Belgian Constitutional Court Ruling May Restrict Online Gambling Operators

Online operators must have separate licenses for each gambling product on their websites

Last week’s ruling by the Belgian Constitutional Court that online gambling operators must have separate licenses for each gambling product offered on their websites is sure to generate concerns in the industry and possibly an appeal.

The case arose when land and online operator Rocoluc NV (trading online as Casinobelgium.be) challenged the Belgian Gaming Commission policy of granting a single online licence covering several genres of gambling on a single website.

Rocoluc claimed that in the land gambling environment separate licenses for each type of gambling offered under one roof are required, and that the online sector should be subject to the same restrictions.

The ruling represents a further tightening of Belgium’s already highly restrictive gambling regulations, which has recently seen lawmakers approve a measure prohibiting the screening of gambling adverts on television during live sporting events.

The Belgian Gaming Commission has not yet commented on the ruling or its intentions flowing therefrom.