The history of betting in Belgium dates back to the 15th century when historians discovered card games and a national lottery. At the time, gambling was a market without regulations and control. There were no rules or an organization to limit the activity. The first known event in the Belgium gambling market was the creation of the national lottery.
Since then, the gambling culture has consistently grown over the years. To cater to the growing demand, there has been an increase in sports betting and more casino options which have resulted in the rise of gambling in horse racing.
In 1999, the Belgian Gaming Commission was established. Also, the Gaming Act which is used to date to dictate legal matters of gambling was adopted. The Belgian Gaming Commission was charged with the responsibility of ensuring new betting organizations are licensed provided they meet the required standards. It also monitors whether the bookmarkers operate per the Gaming Act.
Online gambling was legalized in 2002. Since then, numerous bookmakers have entered the market to provide the service. The reception of the fun and thrill-filled activity was positive. Many people have little if any reservations about gambling.
Betting nowadays in Belgium
2011 marked a major milestone for gambling in Belgium. The country's online gambling law came into full effect. A few amendments to the 1999 law were enacted. Since 2011, many international bookies have exploited the market. Today, the gaming commission in the country runs both online and offline gambling activities. As a requirement to operate in Belgium, gambling service providers must ensure physical presence. In online gambling, the standard tax rates used all over the country stand at 11%.
The laws set for gambling are equal in that they seek to ensure punters are not exploited and the providers remain in business. For instance, there is a law that states the maximum betting limit is €500 ($567)per week. This law is set to ensure players' safety and to prevent money laundering through gambling platforms. This law does not affect Belgian players who bet on international bookies.
The laws about gambling are very strict and can lead to prosecution and huge penalties when violated. Unauthorized bookmakers are operating within the country. To safely use these bookies without landing in trouble, always use a VPN. At the moment, there are no taxes on winnings in the country.