holders shall be informed immediately.

With regard to real-world bets, the player chooses the relevant holder of the licence whom he or she can contact if they have questions or comments regarding the operation.

 

[Art. 43/2

§ 1

As regards horse racing, only the following bets are allowed:

1°mutual betting on horse races which take place in Belgium and which are organised by a racing association approved by the competent federation;

2°mutual betting on horse races which take place abroad;

3°fixed-odds betting on horse races which take place in Belgium and which are organised by a racing association approved by the competent federation;

4°fixed-odds betting on horse races which take place abroad.

§ 2

As regards horse races:

1°the betting referred to in paragraph 1, 1° and 3°, can only be organised with the authorisation of the racing association organising the race in question and under the conditions laid down by the King. This association may take the form of a non-profit association;

2°the betting referred to in paragraph 1, 2°, can be organised only under the conditions laid down by the King by the betting organiser referred to in 1° and subject to an agreement concluded between the foreign organiser authorised in a Member State of the European Union and the holder of a Class F1 licence;

3°the betting referred to in paragraph 1, 4°, can only be organised under the conditions laid down by the King by the betting organiser referred to in 1°

 

 § 3

The holder of a F1P licence who wishes to offer bets on horse races organised by a racing association referred to in paragraph 2, 1°, shall conclude an agreement with that racing association. The agreement through which the association authorises the offering of bets must specify at least the manner in which the racing association transmits information on the races it organises, the time limit for transmitting such information and the fees agreed between the parties. If the holder of a F1P licence wishes to offer bets on all horse races organised by approved racing associations, they must conclude an agreement with all of these racing associations. This agreement must specify at least the manner in which the racing associations transmit information on the races they organise, the time limit for transmitting such information and the fees agreed between the parties.

If the holder of a F1P licence wishes to offer bets on all horse races organised by approved racing associations, or on horse races taking place abroad, the racing associations must agree on the management of information and images of their horse races, as well as on the granting of authorisations for offering bets on these races. The holder of a F1P licence is only required to pay a single periodic fee for this authorisation, distributed among the approved racing associations according to a distribution key specified between them.

 

Article 43/3. §1. The organisers of the betting must have a class F1 licence.

 

§ 2. The King determines the maximum number of betting organisers by decree debated in Cabinet.

 

The King determines this number, for the period he specifies,  on the basis of criteria meant to limit the supply and protect the player, and to guarantee effective supervision. The King may determine the procedure for dealing with excess licence applications.

 

[Art. 43/2/1

§ 1

Organisers of betting on horse races must have a Class F1P licence which the commission can only grant to holders of a Class F1 licence.

The commission shall take a decision on applications for the granting of the Class F1P licence within three months of the application.

§ 2

The King shall lay down the specific conditions that must be respected for the taking of these bets by the holder of a F1P licence. [Art. 43/2

§ 1Betting organisers must have a Class F1 licence.

§ 2

The King shall stipulate the maximum number of betting organisers, by decree deliberated by the Council of Ministers

The King sets this number, for the periods he determines, on the basis of criteria intended to limit the supply, in order to protect players and guarantee the effectiveness of the control. The King may decide on the procedure for processing additional licence applications.

 

Sub-section II: Class IV Gaming Establishments.

 

[Art. 43/4

§ 1

Class IV gambling establishments are premises exclusively intended to take bets, authorised in accordance with the present law on behalf of holders of a Class F1 licence.

Taking bets requires a Class F2 licence.

Apart from the exceptions provided for in § 5, it is prohibited to take bets outside a Class IV gambling establishment.

Class IV fixed gambling establishments must be operated pursuant to an agreement between the municipality in which the establishment is located and the operator. The agreement shall specify where the Class IV gambling establishment is located and the terms, opening/closing days and times, and who from the municipality shall exercise supervision.

§ 2Class IV gambling establishments are fixed or mobile.

A fixed gambling establishment is a permanent establishment, clearly delimited in a given space, in which betting is organised.

A fixed gambling establishment has as its only purpose the placing of bets, with the exception of:

–the sale of specialised newspapers, sports magazines and gadgets;

–the sale of non-alcoholic drinks;

–the operation of no more than two automatic games of chance that offer bets on activities similar to those taken in the betting establishment. The King shall specify the conditions under which these games of chance may be operated.

