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Belgium Online Casinos & Gambling Guide for 2020

Belgium

Gambling in various forms dates back hundreds of years in Belgium, and online betting and gaming have been completely regulated since the early 2000s.

With Belgium's capital Brussels acting as headquarters of the EU, you might expect Belgium to be leading the way in online casino laws and regulations. However, the government has created additional legislation to afford them greater control over the industry. This is a bone of contention for gambling operators, but it matters little to casino players, who have had access to the very best online slots for years.

Today, there is a good selection of Belgium online casinos. Belgium has stricter gaming laws than most EU nations, but there isn't the sort of state-run monopolies one would find in other countries.

In this sports-mad nation, betting is possible on a range of team sports and horse racing. But what is the situation like for players at online casinos? Belgium has a fairly good approach, as you'll see in our comprehensive guide to Belgian gambling.

When it comes to online casinos, Belgium-based players actually have a good selection of sites and real money deposit options to pick from. Find a Belgium online casino that’s packed with top slots and table games today from our expert list:

Best Casinos Online in Belgium – Our Top Picks for 2020

#1 Casino
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Online Casinos With Belgium-Specific Bonuses

Licensed gambling sites offer a rich variety of bonuses and promotions to players in the country. Oftentimes, online casinos in Belgium offer no deposit bonuses or match bonuses as a welcome package to new members. No deposit bonuses are by far the most popular kind, as they allow you to join a Belgium casino with no deposit needed to start playing games. 

Many sites also offer monthly and weekly promotions to existing members, such prize-winning slot tournaments and loyalty schemes. We always like to see Belgium online casinos offering regular bonuses to their members, and you’ll find that the sites listed here will offer you very competitive bonus offers.  


Online Gambling Options in Belgium

Online casinos licensed to operate in Belgium boast the same collection of games you will find in most other regulated jurisdictions. A wide range of slots, table and card games, and instant win games like scratchcards are available. As with the rest of the world, there has also been a recent boom in the popularity of live dealer games such as live poker and live roulette. 

In Belgium, sports betting is big business, and most online casinos operating in the country provide some sports betting options, if not a dedicated site. Horse racing is arguably the most popular sport to bet on in Belgium, with football (soccer) enjoying a resurgence thanks to the recent success of the national team. Cycling is up there too, with nearly 20 Belgian cyclists having won the Tour de France, the sport is a source of national pride and a popular sports betting option. 

Software Providers

While there may be fewer online casinos operating in Belgium than in many other EU jurisdictions, there is no shortage of option when it comes to top-quality games. 

Some of the best, and unsurprisingly also the most popular software developers offering their games to Belgian players include:

NetEnt – One of the biggest, with a huge selection of slots and an impressive live casino suite.

Microgaming – One of the few developers which can rival NetEnt for slots, Microgaming have created some of the most famous slot games of all time.

Playtech – Known for their Age of the Gods progressive slots series, Playtech also offers a high-quality live dealer suite.

Evolution Gaming – The undisputed kings of live dealer games, Evolution don’t offer much else, but their live games are the best around.

Our team has ensured that all our online Belgium casino sites featured here stock hundreds of games from these award-winning software providers. Whichever casino you choose from out list, you’re guaranteed to be spoilt for choice. 


Best Deposit Methods for Belgian Gamblers

At legal online casinos, Belgium depositors have a spread of good banking options to pick from. Most carry no, or low, fees, and the limits can be high. A bank card or credit card isn't always required. Often, anonymous banking is a preferred option. At most big casino sites and gambling rooms, deposits can be made in euros. Below you’ll find a list of the common payment options you’ll find at our online casinos for Belgium: 

iDebit

Safe bank transfers are important for gamblers from Belgium. iDebit is an online banking processor that facilitates safe transfers direct from your Belgian bank account. It's available in a dozen European countries, including Belgium, so euro transfers are simple and easy.

Paysafecard

Paysafecard is a leading prepaid voucher scheme that works with gambling sites. When depositing at online casinos, Belgium gamblers can use a simple prepaid voucher to move funds in and out. There's no need to use a debit or credit card, and you can pick up a Paysafecard voucher at a local outlet in Brussels or your own town.

Bancontact

Bancontact is one of the leading electronic payment systems in Belgium. Payments with Bancontact are immediate and processed instantly, which means you can deposit cash and start playing your favorite casino games in no time. Online transactions are always protected by 3D-secure, making it a safe banking choice for Belgian players.


Belgium’s Gambling Laws in 2020

Currently, gambling in the country is overseen by the Gaming Act of 7 May 1999. However, the law was modified in 2010 to be stricter towards unlicensed operators. It came into practice in 2011.

The key piece of legislation states that to obtain a licence to operate an online gambling service, an operator must also have a physical, bricks-and-mortar licence as well. This means that if any operator wants to offer online casino services to Belgians, they must also do so from licensed premises within Belgian borders.

The new, harsher, gambling law of 2010 didn't go down well with the EU, who judged it to be in contravention of free-trade laws. In 2010, both the European and Betting Association (EBA) and the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) lodged complaints with the European Commission.

