The Belgian Gaming Commission has released advice on Article 42 of the Act of 28th November relating to licensed sports betting activity in newspaper shops throughout the country.
As a result of its research into the matter, the Gaming Commission has requested that the Belgian government issue a Royal Decree that will define ‘sideline activity’. The Commission believes that this will offer further clarity to operators who are currently licensed to offer sports betting in their shops.
Most importantly though, a definition of sideline activity will place limits on the offer of betting with a view to protecting players from the harms of problem gambling.
According to its statement, the Commission has proposed that only newspaper shops of a certain size should be allowed to offer sports betting products and services on its premises. The Commission suggests that a shop’s suitability could be determined based on the size of its contract with a press distributor.
In its proposals to the Government, the Commission has also proposed a fee taken as a percentage of the turnover from press sales imposed on any newspaper shop that wants to offer sports betting.
With regards to sports betting activity, the Commission proposes that sports betting terminals be limited to certain hours during the day. It has also requested that if terminals are limited, that newspaper shops are free to opt for machines provided by private gambling operators and not be limited to those offered by the National Lottery.
Until these rules and and definitions are created and provided to all stakeholders, and the Royal Decree is adopted, the Commission has also requested that the Government holds off on enacting Article 42 of the Act of 28th November 2021.
The advice can be read in full here.