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    1. ------IND- 2008 0374 B-- EN- ------ 20080929 --- --- PROJET



    Proposed Act laying down various provisions on
                   games of chance

      (Tabled by Mrs Marie-Hélène Crombé-Berton and Mr Alain Courtois)



                                    DEVELOPMENTS


GENERAL INTRODUCTION

The games of chance sector is currently experiencing spectacular development. Each day sees
a raft of new games, real or virtual, and new places under the joint reign of chance and
money.

This development induces a change of nature. The game thus becomes the stake. Leaving the
sphere of simple entertainment, it is becoming an economic activity in its own right.

Although there is cause to rejoice at the emergence of a new source of life blood in the heart
of our economy, we should nonetheless not allow ourselves to be blinded by this flourishing
development. Indeed, gaming, which has always been a source of pleasure and relaxation,
also constitutes a powerful generator of social misery.

National legislation on games of chance should therefore be adapted, both to the rapid change
in our society and to the risks that this engenders in the weakest among us.


1) Presentation of the 1999 Act

The Act of 7 May 1999 on games of chance, gaming establishments and player protection,
referred to below as the Act on games of chance or simply the Act, has, as its name suggests, a
twofold ambition: to regulate the exploitation of games of chance (until that time purely and
simply prohibited) and to protect the players. It is a criminal law, which also includes a
concern for prevention.

"The Act of 7 May 1999 is a criminal law. The majority of this Act, indeed, is made up of
prohibitions which are sanctioned by criminal law. It is only in the second instance and by
way of exception that this Act lays down a system of licence authorisation" 1.


1
  K. ANDRIES, N. CARETTE and N. HOEKX, "Les jeux et paris. Analyse critique des éléments constitutifs de
la définition légale", Coll. Contrats et Patrimoine, Ed. Larcier, 2008, p.50.


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In the system that the 1999 Act establishes, which also takes into account the protection not
only of public order and players, but also the operators and fiscal interests of the State and of
the Regions, the operation of games of chance therefore continues to be forbidden, unless one
has a licence.

The 1999 Act therefore forbids anyone and everyone from operating games of chance, except
those who are authorised to do so based on this Act, and this, only on condition of being in
possession of a licence obtained pursuant to this Act (Art.4).

It creates, on the other hand, an assessment and decision-making, but also a controlling, body
with regard to games of chance: the Gaming Commission (Art.9). This Commission is
instituted with the SPF Justice. As part of its mission of controlling the implementation of the
law in the field, the members of the Commission's secretariat may have the capacity of
judiciary police officer.

In concrete terms, the 1999 Act lays down a system of licences which includes five classes of
licence (Art. 25): the class A licence for class I establishments (casinos), the class B licence
for class II establishments (automatic gaming halls), the class C licence for class III
establishments (cafés), the class D licence for the personnel who work in class I and II
establishments and the class E licence for people required to conclude contracts on the
marketing of games of chance (sale, production, upkeep, etc.).


2) Loopholes in the 1999 Act

However, the Act does not have a very extensive scope. On the one hand, in its current form,
it only governs games of chance practised in the three types of gaming establishments
aforementioned: casinos (class I), automatic gaming halls (class II) and cafés (class III)
(Art.6). On the other hand, it establishes exceptions itself to the notion of games of chance
(Art.3 and 3bis), like, for example, "games related to sports activities, and bets made on the
occasion of such games" (Art.3, 1.). Finally, betting, media games and games of chance
proposed via information society services, such as the Internet, do not fall within the scope of
the Act on games of chance.

Yet, on this latter point, although these various types of games of chance are prohibited at the
present time, recent years have seen exponential, uncontrolled growth, which now renders
regulation on the matter necessary and, thereby, a channelling of the sector.

Conscious of the twofold necessity to maintain the development of the gaming sector and
neutralise its destructuring effects (dependence, mental disturbances, criminality, alcoholism,
addiction, diminution in performance at work, dislocation of the family fabric,
unemployment, poverty, etc.), the legislature adopted, in 1999, a mode of regulation in the
form of a compromise.