Gambling in Belgium is governed by the Belgian Gaming Commission, which carries a regular list of blacklisted gambling sites. Players face fines if caught playing at them. Any remote gaming site or casino operating without a Gaming Commission licence is breaking the law in Belgium.

However, as is often the case, Belgium online casino operators have found loopholes to be able to provide services in the country without having to build their own brick and mortar casinos. 

One such example is bwin.party, an operator initially blacklisted due to only operating as an online casino. To get around the ban, bwin.party partnered with Casino Kuursaal Oostende, a Belgian based land-based casino operator, and obtained a license to provide online gambling services these ways. 

While other operators to simply ignore these rules, the Belgian Gambling Commission is not as lax when it comes to licensing regulations. The blacklist of companies providing online casino services only is passed onto ISP providers and fines are given out, with the largest so far being in the region of $100,000. This may be pocket change to some Belgium casino online operators, but it is enough to make them think twice about illegally offering their services in the country. 

There have been some companies who have attempted to fight back, including Bet at Home, a Malta-based company who attempted to claim that blocking the operator’s domains was tantamount to illegal data collection. This attempt was quickly thrown out due to it having been illegal for the domains to exist within Belgium in the first place, however. 

A bigger campaign occurred in 2012, when the Financial Times published a letter from a selection of British bookmakers claiming unfair treatment and ‘intimidation’ through the blacklist. Ironically, the above licence loophole gained by bwin.party took the momentum from this movement, and the campaigned faded away. At the time of writing, the blacklist is still in operation in Belgium. 

Belgian Gambling: Fines and Licences

Despite EU trade laws taking down barriers to cross-border trade, this doesn't seem to have filtered through to the Belgian government. Even if a betting site or casino is based in the European Union, it must have an eligible licence in Belgium. The number of licences issued is strictly regulated too.

Online licences are limited to 9 A+ casino licences, 180 B+ licences for gaming arcades, and 34 F1+ licences for wagers. Only companies which hold a “real world” A, B or F1 licence can obtain a license to offer the same services online, and the law states that there should be no disparity between services offered online or offline.

A Licences: These allow major Belgian offline casinos to offer casino games online. In most cases, casino sites are run in conjunction with existing firms.

A+ licence-holders, as of February 2018, include major casinos like Casino of Spa and the Grand Casino Brussels. All nine casino licence holders have tie-ups with major existing offshore sites. Effectively, online gambling sites must have a fixed offline establishment within Belgium's borders.

The Gambling Act leaves little room for ambiguity, and states that anyone “facilitating the operation” of illegal games of chance is liable to prosecution. This includes internet service providers if they allow access to unlicensed websites, media companies if they carry adverts for unlicensed sites, and banks if they process financial transactions to unlicensed operations.

Fines of up to 100,000 euros can be levied against companies breaking this law. Individuals can be fined up to 25,000 euros for using unlicensed websites although it's rare. This makes it extremely difficult for Belgians to access unlicensed sites, although with so many legal options available, one would question why anyone would attempt to access an illegal site anyway.

B Licences: These govern who can operate online slot machines. They are smaller operators around Belgium, who also have deals with .be casino rooms on the web.

C Licence: This list governs bingo machines in pubs and cafes where alcohol is served.

F Licences - These licences (F1, F2, F1+) govern who can operate sportsbetting and horse racing wagering services online. There are just over 30 as of February 2018. This list mostly features betting shops and sports associations in Belgium. An F1 licence is needed for organising wagers, while an F2 licence is required if you accept bets. An F1+ licence facilitates betting online.


Land-based Gambling Options in Belgium 

Under current Belgian gambling law, land-based casinos are permitted with the required licence. Brussels and Spa have the better casinos, but you will find slots and table games at most.

Slots: There is a strict limit of 15 automatic gaming terminals for each opened table, for at least five hours. Casinos have a monopoly on video slot machines. However, players can enjoy a range of reel slots, video slots, and Wheel of Fortune-style machines for real money. Slots are also found in dedicated arcades.

Table Games: Familiar and popular games like roulette, Sic Bo, and craps are offered in most Belgian casinos. European Roulette, commonly referred to as "La Roulette Anglaise" (English Roulette) is available. This plays like traditional European Roulette with the La Partage and En Prison rules of French Roulette removed. The layouts are still displayed in French.

Popular Casinos: Casino de Spa

Casino de Spa is situated in a town known for, predictably, its ancient spa. If you're not enjoying the thermal bath, the casino offers table games, slots and poker. Roll'Hit is an interesting local variant that combines roulette and dice. The casino's cardroom also runs poker tournaments through the week and hosts special events from the Amateur Poker Association & Tour (APAT).

Popular Casinos: Grand Casino Brussels Viage

The Grand Casino sits right in the middle of Brussels city centre. Slot machines are the big attraction here. Grand Casino Brussels Viage boasts over 400 machines, including many multi-game terminals from the likes of Novomatic.

The Grand Casino also has a small poker room, and in 2017 hosted the World Poker Tour (WPT) DeepStacks Brussels event. Local players and Europeans paid a €1,200 buy-in to enter.

