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Belgium and the UK pass strict new regulations on the iGaming industry, while Albania removes a ban on online betting

March 5, 2024
3 min

Belgium is getting tougher on gambling by raising the age limit to 21 and prohibiting bonuses. Albania, on the other hand, is eliminating the ban on online betting and will license 10 trusted operators. In the UK, the new betting limits could cost gambling operators up to $210 million annually.

Belgium has passed a bill for stricter new gambling legislation

A bill for stricter gambling controls in Belgium, introduced by parliamentarian Stefan Van Hecke of the Green Party, has been successfully passed in the Chamber of Deputies. The new law provides for a number of measures focused on making regulation of the gambling business stricter and protecting the interests of players.

Under the new rules, the age limit for gambling will be raised to 21. Gambling operators will be required to carefully verify the age of all potential gamblers. If checks are insufficient, and an underage player loses money, the operators will be financially liable for their losses.

Bonus offers, one of the most effective methods of attracting new players, will be banned. Casinos and betting operators in the country will have to find other strategies in the future.

There is also a greater restriction on gambling advertising to prevent its normalization in society. The advertising prohibition had already started on July 1, 2023, but once the bill is passed, new amendments will be implemented to make it stricter. According to Stefan Van Hecke, the new regulations include a complete ban on gambling advertising, unless the government approves special exceptions.

The changes to the legislation will not affect the National Lottery. Anyone over the age of 18 will be able to participate in raffles and scratch card drawings. In addition, the National Lottery is not subject to the ban on gambling advertising.

Albania's parliament votes unanimously to end the ban on online betting

The Parliament of Albania has decided to abolish the current ban on online betting, which was implemented in 2018. This step was taken in order to prevent the spread of illegal gambling companies.

The ban was originally introduced as part of a general ban on gambling in Albania. However, after the ban was implemented, the problem did not disappear completely: in addition to the illegal online market, citizens continued to place bets in illegal land-based betting offices.

According to statistics from 2018, Albanians spent an average of about $161 million per year on online and traditional betting before the ban, but that number rockets up to $754 million when illegal betting shops are included in the tally.

Under the new rules, online betting licenses in Albania will be issued to 10 operators with experience in the gambling sector. According to the Minister of Economy, licenses will only be issued to “verified” companies: “It is important for us to make sure that we work exclusively with reliable companies that realize the importance of playing responsibly.”

It is also worth noting that betting in land-based gambling clubs is still banned. Currently, there are only a small number of land-based casinos that are used for gambling in Albania.

British government introduces new betting limits

Under the newly set betting limit, players under the age of 25 will be prevented from betting more than £2 per spin. There is also a limit for players aged 25 and over, but it is slightly higher. They will be allowed to bet up to a maximum of £5 per spin. A limit of up to £15 per spin was originally considered, but it was decided to set it at £5, because only 0.6% of all bets at the UK online casinos are above this value.

Representatives from the UK Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) claimed that the limits are aimed at reducing the risk of gambling addiction while minimizing the possibility of players moving to illegal operators.

The British government estimates that the implementation of online betting limits could result in a loss of revenue for local gambling operators to the sum of £166.2 million (approximately $210 million) annually.

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