In contrast to some countries of the European Union, the gaming sector in Belgium is not regulated by one all-encompassing act, but by a number of regulatory instruments that impose proper conditions on the games covered. In consequence, certain games, notably fixed-odds betting on sports events other than horse races, escape sector-specific regulation and can be organized without a bookmaker’s permit. With the exception of pool betting, this regulatory framework is relatively recent; it basically consists out of the National Lottery Act 2002 and the Games of Chance Act 1999. In relation to these acts, we will comment on some recent decisions of Belgian jurisdictions, in particular the decision of the Belgium Constitutional Court on the legality of the (former) exclusive right of the National Lottery to organize games by means of tools of the information society. Additionally, a proposal to modify the 1999 Act was set forth but has up to now not been adopted.
The Belgian government recently adopted a new Gambling Act, which is scheduled to go into effect in 2011 but could be delayed by a lawsuit.