With the aim of allowing the commission to perform the tasks assigned to it by the present law, the information associated with the operation of the automatic games referred to in the third indent of sub-paragraph 3 must be displayed in a permanent establishment within Belgian territory.

A mobile gambling establishment is a temporary establishment, clearly delimited in a given space, which is operated from time to time, for the duration and at the location of an event, sporting event or sporting competition. It must be clearly separated from places where alcoholic beverages are sold for consumption on the premises. A mobile gambling establishment cannot take bets other than those relating to the event, sporting event or sporting competition in question.

§ 3

All bets authorised in accordance with the present law which have been the subject of a stake which is higher than the amount or consideration specified by the King must be recorded by the operator in a computerised system, and the recorded data must be kept for five years.

The King shall determine which data must be recorded and how it must be recorded.

§ 4

The King shall specify the maximum number of fixed and mobile gambling establishments, by decree deliberated by the Council of Ministers, as well as the criteria for organising the distribution of these establishments. He may determine a procedure with priority criteria for processing additional applications.

§ 5

Outside the above-mentioned Class IV gambling establishments, the following bets may also be taken:

1°bets on sporting events and horse races, in addition, by newsagents, natural or legal persons, registered with the Crossroads Bank for Enterprises as a commercial undertaking, provided that the bets are not taken in places where alcoholic beverages are sold for consumption on the premises.

The King shall lay down the specific conditions that newsagents must meet in order to take these bets. They must have a Class F2 licence;

 

2°mutual betting on horse races referred to in Article 43/2, § 2, 1° and 2°, organised within the enclosure of a racecourse, under the conditions laid down by the King. The association must have a Class F2 licence. 

 

Sub-section III: General provisions

 

Article 43/5. In order to be issued with a class F1 or F2 licence, the applicant must:

 

1. if he is a natural person, provide proof that he qualifies as a national of a member state of the European Union; if it is a legal entity, provide proof that it qualifies as such under Belgian law or the law of one of the


 

member states of the European Union;

 

2. if he is a natural person, provide proof that he has full capacity of his civil and political rights; if it is a legal entity, provide proof that the directors all have this capacity; In all cases, the applicant and all directors must be of such conduct as meets the requirements for the position.

 

3. must communicate the betting rules and any changes to these rules to the commission and agree to exhibit a copy of these rules in all gaming establishments or areas where bets are taken (S);

 

 4. present a recommendation from the Federal Public Service Finance and the regional tax administration that proves that he has fulfilled all his recognised and undisputed tax debts.

 5.        ensure that the Class IV gambling establishment is not established in the vicinity of educational institutions, hospitals and places frequented by young people, unless authorised by the municipality;

6.         present the agreement concluded between the Class IV gambling establishment and the municipality where the establishment is located, under the condition of obtaining the required Class F2 licence.";

 

The applicant of a class F1 licence must, in addition:

 

1. provide a list of the type or kind of bets that shall be organised;

 

2. provide proof of his solvency and financial means;

 

3. must announce the betting rules and any changes to these rules to the commission and agree to exhibit a copy of these rules in all gaming establishments where bets are taken;

 

4. provide a list of the gaming establishments or places where the bets shall be taken;

 

5. and 6. of sub-paragraph 1 do not apply to applicants for a Class F2 licence for taking bets outside a Class IV gambling establishment referred to in Article 43/4, § 5 or for taking bets in a mobile gambling establishment referred to in Article 43/4 § 2 § 5. 

 

Article 43/6. In order to remain the holder of a class F1 or F2 licence, the applicant must not only meet the conditions specified in article 43/5, but also:

 

1. if he is a natural person who participates in any way whatsoever directly or indirectly, personally or through the intervention of a legal entity, in the operation of a class IV gaming establishment, or a place where bets are taken (S), he must be able at all times and unambiguously to be identified. His identity must be communicated to the Commission;

 

2. enable the commission at all times to identify and know the identity of all other natural persons participating in any manner directly or


 

indirectly, personally or through the intervention of a legal entity, in the operation of a class IV gaming establishment or a place where bets are taken (S);

 

3. communicate to the commission the information enabling it verify the transparency of the operation and identify the shareholders together with later alterations thereto.