In terms of player protection, it has to be said that, after almost ten years' operation, the
regulation system put in place shows a number of significant loopholes.

The principal loophole is that the 1999 Act only excludes people from the world of gaming
who personally request such exclusion. It therefore bases the entire system of limitation of
access to gaming for the most vulnerable players on a voluntarist approach on the part of the


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latter. Admittedly, the Gaming Commission does have the option of excluding dependent
people, but, paradoxically, it leaves control of the process of being prohibited from gaming to
the very individuals who cannot do without it! The law currently offers no means to people
who are the indirect victims of a player's addiction to request the exclusion of the latter.

Another structural restriction in the system is to be found in the fact that, perfectly
empowered to guarantee the regulatory part of its mission, the Commission is markedly
lacking when it comes to offering therapeutic assistance to people upon whom it imposes or
from whom it lifts the prohibition. It is regrettable that, at a time when the addiction to
gambling is recognised by the scientific body as a whole as a mental illness in its own right,
the Commission does not have the necessary tools or competence to diagnose and treat this
pathology.

The Commission also suffers from chronic malfunctions due, in particular, to the limitation on
its competence and its mode of funding. Indeed, on the one hand, the Commission cannot take
action against those who do not hold a licence and cannot impose economic sanctions on
offending licence holders. Furthermore, it is not competent in certain types of games, such as
betting. On the other hand, the Commission's monies are managed by the SPF Justice, which
may bring about inertia or delays.


3) Objectives of the proposed Act

This proposal therefore aims, in particular, to broaden the protection mechanisms for the
pathological player. It also intends to incorporate both betting and games of chance operated
via information society services and via the media into the scope of the Act on games of
chance. At the same time, it aims to remove from this classification games proposed on the
occasion of one-off and non-lucrative events. Finally, it intends to change the nature and
competence of the Gaming Commission.


a) Reinforced player protection

The main objective sought by the authors of the proposal is that of player protection which is
more successful and more effective than that put in place by the 1999 Act, which, of course,
to its credit, already exists…

To deal with the exclusively voluntarist nature of the prohibition procedure, which was
discussed above, a modification is proposed to the way cases can be brought before the
Gaming Commission. This change takes the form of a broadening of procedural means.

More exactly, the idea is to recognise the possibility of bringing cases before the Commission
with a view to imposing a ban on various people who can prove a vested interest. Although
this idea includes in essence the player himself, it also aims to include members of his family,
his debt mediator, the President of the CPAS [Public Centre for Social Action] at which he
signs on and the gaming establishments which he frequents.

The aim of this broadened procedural means is to reinforce preventive player protection, both
in terms of his person and in terms of his estate, and, at the same time, to offer preventive
protection to people who may be seriously affected by the player's behaviour.


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A mechanism to take action on its own initiative is also instituted to enable the Commission
to impose a ban on a player as a matter of course in the absence of any "external" initiative.

Furthermore, to deal with the patent impotence of the Commission in the face of the suffering
of players, the creation of an internal psycho-medical assessment cell is proposed. Comprising
a psychologist, a medical doctor, a social welfare assistant and a jurist, this cell's mission
would be to "assess" players subject to a request regarding prohibition or the lifting of a
prohibition.

Finally, the cell could direct the players whom it recognises as ill at the time of the prohibition
or of its lifting to recognised and appropriate specialist care centres, on the understanding that
the Commission may in no event itself take on the role of therapist...


b) Extension of the notion of games of chance

1° Betting

At the present time, although formally games of chance, bets do not fall within the scope of
the Act on games of chance.

Indeed, by virtue of its Article 3.1, "games related to sports activities, and bets made on the
occasion of such games" are not games of chance with the meaning of the Act on games of
chance.