As with all land-based and online casinos in Belgium, visitors must be 21 or over to enter and must bring a valid ID card. Membership for Belgian casinos is free after the first visit, however.

Sportsbetting: Under Belgian gaming law, "totaliser" style bets are permitted on horse races at home and abroad. Gamblers can also place wagers on fixed-odds markets. Bets can only be placed in licensed betting shops, as well as horse race tracks.

There are a few racetracks in Belgium. The Hippodrome Wellington Racecourse in Ostend is a coastal track with an adjoining golf course. It hosts flat races and harness racing. The racecourse is tied to the Casino Oostende, a local gambling establishment that hosts bingo events. However, more conventional games like European Roulette, blackjack, and Casino Stud Poker can also be played.

Poker: Poker is treated as a game of chance by the Belgian Gaming Commission. As such, like online casinos, Belgium requires a licence to offer Texas Hold'em or Omaha. However, there is an exception under the Gaming and Betting Act of 1999, which allows small-stakes card games to be played outside casinos.

Some casinos in Belgium run small cardrooms, such as the Casino de Spa and Grand Casino in Brussels. The World Poker Tour is among those organisations to have run live events in Belgium recently.


Belgium’s Gambling at a Glance

Population: 11.3 million

Legal Age of Gambling: 21

Land-based Casinos (Y/N): Y

Online Casinos Legal (Y/N): Y

Popular Games: Slots, poker, horse racing, lottery, roulette


Brief History of Gambling in Belgium

1300s - Documents referring to card games date back to the 14th Century.

circa 16th Century - First Belgian lottery is set up.

1883 - Hippodrome Wellington racecourse is built, named after the English Duke of Wellington.

1999 - The Gaming Act of 7 May 1999 is passed. Online casinos must have a partnership with existing land-based operators in order to offer services online. A system of licensing is set up.

2002 - National Lottery Act is passed to manage the setting up and management of a new countrywide lottery. Online gambling officially becomes legal.

2009 - Stronger laws are proposed by the Belgian government to prohibit European online gaming sites operating in Belgium.

2010 - The Belgian Gaming Act of 10 January 2010 modifies existing rules and adopts a stricter approach to offshore gambling. This comes amid complaints from the European Gaming and Betting Association (EBA) over free movement of services.

2012 – Conglemerate of British sportsbook and casino operators launch a campaign to shut down the controversial blacklist banning operators who offer only online casinos services without a land-based casino arm.

2013 – bwin.party twins with a Belgian land-based casino to effectively find a loophole that allows them to provide their online casino games in Belgium. This effectively shuts down the campaign to ban the blacklist.

2017 - Belgian Gambling Commission declares loot boxes in popular video games to be a form of gambling.

2019 – A new law is passed, limiting player deposits at Belgium online casinos to €500 a week.

2020 – The Belgian Association of Gaming Operators (BAGO) endorses the Responsible Advertising Code published by the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA).


Find the Best Online Casinos in Belgium for 2020 

It’s important for Belgians to trust the best range of legal online casinos. Belgium is more regulated than most Eurozone countries when it comes to gambling. However, this means that slots and table games fans can find legit, safe places to play.

With the blacklist operating as it does, and the strict regulations and licensing laws, the majority, if not all online casinos that are licensed to operate in Belgium are trustworthy. Those which are less than trustworthy, and are operating in the country illegally, are likely to find themselves on the blacklist.

Our experts have gathered the very best Belgium casinos online right here on this page. Take your pick from our curated list and enjoy the best bonuses, games, and customer support offered in the Belgian online gambling industry.

Belgium Online Casino FAQ

Gambling online is totally legal in Belgium. In fact, it is one of the safest places to play due to the strict licensing laws and regulations. While online casino operators are not fond of the blacklist and the treatment received at the hands of the Belgian Gambling Commission, these regulations create a safer space for players. Since the 2012 Gambling Act, Belgium authorities have repeatedly stating that player protection is the top priority, and this certainly benefits online casino players in the country.

As stated above, there are not really any bad online casinos in Belgium due to the lengths that must be gone to in order to obtain a licence to operate in the country. However, some online casinos stand out more than others. We have researched and selected the best online casinos in Belgium to make the decision easier for you.

Online casinos in Belgium offer a range of exciting promotions and bonuses for new and existing players. New players to a casino site can expect a deposit match bonus and occasionally a no deposit bonus is offered to, allowing Belgian players to try the site out before deposing money.

There are a few popular methods for depositing and withdrawing money safely at online casino sites in Belgium. iDebit is one of the most popular choices, allowing for quick and easy euro transfers, without needing to share any bank details. Paysafecard is a prepaid card that allows you to top the card up, and pay directly through it, also without having to share bank details.

The legal gambling age in Belgium is 21. This is the required age to play at a Belgian online casino as well as a land-based, brick and mortar casino. This is higher than the legal gambling age in many other EU countries, but Belgium has made no secret of their desire to be stricter in terms of regulations that they feel will protect players.

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