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Patrick Van Eecke

Author's details

Name: Patrick Van Eecke
Date registered: January 23, 2013

Biography

www.dlapiper.com/patrick-vaneecke

Latest posts

  1. Belgian Court rules on offering different classes of games through a single web domain — December 13, 2017
  2. Belgium: eStrategy games attracting Belgium’s Gaming’s Commission attention — February 25, 2015
  3. Belgium: Gaming Commission pleads for a further restriction and rationalization of the gaming industry — June 15, 2014
  4. DLA Piper at European Responsible Gaming Day — November 29, 2013
  5. Belgium: Supreme Court Decision on IP blocking also impacting gaming industry — November 25, 2013

Most commented posts

  1. Belgium: One-Ball and bingo legislation for pubs under scrutiny — 1 comment
  2. Belgium: Advertising of games of chance attracts scrutiny — 1 comment
  3. Europe: Will the Fox Report urge the European Commission to take legal action against Member States — 1 comment

Author's posts listings

Belgian Court rules on offering different classes of games through a single web domain

On 9 November 2017, the Belgian Constitutional Court ruled, in response to three joined cases referred to it by the Council of State1, that the Belgian Gaming Act violates the Constitution insofar as it allows the accumulation of the exploitation of several supplementary licences of different classes through one and the same domain name and the URLs linked to it. Patrick Van Eecke and Kaat Scheerlinck of DLA Piper provide detailed analysis of the three joined cases, the Court’s decision, and the implications of the decision for the Belgian Gaming Commission’s licensing process and the Belgian gambling sector in general.

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Belgium: eStrategy games attracting Belgium’s Gaming’s Commission attention

By Patrick van Eeck and Antoon Dierick

Belgian media recently reported the story of a minor having lost large sum of money by playing a strategy game on his iPad.

 It concerned a strategy game with the aim of building a medieval city and an army, for which improvements could be obtained either by playing or by buying these with “virtual gold”. Such virtual gold has to be paid with the credit card connected to the player’s iTunes account. Moreover, the app contains a casino feature where players can stake their money, thus linking it to Belgium’s legislation on games of chance and in particular the notion of a “game of chance”.

Although the media reported that the matter was settled amicably (through a reimbursement of the player), it is important to note that the case has attracted the attention of the Belgian Gaming Commission which reportedly has sent the file to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, presumably on the basis of an unlicensed offering of games of chance, which is generally prohibited in Belgium. To what extent Belgian laws territorially apply to this case, of which the details are not fully made public, is unclear.

This once again illustrates the fact that the Belgian Gaming Commission not only directs attention to traditional gambling activities (casino/arcade/betting) but that it has broadened its scope to new technologies such as social app games in which players could lose money’s worth.

For more information, please contact Patrick.vanEecke@dlapiper.com or Antoon.Dierick@dlapiper.com.

Belgium: Gaming Commission pleads for a further restriction and rationalization of the gaming industry

By Patrick Van Eecke and Raf Schoefs

Patrick Van Eecke and Raf Schoefs (DLA Piper, Brussels) discuss recent media coverage in relation to the Belgian Gaming Commission’s (BGC) open letter to the next government in which it requests for a further restriction of the gaming industry and for a tightening of the legal framework.

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DLA Piper at European Responsible Gaming Day

On November 28,  a round table on the role of the European Union in online gambling was organized by the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) during the sixth Responsible Gaming Day in Brussels.

Patrick Van Eecke, partner at the Brussels’ IPT department of DLA Piper and member of DLA Piper’s Gambling team recaps some of his statements made at the round table in Brussels.

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Belgium: Supreme Court Decision on IP blocking also impacting gaming industry

By Patrick Van Eecke, Alexis Fierens and Ivanka Zdravkova (DLA Piper – Brussels)

By the judgment rendered on 22 October 2013 in the Belgian version of the long-lasting The Pirate Bay saga, the Belgian Court of Cassation (Belgium’s Supreme Court) confirmed the lawfulness of a far-reaching injunction order against all national Internet service providers. According to this judgment, the examining magistrate (juge d’instruction) is entitled to order, in a single injunction, all national Internet service providers to block access to IP rights-infringing content which is hosted by a server, linked to a specific main domain name, and such by employing all possible technical means at their disposal or at least by blocking all domain names that refer to a specified main domain name (“thepiratebay.org“).

