ANNOUNCEMENT 10 Jan 2010In January 2010, the government of Belgium announced a change in import formalities.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
The amendment of the gambling act
Press release by the EU regarding the formal notice
On 10 January 2010, the Belgian government amended its gambling legislation in so doing introducing a closed licensing system for online gambling games. The provisions restrict the industry to nine online gambling licenses for casinos, 180 for gaming arcades and 34 for wagers. Furthermore, the amendment requires the license holder to possess a physical establishment in Belgium. The legislation into force on 1 January 2011.
Subsequently, the companies Telebet, Betfair International and the Remote Gambling Association contested the amendment in front of the Belgian Constitutional Court, arguing that the provisions were not in line with article 56 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union on the freedom to provide services. On 14 July 2011, the Constitutional Court dismissed this challenge.
On 20 November 2013, the European Commission sent a letter of formal notice to the Belgian governmentquestioning the compatibility of the country's gambling provisions with EU law.