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No more advertising free spins and bonuses – Belgium amends gambling laws

George Miller

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No more advertising free spins and bonuses - Belgium amends gambling laws
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On 4 April 2019, the Belgian Parliament approved a whole series of amendments to the current Gambling Act of 7 May 1999. In this article, you will read everything that will change with this new law and how it will affect the online gambling industry.

New playing limits
Players can now only deposit a maximum of € 500 per week on any gambling site, or a total of € 2000 per month. Gamblers, have the option to increase this limit. However, this is only possible after verification with the National Bank. If a player are not registered as a defaulter, the casino can then increase the deposit limit. It is difficult to predict whether this will really have an effect on the gambling behaviour of Belgians. It could lead to players diversifying where they play, since there is nothing to prevent a player from opening an account at multiple online casinos. The limit is set per gambling site and not for all gambling sites at the same time.

Casino bonuses are limited
Casinos can still offer bonuses, but the bonuses are limited in size. Since 1 June 2019, casinos are allowed to offer a maximum of € 275 in their welcome bonus. This would make problem gamblers less inclined to make huge deposits.

No more gambling with credit cards
A wise gambler knows that he should not play with borrowed money. Now, the Belgian government is taking that possibility away. Since June 1 2019, players can no longer gamble with a credit card. This was already the case, but the government has tightened the restrictions. You could simply charge your PayPal, Neteller or Skrill account with a credit card to make a deposit. That possibility now seems to have disappeared. The Belgian Gaming Commission states:
“The holders of a class A +, B + or F1 + license are obliged to refuse any intervention of electronic payment systems when charging game accounts if these electronic payment systems allow the player to use his credit card as a deposit method”

Going by this information, it seems that e-wallets such as Neteller and Skrill will be a thing of the past. On the other hand, we see that large gambling sites such as Unibet.be still have Skrill, PayPal and Neteller on their list of accepted payment methods. How this part should be interpreted is therefore not 100% clear.

Virtual Sports disappear
Since June 1 2019, you can no longer bet on virtual sports in Belgium. These are fictional sports competitions that you could find on different sites in different forms. These were, for example, virtual horse races, or fictional football games. Although these types of games are staged, they are fair, since they are programmed with RNGs.

Possible to prohibit certain bets
With the new law, the Belgian Gambling Commission has the ability to prohibit certain fraud-sensitive bets.

Youth games or games with minors are seen as particularly sensitive to fraud. Soon it will also no longer be possible to bet on games with a high percentage of underage players.

Other types of bets are also being targeted, such a bets on certain types of match statistics and events. The reasoning is that it is too easy for players on the field to manipulate these statistics, without purposely losing a game.

Restriction on online gambling advertising
Advertising for cashback bonuses, and cashbacks themselves must disappear completely. Casinos can still offer welcome bonuses and free spins, but are limited to advertising them on their own website only. This means no more TV commercials with about free spins or bonuses, and greatly affects the affiliate market, with most Belgian affiliate site removing all mention of bonuses and free spins. Players can only find them on the casino sites themselves.

“Gamble in moderation” and advertising limits
The text “Gamble in moderation” (“Gok met mate”) will also have to be mentioned on every advertisement for online gaming. There can only be one gambling advertisement per advertising block, while gambling advertisements must disappear before 8 pm and during major sporting events. This probably means that advertising slots for gambling will go up in price, which will probably benefit the larger players on the Belgian market.

Find more gambling news at FreeSpinsNoDepositNoWager.com.

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Vermantia Signs Content Deal with Caspian Tech

Niji Narayan

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Vermantia Signs Content Deal with Caspian Tech
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Vermantia, a leader in omni-channel content solutions, has extended its partnership with Azerbaijan’s state-licensed operator, Topaz.

The deal sees Caspian Tech provided with premium live racing betting content from the supplier’s market-leading Ultimate Live Greyhound Channel via its integration into the Vermantia CONNECT platform. On Caspian Tech’s behalf, Vermantia will set-up, and operate the bespoke satellite channel across its 500-strong Topaz branded shop estate.

“Caspian Tech represents a very important partner for us and I would like nothing more than to see us expanding our collaboration together. Topaz customers are now able to enjoy top quality live racing content, complete with high-definition pictures, a powerful bet acceptance system and a full data service,” Spyros Stavropoulos, Commercial Director at Vermantia, said.

“CONNECT has proven to be a game-changer in other markets already, combining the highest picture quality with genuine low-latency in a cost-effective solution that allows the operator to choose exactly what content they need,” Spyros Stavropoulos added.

“Our partnership with Vermantia meets both our quest for a trusted partner with an international content distribution experience and our goal to offer fast-paced and exciting betting products to our customers,” Mustafa Onder, Deputy Technical Director at Caspian Tech, said.

“We are very excited to be launching an upgraded service which we believe will prove to be an immediate hit, and no doubt enhance our retail offering with exciting action-packed betting opportunities,” Mustafa Onder added.

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Dutch Online Gaming Launch Delayed Once Again

Niji Narayan

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Dutch Online Gaming Launch Delayed Once Again
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The Dutch Remote Gambling Act (KOA) has been delayed yet again, with Minister for Legal Protection Sander Dekker pushing the date the law comes into effect back to 1 April 2021, and the date the market opens back to 1 October.

Responding to a series of questions from legislators, Dekker announced that the latest delay was necessary as the Government had realised a slower implementation of the laws may create a stronger environment of regulation.

“Earlier I informed you that we are aiming for entry into force on 1 March 2021. Although the implementation is proceeding energetically, it has now become clear to all involved that careful implementation takes a little more time,” Dekker said.

“For this reason, we shall postpone the entry into force of the Koa Act by one month until 1 April, 2021, so that De Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) and the gambling sector have sufficient opportunity for complete preparation. The opening of the market will then take place on 1 October 2021,” Dekker added.

Initially, KOA was scheduled to enter into law on 1 July 2020, with the market to open six months later at the start of 2021. However, in November 2019, the act’s start date was pushed back six months, meaning the market would open on 1 July 2021.

In September 2020, the launch was pushed back again, with the date the act was set to come into effect moved to 1 March 2021, after preparations to launch had been disrupted by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

The latest delay is the third, and means the law is now set to come into force nine months later than originally planned.

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Black Spins Relaunches on 888 Network

Niji Narayan

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Black Spins Relaunches on 888 Network
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Casy Digital has completed the migration of their Black Spins site from the Nektan network to the 888 casino network.

Migrating to another network is not uncommon in the case of online casinos. However, Black Spins is different in the sense that they will not be accepting players from the UK, unlike all the other casino sites on the 888 casino network. This certainly does seem to indicate a potential change of focus for this particular network as they seek to reduce reliance on the UK market.

“In teaming up with 888, not only do we have a quality platform and gaming option, we are also with a company who is committed to excellence and share our vision for growing in key markets outside of the UK,” Tommy Dawson, CEO of Casy Digital, said.

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