According to the Court of Cassation, such a judicial order does not impose a general obligation of monitoring upon the Internet service providers and, therefore, does not constitute a violation of Article 21(1) of the Belgian Act of 11 March 2003 on certain legal aspects of information society services (the “E-Commerce Act”) implementing Article 15(1) of the EC Directive 2000/31/EC of the European Parliament and the Council of 8 June 2000 on certain legal aspects of information society services, in particular electronic commerce, in the Internal Market (the “E-Commerce Directive”).

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Europe: EU Court of Justice takes stand against prohibitions on cross-border betting and gaming activities

By Patrick Van Eecke & Antoon Dierick

Patrick Van Eecke and Antoon Dierick (both DLA Piper Brussels) comment on the latest ruling of the European Court of Justice in respect of Italian gaming an betting regulations.

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In its most recent judgment in the gambling and betting sector, the European Court of Justice on 12 September 2013 ruled on several questions relating to Italian legislation. Italian law foresees that collecting and managing bets can only be done by entities holding a licence and a police authorisation.

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Belgium: The Belgian Gaming Commission and the principle of an open administration

By Patrick Van Eecke and Antoon Dierick

An episode of the Belgian television programme “Basta” on game shows organized by some Belgian commercial broadcasting companies raised a lot of discussion in Belgium. In these shows a number of puzzles and braintwisters (“belspellen”) were presented to the viewers, in order for them to call the show’s host and to give the correct answer. After some research by the makers of “Basta”, it turned out that several of these riddles turned out to be nearly unsolvable. Read the rest of this entry »

Europe: Mobile gaming apps rarely compliant with basic EU data protection consent rules

By Patrick Van Eecke and Anthony Cornette

Mobile gaming apps may, and frequently do, have access to a lot of personal information. This personal information can include one’s contact list, location, calendar and photos. Through social network integration, this includes access to even more information.

Mobile gaming app providers, however, tend to forget applying some basic principles of European data protection legislation, such as asking the customer for informed consent before downloading the app.

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Belgium: Competition Council conducts dawn raid at the National Lottery

Belgian media reported today that the Belgian competition authority conducted surprise inspections at the offices of the National Lottery. The raids began on Tuesday (23 July 2013), and were conducted by Belgium’s Competition Council supported by a number of ICT experts from the Public Service of Economy. The Competition Council is investigating whether the National Lottery may have abused its market position. Read the rest of this entry »

Belgium: One-Ball and bingo legislation for pubs under scrutiny

A recent draft bill proposed to amend the Belgian Gaming Act so as to allow municipalities to restrict the number of gaming machines in pubs. Read the rest of this entry »

Belgium: Advertising Authority allows for exaggerated advertisements

Whereas online gambling and betting advertisements were formerly unknown in Belgium due to the fact that online gambling and betting was not regulated, such advertisements by “white listed” operators are now becoming increasingly visible in Belgian media, including prime time radio and television commercials. As expected, such commercials may attract scrutiny by the general public or competing operators. Read the rest of this entry »

Europe: Will the Fox Report urge the European Commission to take legal action against Member States

During the QED session on Tuesday 19 March last, 4 speakers gave their opinion on some online gambling topics and entered into debate afterwards. An interesting topic was the initiating by the European Commission of infringement cases against Member States due to non-compliance of national gaming legislations with European law principles. Read the rest of this entry »

Belgium: Bet-at-Home v. Belgium update

Last Monday (17 December 2012) Bet-at-Home and the Belgian State pleaded before the President of Brussels’s Court of First Instance in a case initiated by Bet-at-Home attacking Belgium’s much discussed blacklisting practice. Read the rest of this entry »

Belgium: Advertising of games of chance attracts scrutiny

 The Jury for Ethical Practices on advertisements, the Belgian advertising regulator has recently considered a complaint relating to the marketing of games of chance. Read the rest of this entry »

Belgium: Promotional games and contests – look before you leap!

With the Saint Nicolas (“Sinterklaas”, a typical Belgian and Dutch feast), Christmas and New Year period coming up, many companies intend to organize promotional games and contests which allow participants to win prizes, free products, etc. when participating. This is done both via classical media (radio, television and magazines) and online via their websites or social media web pages. Under Belgian law, the organization of such games and contests, if not properly organized, may be subject to criminal sanctions. Read the rest of this entry »

Belgium: bwin.party takes aim at the licensing conditions

Belgium has forged ahead with a licensing system for online gambling that requires any licence holder to either already operate a land-based gambling business or partner with one that does, despite clear protests from the European Commission based on the allegedly discriminatory nature of such a requirement. Read the rest of this entry »