The protection of players is one of the main tasks of the Gaming Commission. The consumers/players do not escape the vigilance of the Commission. Games of chance are not comparable to any economic service. They can lead to gambling addiction and significant loss of money. This is why a few protective measures have been taken to protect players against these potential risks:

 

- Denied access to the gambling establishments, also online, of players on a voluntary basis or at the request of a third party. This ban is currently valid in casinos, slot machine arcades and on betting and gambling websites. It is expected that betting offices will soon be subject to the verification of the EPIS (Excluded Persons Information System) database.

 - Information for players on the consequences of excessive gambling via a brochure or a "RESPONSIBLE GAME" banner

 - Player and entourage information on aid services, listed by region

- The provision of a free helpline : SOS GAMBLING : 0800/35.777, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for players and their entourage

- Organization of information campaigns, such as the film BLUFF!, or the FC Losers during the Football World Cup 2018

- The control of advertising (RD 25/10/2018)

- The ban on bonuses (in a judgment of February 6, 2020, the State Council prohibited bonuses)

- The control of stakes. For online, it is set at € 500 / week / player per gambling/betting website pending a centralizing system

- The provision of an email address for complaints: info@gamingcommission.be

 

Financial risk or debt are not only at stake. By playing excessively, the player runs other risks which can have a strong negative impact on himself and those around him: anxiety, aggressiveness, isolation, separation, divorce, health problems, depression, suicidal thoughts are other consequences of excessive gambling. In any case, gambling will never be the solution to financial, family or other problems, but will only make them worse. Keeping gambling will not solve gambling debts either.

 

Talking to a professional about one’s problems can help.

 

Do not hesitate to go to the information and self-help website

 

to take the test to see if your gambling behavior affects your health.  In case of financial problems, do not hesitate to ask for help from a competent service in debt mediation or assistance in budget management. You will find the contact details of these services at the community’s public social welfare centres (CPAS-OCMW) and :for Brussels: www.grepa.befor Wallonia : http://socialsante.wallonie.be/surendettement/citoyen/? q = services-mediation-debts for Flanders : CAW (lien https://www.caw.be/ )  or www.eerstehulpbijschulden.be.

Gambling is primarily a form of entertainment, but can also lead to a lot of problems.  In that case, it becomes an indispensable part of your life, a real drug, which makes you totally lose control of the situation. This leaflet is not only intended as a preventive action, but to give heart to gambling addicts and remind them that they are not alone in facing the problem. There are people they can count on. 

When are you addicted ? Gambling addiction doesn’t happen overnight. It gradually becomes harder to resist the urge to gamble. In the beginning, you perceive gambling as an amusing pastime. Pretty soon, you need more and more money to gamble, you spend more and more time gambling. Borrowed money has to be repaid, and family and friends take second place to gambling. Although you don’t notice it immediately, you become dependent on gambling, and it becomes an obsession. Even if somebody says something to you about it, you continue, at all costs. But you can not recoup your losses. Gambling becomes your only interest. It isolates you from the outside world and causes you (financial, health) problems. You lose your zest for living. By taking these tips, you can keep gambling fun.    

>  Before starting to gamble : try to set an amount of money and time for you to gamble               

>  Always be aware : how much time it is taking you, and How much it costs you               

>  Don’t try to recoup your losses               

>  Don’t gamble your entire winnings               

>  Bear in mind that ultimately, you will lose more than you will win. 

 

Are you gambling too much ?

This “EIGHT gambling screen” was developed by Sean Sullivan (1999). If you answered “yes” 4 times or more, it may mean that you have a problem. The result of the test may be different, depending on whether you answer how it used to be or how it is now.

To test whether gambling is having an influence  on your health, you can complete the following test. Answer the test as honestly as possible.

 

  1. Sometimes I’ve felt depressed or anxious after a session of gambling
  2. Sometimes I’ve felt guilty about the way I gamble
  3. When I think about it, gambling has sometimes caused me problem
  4. Sometimes I’ve found it better not to tell others, especially my family, about the amount of time or money I spend gambling
  5. I often find that when I stop gambling I’ve run out of money
  6. Often I get the urge to return to gambling to win back losses from a past session
  7. Yes, I have received criticism about my gambling in the past
  8. Yes, I have tried to win money to pay debts

 

If you think that gambling is having a negative impact on your health, it would be advisable to talk about it to your doctor or a person you trust. You can also contact an organisation that provides assistance in your area to discuss your concerns.

 

Pathological gambling was recognised by the World Health Organisation as an illness in 1980.