 

4. actually continue to operate the betting activity or take bets, and operate the gaming establishments for which the licence has in effect been granted.

 

5. provide the commission all changes made to the list of the gaming establishments or places where the bets shall be taken;

 

Article 43/7. The King determines:

 

1.  the form of the class F1 and F2 licences;

2. the procedures for lodging and examining class F1 and F2 licence applications;

3. the obligations that class F1 and F2 licence holders must meet with regard to management and accounting.

4. the rules for betting;

5. the rules for the monitoring and supervision of games of chance, particularly by means of an appropriate computer system.

 

 

CHAPTER IV/1. – The Supplementary Licences or Games of Chance via Information-society Instruments

Article 43/8.

§1. The commission may grant to a class A, B or F1 licence holder maximum one supplementary licence, respectively  A+, B+ and F1+, for the operation of games of chance via information-society instruments. The supplementary licence shall only be granted for the operation of games of the same nature as those offered in the real world.

However, with the exception of games of the same nature as those offered in the real world, the King may, by decree deliberated by the Council of Ministers, lay down separate operating criteria for additional licences in relation to licences granted for the operation of games of chance in the real world.

 

§2. The King determines by decree debated in Cabinet:

1. the quality conditions that the applicant must meet and that relate at least to the following elements:

a) The creditworthiness of the applicant;

b) the safety of the payments between the operator and the player;


 

c) the operator’s policy with regard to the accessibility of games of chance to socially vulnerable groups;

d) the arrangement for complaints;

e) the specific rules with regard to advertising;

f) the compliance with all his fiscal obligations

 

2. the conditions for offering the games that must at least relate to the registration and identification of the player, the verification of the age of the player, the games offered, the gaming rules, the method of payment and the method of distributing the prizes;

 

3. the specific rules for supervision (S) and verification of the operated games of chance that must at least relate to the condition that the servers used to manage the data and the website are located at a permanent location on Belgian territory.

 

4. which games may be operated.

 

5. the specific rules regarding the information for players on the legality of the games of chance via information-society instruments.

 

6. the specific rules for limitations of stakes and playing time (S) per period as determined by the King.

 

 

§ 3. The duration of validity of the supplementary licences is linked to the respective duration of validity of the respective class A, B or F1 licences.

 

§4. The commission keeps a list of the granted supplementary (S) licences that can be consulted by any person requesting to do so.

 

 

Chapter IV/2. – Media games

 

Section I. General provisions

 

Article 43/9. For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms shall apply:

 

- game duration: period between the placing of the bet and the final closing of the game with gain or loss.

 

- operator: any person who in his own name and for his own account, supplies or resells services or networks for electronic or phone communication;

 

- organiser: any person who organises a game as provided in this chapter, or determines its content;

 

- game provider: any person who provides a game to a player by any means whatsoever;

 

- facilitator: any person who makes his infrastructure available and/or provides assistance for the management and the processing of the communication originated by the player.

 

Article 43/10. In order to be issued with a class G1 or G2 licence, the applicant must:

 

1. if he is a natural person, qualify as a national of a member state of the European Union; if it is a legal entity, which may not be a non-profit association, qualify as such under Belgian law or the law of one of the member states of the European Union;

 

2. if he is a natural person, be in full possession of his civil and political rights and be of such conduct as meets the requirements for the position; if it is a legal entity, each director must be in full possession of his civil and political rights and be of such conduct as meets the requirements for the position;

 

3. present a complete file to the commission that explains the organisation, the method of selection and the method of the game in full. This application file must also clearly specify the identity of the operator, the organiser, the game provider and the facilitator. If these persons are natural persons, they must be in full possession of their civil and political rights; if these persons are legal persons, all the directors must be in full possession of their civil and political rights;

 

4. present a recommendation from the Federal Public Service Finance and the regional tax administration that proves that he has fulfilled all his recognised and undisputed tax debts.

