Active players: 1.500.000
Regulated gambling products: casino games, lotteries, sports betting
Operator types: State-run lottery, land-based bookies and casinos, licensed and unlicensed online bookies & casinos
Designated authority: Belgian Gaming Commission
Belgium is a Western European country, neighboring Holland, France, Luxembourg and Germany. Running as a parliamentary sovereign state, it has 3 autonomous regions; the Flanders, the Walloon region and the Brussels (capital) region. Among them are the two main communities, the Dutch and French-speaking ones. In all the regions, sports are equally loved by locals. Football is the most popular one, followed by cycling. It is worth noting that local cyclists hold the most Tour de France victories, apart from the French ones.
Gambling in Belgium dates way back in time. Belgium is actually among the first nations worldwide that invented card games. Moreover, the local lottery has run since 1934. As for online betting, Belgium is also one of the few European countries to have a fully legal and regulated environment. The online sector welcomed its law framework in 2011, with many international bookies in Belgium offering their services ever since.
Betting in Belgium - 5 things to know
- All gambling activities have been legal and regulated since 1999
- The online gambling regulation came into effect in 2011
- There’s a €500 weekly deposit limit when wagering at a locally licensed Belgium bet site
- Online betting licenses are valid for 9 years, with an optional renewal
- The legal gambling age is 18, apart from casinos, where it's set at 21
Best betting sites in Belgium
With quite a few bookmakers accepting local bettors, we list the best betting sites Belgium has to offer. They deliver a wide range of betting markets, as well as high odds on matches of the Jupiler Pro League.
Online gambling in Belgium: The law framework
The 1999 Law on gambling, pretty much still regulates everything in this Benelux country. As for online betting, Belgium first regulated it in 2011. It was basically no more than just an amendment to the ‘99 law. Lotteries in Belgium are a state monopoly; while there are appropriate licenses for all other types of gambling. The Gaming Commission regulates everything, concerning both online and offline gambling. All gambling companies need to have a physical presence in the country, or else they won't get permission to operate.
A license type F+ allows the provision of online sports betting Belgium services. Applicants need to provide a €75.000 guarantee, plus pay an annual fee of approximately €12.500. The Commission constantly updates its publicly available online list of both licensed and blacklisted operators. Big names like Bwin Belgium are among the ones that welcome local bettors while holding a local license too.
Moreover, each of the three autonomous regions in Belgium, applies its own taxation. However, as regards online gambling, it stands at a standard 11% for operators.
Other amendments over the 1999 law include clarifications towards players’ safety and against money laundering. For instance, a max betting limit of €500 per week is applied when gambling on locally licensed operators. Of course, that does not apply when betting on international bookies that accept Belgian players.
Lastly, both gambling organizers and players should expect to face the law, if drifting outside of the legal framework. For repeat offences, fines for players could reach up to €25.000, while those for companies up to €100.000.
Essential information for bettors
Betting in Belgium is as straightforward as it gets. The law is clear on all aspects for both companies and players. In that sense, there have indeed been some reports of prosecuting players who were not playing at authorized bookmakers. So, to put it simply, always use a VPN if you choose to bet with unlicensed Belgian bookies. Then again, caution and discretion should always remain a priority.
As for taxes, no tax on winnings is apparent. However, the 3 autonomous regions act independently; sometimes even regarding their economics. So, It would be better to consult a local law office if betting with licensed Belgian bookmakers, regarding gambling taxation. Still, you won’t need to worry about it when betting with other than the locally operating Belgium bookies. Summing up, a very safe and well-regulated gambling environment exists in the country. Bookmaker shops are everywhere and international bookies are accepting local players.
Bet Belgium: How to deposit at online bookies
Typically online gambling is only permitted on licensed operators. However, no specific restrictions apply either from the state or the banks, regarding transactions. The only setback is that for online gambling, Belgium does not allow the use of credit cards. So, funding one’s account should be done carefully, if not done on a licensed bookie.
Using e-wallets is an excellent choice in order to lay low. Luckily, all major e-wallets, like Skrill or Neteller, operate in the country. Paysafe is yet another option and PayPal Belgium will accept local sign-ups too. So, pick the one that best suits your needs and enjoy no less than fast and secure transactions.
The future of Belgium betting
Before 2011, all online bookies were available to players and Belgium was a gambling haven. However, it was not as safe as it is nowadays, and dodgy operators were springing up. Generally speaking, a very secure and organized gambling environment exists in the country today.
What one could argue, is that the local authorities should probably relax their stance a bit. Other than bookmakers Belgique, international operators are having second thoughts about entering the market. The close supervision and an exhaustive law framework provide clarity and security. On the other hand, the same factors might just be driving away more international bookies from applying for a license.
The complete list of bookmakers in Belgium
We have analyzed the local gambling scene, so now we list all Belgian betting sites that will accept your registration. These are all reputable international bookmakers; even if many of them don’t hold a local license.
It is absolutely legal indeed, as long as one practices it at a licensed online bookmaker. Accessing other international bookies is also a common pastime among locals. However, it should always be done ‘under the radar’ by using VPN software.
Unfortunately, Bet365 Belgium is among the country’s blacklisted operators. Consequently, it does not accept players who reside in the country.
Being one of the most reputable bookmakers worldwide, Unibet Belgium gladly accepts local players and holds a local license too. With a pre-match and in-play bet builder feature and over 40 sports available for betting, it is one of the top choices one can make.
If you are looking to bet in Belgium, this is actually one of the safest places to place your bets online. Every bookmaker that we list in our analysis holds a license by some of the top licensing authorities worldwide. So, expect nothing less than safety and reliability.
Credit cards are not allowed for online betting. Now, if you stick to locally licensed operators, you may use just any other available method. If you don’t stick to them, just choose Skrill or Neteller; in order to keep your betting under the radar, while enjoying fast and secure transactions.
No official tax on winnings is referred to at the Gaming Commission’s site. However, since Belgium's 3 autonomous regions act independently even around taxation; it's a bit of a grey area. Winnings are definitely not taxed when betting on other than the locally licensed Belgium bookmakers.