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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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Industry News

Vibra Gaming and First Look Games Strengthen Their Partnership

Niji Narayan

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Vibra Gaming and First Look Games Strengthen Their Partnership
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First Look Games (FLG) has strengthened its partnership with LatAm focused developer Vibra Gaming who will now white-label its cutting-edge client area.

Vibra Gaming joined First Look back in July. By extending the partnership, Vibra will now be able to use FLG’s fully brandable client area to showcase its portfolio of online slots and casino games to its existing and potential operator partners as well as affiliates.

The developer has also taken advantage of FLG’s Premium offering, which allows studios to upload game information two weeks prior to launch so a select number of affiliates can have a “first look” and create content ahead of the official launch.

“We are delighted to extend our already successful partnership with Vibra Gaming and for the studio to be able to leverage the power of our state-of-the-art client area to properly showcase its games. Our white-label client area is intuitive and easy to use, allowing developers to show their games to both operators and affiliates in the best possible way. When this is combined with our First Look Games library, studio’s such as Vibra have a powerful and cost-effective marketing platform,” Tom Galanis, Founder of First Look Games, said.

“Our partnership with First Look Games continues to go from strength to strength and we are thrilled to be white-labelling its market-leading client area allowing us to showcase our games like never before. This is an incredibly competitive sector and with the cost of marketing continuing to rise, up and coming developers such as Vibra need to market smartly and cost-effectively and First Look Games certainly allows us to do that,” Ramiro Atucha, CEO of Vibra Gaming, said.

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Admix Extends Series A Round to Raise Further $1.5 Million from Leading Gaming Investors

Niji Narayan

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Admix Extends Series A Round to Raise Further $1.5 Million from Leading Gaming Investors
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Pires Investments plc has provided an update on its investment in Sure Valley Ventures (SVV) in relation to Admix, a company within the SVV portfolio, which has developed a programmatic monetisation platform for gaming and other entertainment developers.

Two years after its initial seed funding, London-based start up Admix has extended the Series A funding round announced in June 2020, raising a further $1.5 million from strategic gaming investors, bringing the total round to $8.5 million.

Marcus Segal, former COO of Zynga Studios and Nigel Morris, former CEO of Dentsu Aegis, joined the round, alongside a number of unnamed executives working in the gaming and advertising industries in which Admix operates.

Pires has a circa 13% interest in SVV. SVV is a venture capital fund focused on investing in the software technology sector with a specific focus on artificial intelligence, the internet of things and immersive technologies.

“Only two years after its initial seed funding, this extension of the funding round announced earlier this summer demonstrates the excitement surrounding Admix’s platform for gaming and entertainment developers at the moment. In-play advertising, a substantial and developed market, has seen considerable growth as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and we expect this trend to continue in the coming years,” Peter Redmond, Chairman of Pires, said.

“We believe that Admix’s novel approach to game advertising at scale positions the company perfectly to benefit from the increased demand in this market. The additional funding and the inclusion of notable industry figures participating in this extended fundraise will no doubt allow Admix to continue its rapid growth path and, as such, we look forward to updating the market with Admix’s progress in due course,” Peter Redmond added.

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CT Gaming Interactive Partners with Meridianbet

Niji Narayan

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CT Gaming Interactive Partners with Meridianbet
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Online gaming content and solutions provider CT Gaming Interactive has entered into a deal for launching games with Meridianbet. The deal will see the online casinos under the brand host the CT Gaming Interactive’s games, which include special jackpots.

“I am very pleased and proud that Meridian has selected us as its partner. We are confident that our market-leading portfolio of games will support its strategy to deliver the ultimate player experience to its customers,” Lachezar Petrov, general manager at CT Gaming Interactive, said.

“We continue to expand our customer base and the games launches with Meridian’s well-known sites enable distribution to a new group of players,” Petrov added.

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