 

Article 43/11. In order to remain the holder of a class G1 or G2 licence, the applicant must not only meet the conditions specified in the previous article, but also:

 

1. if he is a natural person who participates in any way whatsoever directly or indirectly, personally or through the intervention of a legal entity, in the operation of a media game, be known to the commission; his identity must be communicated to the commission;

 

2. enable the commission at all times and unambiguously to identify and know the identity of all other natural persons participating in any manner directly or indirectly, personally or through the intervention of a legal entity, in the operation of a media game;

 

3. communicate to the commission the information enabling it at any time to verify transparency of the operation and identify the shareholders together with later alterations thereto.

 

 

Section II. - Television programmes via number sequences of the Belgian number scheme and that are part of a total programme.

 

Article 43/12. The game provider must have a class G1 licence in order to operate television programmes via number sequences of the Belgian number scheme and whereby he is authorised to charge the caller not only for the price of the communication but also for the content, however, only for the sequences where the end-user tariff is not dependent on the duration of the calls, and which are part of a total programme (S).

 

 

Article 43/13. The King determines:

the form of class G1 licences;
the procedures for lodging and examining licence applications;
the administrative and functioning procedures for media games, providing always that the books of account for gaming activities must be kept separate;
the rules for the functioning these media games;
the rules for monitoring and supervision of media games;
the criteria for preventing the expansion of the supply.
 

 

Section III. - Games of choice operated via the media, other than television programmes via number sequences of the Belgian number scheme as provided for in section II.

 

Article 43/14. The game provider must have a class G2 licence to operate all games of chance via the media, with the exception of games of chance via number sequences of the Belgian number scheme and that are part of a total programme.

 

Article 43/15. The King determines:

1.   the form of class G2 licences;


 

2. the procedures for lodging and examining licence applications;

3.  the administrative and functioning procedures for these media games, providing always that the books of account for gaming activities must be kept separate;

4.   the rules for the functioning these media games;

5.   the rules for monitoring and supervision of media games;

6.   the games for which no licence must be applied for;

the criteria for preventing the expansion of the supply.
 

 

Chapter IV/3. – Staff 

Article 44. Any person wishing to carry on any occupational activity in relation to gaming in a class I, II or IV gaming establishment during the opening hours of the gaming room must be in possession of a class D licence and at all times hold an identification card certifying that he is in possession of such licence.

 

Article 45. In order to be issued with a class D licence and remain the holder thereof, the applicant must be in full possession of his civil and political rights and be of such conduct as meets the requirements for the position.

 

Article 46. Holders of a class D licence are prohibited from taking part personally or through intermediaries in the games of chance operated, accepting financial or material compensation other than what may be provided for in their employment contract or allowing players or betters any form of loan or credit.

 

Article 47. The King determines:

1. the form of the class D licence and of the accompanying identification card;

2. the procedures for lodging and examining licence applications;

3. the qualifications and certificates required to obtain a class D licence.

 

 

CHAPTER V - Sale, hire, sale on hire-purchase, supply, granting disposition of, import, expert, production and provision of maintenance, repair and equipment services in relation to games of chance


Article 48. The sale, hire, sale on hire-purchase, supply, granting disposition of, importation, exportation, production and provision of maintenance, repair and equipment services in relation to games of chance are subject to the grant of a class E licence. Operators who fulfilled the notification as provided by article 9 of the Act of 13 June 2005 governing electronic communication, are exempt from this obligation.

 

Article 50. In order to be issued with a class E licence, the applicant must:

1. if he is a natural person, qualify as a national of a member state of the European Union; if it is a legal entity, qualify as such under Belgian law or the law of one of the member states of the European Union;

2. if he is a natural person, be in full possession of his civil and political rights and be of such conduct as meets the requirements for the position; if it is a legal entity, each director must be in full possession of his civil and political rights and be of such conduct as meets the requirements for the position;

3. furnish evidence of his or its solvency and his or its financial means and, at all times and scrupulously, provide the Commission with all information enabling it to verify transparency in the operation and identify the shareholders together with any later alterations thereto.

4. present a recommendation from the Federal Public Service Finance and the regional tax administration that proves that he has fulfilled all his recognised and undisputed tax debts.

 

 

Article 51. In order to remain the holder of a class E licence, the holder must not only continue to meet the conditions specified in the previous article, but also:

 

1. if he is a natural person who participates in any way whatsoever directly or indirectly, personally or through the intervention of a legal entity, in the activity for which a class E licence is required, be able at all times and unambiguously to be identified and his identity must be known to the commission. His identity must be communicated to the commission?

