According to The Bulletin, Belgium's Parliamentary Finance Committee is discussing a new bill that would reform existing gambling laws.
The bill, proposed by Green MP Stefaan van Hecke, would impose a global age limit of 21 years, as well as gambling and advertising sponsorship restrictions.
It comes after Bpost, a Belgian national and international mail company, sold 175 of its newsagents to Golden Palace, a gambling company. The sale has been criticized, with some fearing that it will "open a backdoor to gambling via its various lottery products," according to The Bulletin.
Parties have already agreed on a few legislative changes, such as requiring that gambling in newsagents be done only with an eID and prohibiting the use of certain slot machines.
Despite using familiar symbols from traditional casino games like cards and dice, these slot machines, known as 3.3 machines, are not subject to any controls. Petrol stations, youth centers, and shopping malls are all common places to find them. The new legislation would outright prohibit them.
More stringent identity checks and monetary limits on slot machines are also being considered, with Van Hecke predicting that the current limit of €200 ($226) will "become a thing of the past."
Another area being studied is persuading customers to gamble through incentives, while another potential law would prohibit combining different licenses on one website, such as a sports betting website not allowing customers to click through to a casino games website.
While there is agreement on many issues, Van Hecke remained upbeat about the situation, saying, "We have not been able to find an agreement on that within the government. But that is not a step backward, it is not relaxation. The situation as it is today is simply frozen."
By fLEXI tEAM