New Belgian Government Boosts Its Gambling Industry By Allowing Two New Casinos

belgium gamblingThe offline and online casinos in Belgium are preparing for an expansion, as the new Belgium government steps into office. The new coalition government is often referred to as the ‘kamikaze coalition’ as it combines four parties. Last Saturday, the members of the parliament swore oaths and officially began their term.

The new government has set some ambitious goals, such as a major tax reform as well as reducing the debt of Belgium. The current net debt is a hundred percent of the GDP of the country. Having that in mind, the government has searched for various solutions and channels through which it can fill the hole in its budget. One of the solutions it plans on implementing would be the increase of casino taxes.

New Gambling Legislation to Allow Two More Casinos

The new government has already made steps towards improving the economy and filling the fiscal gap. Last week it presented a detailed document, over 200 pages, which underlines all the goals it has set for legislative reforms. Some of these goals is to go through the structure of its Games of Chance Act and improve it according to the current technologies, global market environment and local operators. On page 88 of the document is stated that “The government will review the Games of Chance Act of 7 May 1999 […], with the purpose of increasing the number of allowed Class 1 establishments of games of chance to 11.” There are currently nine offline casino facilities of the above mentioned class 1 operating in the country. Therefore, there is room for two more. Local media often names the change to 11 casinos as the Tufnel Amendment after a character – guitarist from a mockumentary film – This Is Spinal Tap. In the film, the guitarist’s Marshal stack would go one note above 10.

A Chance for New Online Gambling Websites

As brick-and-mortar casinos are now expected to increase, it is expected that this will consequently lead to more online gambling operators entering the Belgian gambling industry. This is because the current gambling law in Belgium requires online gambling sites to partner with offline casinos in order to receive a license. For example, the UK-based online gambling platform – Bwin.party has partnered with Belcasinos, a subordinate company of the Belgian Groupe Partouche.

The new Belgian government does not stop here when it comes to optimizing the gambling industry, in order to increase profitability and therefore government tax intake. It has set another goal in its agenda – to allow international cruises to offer gambling even when they are under Belgian territory. The change in gambling legislation offered by the new government includes the allowance of players to gamble until the cruise ship arrives on a Belgian port.

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