 

2. communicate to the commission the information enabling it at any time to verify transparency of the operation and identify the shareholders together with later alterations thereto.

 

Article 52. Any model of equipment or apparatus that is imported or manufactured within the limits and conditions set down in a class E licence, with the intention use by a licence holder as provided in this Act, must for the purposes of selling or operating same in Belgium, be approved by the commission on the basis of the inspections carried out by one of the authorities mentioned in the second paragraph of this section.  A certificate of approval is issued as evidence.

 

The checks on the basis of which such approval is granted, are carried out:


 

- either by the Department Technical Evaluations of the Belgian Gaming Commission;

- or by a body that is accredited in accordance with the Act of 20 July 1990 governing the accreditation of institutions for conformity assessment, or is accredited in another member state of the European Union or in another country that subscribes to the Agreement on the European Economic Area, under the supervision of the Department Technical Evaluations of the Belgian Gaming Commission;

 

The controls carried out at commissioning and in the course of use are also carried out by the authorities referred to in the second paragraph.

 

Article 53. The King determines:

1. the form of class E licences and of the permits referred to in section 52;

2. the procedures for lodging and examining licence applications;

3. the procedures for verifying games of chance prior to approval;

4. the rules for the functioning of games of chance;

5. the procedures for the monitoring and supervision of games of chance, particularly by means of an appropriate computer system;

6. the amount and manner of collecting the charges in relation to model approval verifications and subsequent controls.

 

 

CHAPTER VI. - Measures for the Protection of Players and Gamblers

Article 54. §1. Access to the gaming rooms of class I and II gaming establishments is prohibited for persons under 21 years of age with the exception of adult personnel of gaming establishments in their place of work. Access to class IV gaming establishments is prohibited for minors.

The playing of games of chance in class III gaming establishments and the playing of games of chance and betting in class IV gaming establishments are prohibited for minors.

This prohibition for minors also applies for betting authorised outside the class IV gaming establishments.

 

Playing games of chance via information-society instruments, with the exception of betting, is prohibited for persons under 21 years of age. Betting via information-society instruments is prohibited for minors.

Playing the automatic games of chance referred to in Article 43/4, § 2, sub-paragraph 3, in Class IV fixed gambling establishments is prohibited for persons under the age of 21.

 

§2. Access to the gaming rooms of class I and II gaming establishments is prohibited for judicial officers, notaries public, bailiffs, and members of the police service outside the exercise of their duties.

The playing of games of chance in the sense of this Act and for which registration is required, with the exception of betting, is prohibited for judicial officers, notaries public, bailiffs, and members of the police service outside the exercise of their duties.

 Members of the operational management of the police services referred to in Article 117 of the Law of 7 December 1998 on the organisation of an integrated, two-tiered structured police service may not, either directly or through an intermediary, perform any function in a gambling establishment or carry out any consulting or advisory activity, paid or otherwise, for a natural or legal person active in the gambling sector or having any interest, of whatever nature, in the operation of such an establishment, in another activity licensed and covered by the present law or vis-à-vis a natural or legal person active in the gambling sector.

 

§ 3. The commission pronounces that the following persons shall not access games of chance in the sense of this Act and for which mandatory registration is required:

1. persons who have voluntarily requested so;

2. persons who are incapax, on the request of their legal representative or their judicial counsel;

3. person who, in conformity with the royal decree no. 22 of 24 October 1934, have been prohibited from holding certain positions or carrying on certain occupations or activities, after notification by the public prosecutor;

4. persons suffering from gambling addiction. This access refusal order can be issued upon the request of every interested party. The request must include the reasons and is made to the commission. The commission shall decide after inviting the player in question to present his defence;

6. persons for whom the request for collective debt arrangement (consumer debt relief) has been declared permissible.

 

§ 4. The commission pronounces as a preventive measure that the following persons shall not access games of chance in the sense of this Act and for which mandatory registration is required:

1. persons to be protected for whom a request has been lodged in accordance with section 487ter of the Civil Code;

2. persons to be protected for whom a request has been lodged in accordance with section 488bis(b) of the Civil Code;

3. persons to be protected for whom a request has been lodged in accordance with section 5 of the Mentally Ill (Protection of the Person) Act of 26 June 1990.

