Category Archive: Belgium

Top 3 takeaways from DLA Piper gambling and tax event

Upcoming licensing regimes, strict sanctions and privacy compliance are among the regulatory changes discussed during the DLA Piper gambling and tax event. Read the rest of this entry »

DLA Piper Gambling and Tax Event before ICE Gaming Conference

Here is the opportunity of getting free gambling and tax law advice from DLA Piper lawyers of the hottest gaming jurisdictions of the moment.  Read the rest of this entry »

BELGIUM: Gaming Commission pleads for less bricks-and-mortar establishments

Belgian media today report on the Belgian Gaming Commission’s (BGC) call for less land-based arcades and betting shops. Arcades (as opposed to casinos) are allowed to offer a specific number of automated casino-styled games to which certain restrictions on maximum winnings and losses apply. Betting shops are establishments in which bets are offered to the public. Both require a license from the BGC to operate legally. Read the rest of this entry »

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: Important industry information – Number of casinos to increase from 9 to 11

Patrick Van Eecke and Antoon Dierick (DLA Piper, Brussels) discuss an interesting paragraph in the coalition agreement of the new Belgian government. Read the rest of this entry »

Belgium: Gaming Commission calls for blacklisting of free gambling apps

Patrick Van Eecke and Antoon Dierick (DLA Piper, Brussels) discuss the Belgian Gaming Commission’s call for restricting the offering of free gambling apps. Read the rest of this entry »

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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Belgium: Gaming Commission takes aim at players

Patrick Van Eecke and Antoon Dierick (DLA Piper, Brussels) discuss recent media coverage in relation to the Belgian Gaming Commission’s (BGC) intentions to invoke the liability of individual players of unlicensed games of chance. Read the rest of this entry »

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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Belgium: Commission relaunches call to regulate social

Patrick Van Eecke and Antoon Dierick (both DLA Piper Brussels) comment on the Gaming Commission’s position on social network gaming. Read the rest of this entry »

Belgium: Gaming Commission pleads for access to State Register

Patrick Van Eecke and Antoon Dierick (both DLA Piper Brussels) comment on the Belgian Gaming Commission’s announcement in today’s newspapers that it should be granted access to the State Register in order to fight against participation in games of chance by excluded persons. Read the rest of this entry »

EiG, we were there!

As every year, the DLA Piper global gambling team attended the European iGaming Expo EiG in Barcelona. The team was very well represented by Hilary Stewart-Jones, Steve Ketteley (pictured in his normal office suit!) and Ashley Averill (the very happy guy in the picture) from the UK, myself Giulio Coraggio (the guy with closed eyes in the picture) from Italy, Albert Agustinoy (also pictured, our host and also the best restaurant guide of Barcelona) from Spain, Antoon Dierick from Belgium, Patrick Schwarzbart from Germany and Tim Lowry from the United States. Read the rest of this entry »

All-In@EiG

To coincide with the 12th European iGaming Congress and Expo, the DLA Piper Gaming Team has once again collaborated to provide you with updates and analysis of topical legal and regulatory issues across the globe.

This year’s publication includes articles from Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK and the U.S..

Please click here to read the e-magazine or click here to view the PDF

Belgium: Gaming Commission accuses Brussels casino of illegal structure

By Patrick Van Eecke and Antoon Dierick

Patrick Van Eecke and Antoon Dierick (DLA Piper Brussels) report on a complaint filed by the Belgian Gaming Commission against Brussel’s only land-based casino. Read the rest of this entry »

Belgium: Biggest Belgian football match fixing scandal before court

By Patrick Van Eecke and Antoon Dierick 

Today, the lawsuit started against 31 individuals, amongst whom the notorious Ye Zheyun (called the “gokchinees” in Belgium), and 1 company who are suspected of having fixed several football matches in the Belgian football competition during the seasons 2004-2005 and 2005-2006. Read the rest of this entry »

Belgium: Moving towards the cloud – brief overview

By Patrick Van Eecke and Antoon Dierick

Currently, no specific legal framework exists in Belgium to regulate cloud computing services or contracts. The cloud is regulated under Belgian law including general contract law principles, ecommerce law, consumer protection legislation (in a B2C environment), and data protection regulations. Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

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 »

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