 

The preventive prohibitions set out in the first paragraph terminate where the Commission has been advised of the decisions referred to in each of sections 487sexies and 488bis(e) § 1 of the Civil Code and sections 8, 12 and 30 of the Mentally Ill (Protection of the Person) Act of 26 June 1990.

 

The information to be sent to the commission by the judicial authorities, may be sent electronically.

 

§ 5. The King determines the method of prohibiting or denying access to games of chance in the sense of this Act.

 

Article 55. The Federal Public Department of Justice (S) is setting up a system for processing information concerning the persons falling under section 54.

 

The objectives of this system are:

1. to enable the gaming commission to carry out the tasks allotted to it under this Act;

2. to enable operators and the personnel of gaming establishments to verify compliance with the exclusions referred to in section 54.

 

For each person, the following information is processed:

1. surname and first names;

2. place and date of birth;

3. nationality;

4. the identification number referred to in section 8 of the Act of 8 August 1983 organising a National Register of Individuals or, failing such number, the number issued pursuant to the royal decree of 8 February 1991 on the composition and procedures for allotment of identification numbers to individuals who are not entered in the National Register of Individuals;

5. occupation;

6. where appropriate, the decisions to exclude in the sense of article 54, §3 and §4 (S), the subject from the gaming rooms of gaming establishments pronounced by the Gaming Commission and the date of and grounds for that decision.

 

Permanent on-line access to all the categories of information referred to in paragraph 3 is accorded to the gaming commission in return for payment of a fee.

 

The King, by decree debated in Cabinet and on the recommendation of the Privacy Commission, determines the amount of the fee referred to in paragraph 4, the procedures for administering the information processing system, the procedures for processing information and the procedures for accessing the system.

 

[Art. 55/1

To allow the commission to perform the missions of protecting players assigned to it by the present law and its implementing decrees, the King shall lay down the terms under which the commission may ask the National Bank of Belgium whether a person is in default of payment in the file of the Central Individual Credit Register of the National Bank of Belgium.

 

Article 56. The first paragraph of section 487sexies of the Civil Code, amended by section 65 of the Act of 31 March 1987 is replaced by the following provision:

“Decisions placing a person under the extended minority regime, ordering that parental authority be replaced by guardianship or designating a new guardian are notified by the clerk of court to the Minister of Justice and the mayor of the borough in the population register of which the person in question is entered.” ».

 

Article 57. 1. Article 7, § 4, paragraph 2, of the Mentally Ill (Protection of the Person) Act of 26 June 1990 is amended as follows:

“He sends an unsigned copy of the request and said decision to the parties’ barristers and, as appropriate, the legal representative, psychiatrist and


 

confidant of the patient.” ».

2. Article 8, § 2, paragraph 2, of the same Act is amended as follows:

“He sends an unsigned copy of the judgement to the advisers, the Crown Prosecutor and, as appropriate, the legal representative, psychiatrist and confidant of the patient.” ».

3. Article 30, § 4, paragraph 2, of the same Act is amended as follows:

“He sends an unsigned copy of the judgement or notification of absence of a judgement to the advisers and, as appropriate, the legal representative, doctor and confidant of the patient.”

 

Article 58. Apart from the use of credit cards and debit cards in class I gaming establishments, it is prohibited for any person to allow players or gamblers any form of loan or credit or to enter with them into any material or financial transaction for the purpose of paying for a stake or a loss.

 

Any transaction of which the sum amounts to 10,000 euros or more must be paid by means of a credit card or debit card. The payment with credit cards is forbidden in the class II, III and IV gaming establishments and for the games of chance that are operated via information-society instruments.

 

Operators of gaming establishments must inform their clients in a legible and conspicuous manner in all rooms accessible to the public of the prohibition against granting a loan as provided for in the first paragraph.

 

The presence of cash-dispensing machines is forbidden in class I, II, III and IV gaming establishments. The presence of money-changing machines is allowed in class I, II, III and IV gaming establishments.

 

 

Article 59. The real games of chance may only be played with coupons or tokens paid for in cash, belonging to the gaming establishment in question and supplied exclusively by it within its interior, or with coins. This provision does not apply for betting.

 

Article 60. It is prohibited to offer clients of class II, III and IV gaming establishments travel, meals, drinks or gifts free of charge or at prices less than the market price of comparable goods and services.

It is permitted to offer clients of class I gaming establishments travel, meals, drinks or gifts free of charge or at prices less than the market price of comparable goods and services up to a maximum amount of 400 euros per two months per player.

 


 

The King may lay down additional conditions and adjust the amount referred to in the previous paragraph.

 

Article 61. The King takes measures in relation to the drawing-up of an ethical code for informing the public about the dangers inherent to games of chance.

 The King shall specify the conditions for advertising games of chance.

The commission has made available leaflets containing information on gambling addiction, the telephone number of the 0800 helpline and the addresses of social services for the class I, II, III and IV gaming establishments. These leaflets must always be made available to the public in a visible place by the establishment in question. If the licence holder uses information-society instruments, the folder must also be available in an electronic format.

 

Article 62. By way of addition to that which is provided for in section 54, access to the gaming rooms of gambling establishments Class I, II and Class IV fixed gambling establishments  is only permitted on presentation by the person concerned of an identity document and provided his full name, first names, date of birth, place of birth, occupation and address are entered by the operator in a register.

 

The operator has the register signed by the person concerned.

 

A copy of the document by which the player has been identified must be kept for at least five years as from the date of his last gaming activity.

 

The King determines the practical procedures for the admission and registration of players.

 

He lays down the conditions for access to the registers.

 

Failure to keep or incorrectly keeping said register or failure to communicate same to the authorities or the alteration or disappearance thereof may entail withdrawal of a class I or II licence by the commission.

 

The King determines the procedure for admission and registration for playing games of chance via an electronic communication network, and also the requirements to be met for the register.

 

Any violation of the conditions prescribed in Article 3ter shall be punishable by a fine of between ‎€100 and ‎€100,000.

 

 

CHAPTER VII. - Criminal Provisions

Article 63. Persons guilty of a breach of the provisions of articles 4, § 1, 4 § 3, 8, 26, 27, first paragraph, 46 and 58 are liable to imprisonment for a period of six months to five years and a fine of 100 francs to 100,000 francs, or one of these sanctions.

 

 

Article 64. Persons guilty of a breach of the provisions of articles 4, § 2, 43/1, 43/2, 43/2/1, 43/3, 43/4, 54, 60 and 62 are liable to imprisonment for a period of one month to three years and a fine of 26 francs to 25,000 francs, or one of these sanctions.

 

Article 65. The aforementioned penalties may be doubled:

1. in the case of a repeat offence within five years following a conviction pursuant to this Act or its implementing decrees;

2. where the offence has been committed against a person aged under 18 years.

 

Article 66. A prohibition against exercising certain rights may also be pronounced in accordance with article 33 of the Criminal Code.

 

Article 67. In the case of all offences, the following shall be confiscated: the money and equivalent paper put up for gaming purposes together with the furnishings, instruments, tools and apparatus deployed or intended to be used for the purposes of gaming.

 

Article 68. The court may order the definitive or temporary closure of the gaming establishment.

 

In the event the court exercises the option provided under paragraph 1, the commission shall withdraw the licence in question.

 

Article 69. The provisions of Book I of the Criminal Code, including Chapter VII and article 85, are applicable to the offences provided for under this Act.

 

Article 70. Natural persons and the directors, managers, decision-making bodies, employees and agents of legal entities are liable in civil law for orders to pay any damages, fines, costs, confiscations and administrative fines whatsoever issued for breach of the provisions of this Act.

 

The same applies for the members of any companies or partnerships deprived of civil personality where the offence has been committed by a member, manager, employee or agent in the framework of the company’s or partnership’s business. Such persons are jointly and severally liable for the orders referred to in paragraph 1.

 

The individuals and legal entities referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2 of this article may be cited directly before the criminal court by the public prosecutor or a civil party.

 

CHAPTER VIII. - Surety and Costs

Art 71.

With the exception of the Class C, D and F2 licences the licences referred to in Article 25 shall be issued only after payment of an effective guarantee in the form of cash or securities. The guarantee, which is used in the event of non-payment of the costs and expenses referred to in Articles 19 and 72, must be paid to the Consignation Office no later than five days before the start of the gambling operations.

In the event of non-payment of costs, the commission shall be entitled to use the guarantee to pay the amounts due.

If, in the course of its activities, it appears that the guarantee is insufficient to cover the costs, the commission shall require an additional amount to be paid within five days, failing which the licence shall be suspended until payment is made.

The amount of the guarantee has been set at:

‎€250,000 for a Class A licence;

€250,000 for an additional Class A+ licence;

€75,000 for a Class B licence;

€75,000 for an additional Class B+ licence;

5.the amount of ‎€25,000 for holders of a Class E licence who provide services exclusively for the maintenance, repair or equipment of games of chance; the amount of ‎€12,500 per commenced tranche of 50 machines for all other holders of a Class E licence;

‎€10,000 for the holders of a Class F1 licence;

€75,000 for an additional Class F1+ licence;

€80,000 for the holders of a Class G1 licence;

€9 for the holders of a Class G1 licence;] 2

10.‎€0 for the holders of a Class F1P licence.

The King may amend the amounts of the guarantee by decree deliberated with the Council of Ministers.

The King shall submit to the legislative chambers a draft law aimed at ratifying the decree issued in implementation of the previous paragraph. [NOTE: By judgment no. 100/2001 of 13-07-2001 (B.O.G. 07-08-2001, p. 26855) the Court of Arbitration has set aside the words “the sum of 500,000 franc for every 50 appliances or part thereof for all other holders of a class E licence” insofar that the wording refers to the producers and manufacturers of games of chance for export.

 

 

 

CHAPTER IX. -  Repeals and Accompanying Measures

Article 72. The Gaming Act of 24 October 1902, amended by the Acts of 19 April 1963 and 22 November 1974, and the Interpretative Act of 14 August 1978 are repealed.

 

Article 73. Article 305 of the Criminal Code is repealed.

 

Article 74. Article 1 of the Act of 15 July 1960 on the moral preservation of youth is supplemented by a paragraph worded as follows:

“This provision is not applicable to gaming establishments authorised by the Games of Chance, Gaming Establishments and Protection of Players Act of 7 May 1999.”

 

Article 75. In section 2bis of the Money-Laundering Act of 11 January 1993, amended by the Act of 10 August 1998, paragraph 5 is replaced by the following provision:

“5. natural persons or legal entities operating one or more class I games of chance falling under the Games of Chance, Gaming Establishments and Protection of Players Act of 7 May 1999.”

 

Article 76. Concession agreements that, at the time this Act comes into force, have been entered into between class I gaming establishments and the boroughs mentioned in section 29 of this Act remain valid for a maximum period of 20 years provided that said gaming establishments comply with the provisions of this Act within one year of its coming into force.

 

 

Article 76/1. The existing organisers of bets that can present a certificate from the Federal Public Department of Finance stating that they have fulfilled their fiscal obligations, may continue their activities until the time when the commission has made a decision with regard to granting a class F1 licence, on the condition that a surety is paid and a full and correct file is presented within two (S) months starting when this provision comes into effect.

 

The fixed and mobile class IV establishments and the special intermediaries stipulated in article 43/4, § 5, who are correctly registered with the Federal Public Department of Finance and who offer bets for which the organiser has fulfilled his fiscal obligations, may continue their activities until the time when the commission has made a decision with regard to granting a class F2 licence, on the condition that a surety is paid by the organiser whose bets they offer and a full and correct file is presented within two months starting when this provision comes into force.

 

If the conditions provided in this article are not met, the commission may give the applicant the opportunity to correct his file within a term defined at its discretion.

 


 

CHAPTER X.- Final Provisions

Article 77. The King exercises the powers conferred upon him by the Act upon joint presentation by the Ministers for Economic Affairs, of the Interior, of Finance, for Public Health and of Justice.

 

Article 78. Articles 9 and 23 come into force on the date that notice thereof is published in the Belgian Official Gazette.

 

The other articles come into force on such date as is decided by the King.