Betting can be subdivided into two major categories, depending on its purpose. Firstly, bets
made on sports events, including horse racing. Secondly, bets organised on all kinds of non-
sporting events.


   a. Betting on sports

The first category of betting, betting on sports events, is governed by two legal provisions. A
distinction is made between horse racing and all other sporting activities, including greyhound
and pigeon racing.

With regard to betting on sports excluding horse races, Article 1 of the Act of 26 June 1963
on the promotion of physical education, sports and outdoor life as well as on the monitoring
of enterprises that organise betting contests on the results of sports events provides that: "No
one may, without the authorisation of the Ministers responsible for physical education and
sports, organise a betting contest on the results of sporting events other than horse races if
such contest implies payment of registration fees or stakes by third parties, nor publish nor
have peddled in Belgium forms regarding participation in such contests organised abroad".

With regard to betting on horse racing, authorisations related to bets on horse races are
governed by Article 66 of the Code on taxes equated with income tax, and by Articles 44 to
56 of the Royal Decree of 8 July 1970 laying down general rules for charges equated with
income tax and Articles 6 and 7 of the Ministerial Order of 17 July 1970 on the performance
of the Code of taxes equated with income tax.


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Article 66, §1, of the Code on taxes equated with income tax sets out the principle on the
subject: "The opening of a horse racing course, the organisation of horse races and the
acceptance of bets on horse races shall be subject to the prior authorisation of the Ministry of
Finance or its deputy".


        b. Non-sports betting

There is a significant legal vacuum in Belgian legislation on non-sports betting. Indeed, as has
been stated above, the exception regarding bets enshrined in Article 3,1., of the 1999 Act,
only concerns sports betting.

However, Article 2 of the Act defines games of chance as any and all games and bets which
satisfy the conditions 1) of placing a stake, 2) winnings or losses and 3) chance.

Therefore, given that the Act on games of chance does not currently provide for a licence for
the organisation of betting, betting, which does not fall under the exception laid down in
Article 3, 1., to wit all betting not related to sports activities, is, at the present time, an illegal
game of chance!


        c. A necessary adaptation to the legislation

A recent survey by KUL ordered by the SPF Justice and entitled Kansspel, Juridisch
gedefinieerd – beleidsmatig geoperationaliseerd 2 observes that a bet must in reality be
considered as a category of gaming contract. In its conclusions, this survey recommends
better regulation of the world of games of chance and betting.

One can thus read on page 361 of the survey: "It would be more coherent in legal terms to
incorporate the 1963 Act in that of 7 May 1999 and thus to place licences under a single
controlling body. At the present tile, the Gaming Commission handles the controlling of
banned non-sporting bets, the Ministers of Sports grant licences related to the organisation of
sports bets and the Minister of Finance does the same for betting on horse racing. Whether
for the organisers or the public authorities, granting competence on authorisation to a single
body would help to clarify the situation. Given its specific powers, the Gaming Commission
seems the body best placed for this purpose. Moreover, such a measure would bring about a
desirable moderation of the sums committed. Until such a measure is taken, certain types of
bets will remain in a grey area, however, in which competence is not clearly established and
it is, on occasion, even impossible to determine whether someone is competent".

An example of the shortcomings of the system on betting can be found in the corruption
scandals that Belgian football has recently experienced. Several football matches had been
manifestly fixed by players, coaches and possibly members of the management team, who
saw to it that their team lost matches on which punters had staked considerable sums on a

2
  This survey was subsequently taken up in a later work almost in its entirety: K. ANDRIES, N. CARETTE and
N. HOEKX, "Kansspel. De wettelijke definitie gewikt en gewogen", Kulak, ed. Die Keure, 2006, translated into
French: "Les jeux et paris. Analyse critique des éléments constitutifs de la définition légale", Contrats &
Patrimoine, Ed. Larcier, 2008. However, recommendations were included in the survey, but were not
incorporated in the published work.


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victory for the adversary. These regrettable episodes demonstrate that a coherent and speedy
solution is required.

In its judgement 114/2005 of 30 June 2005, the Constitutional Court ruled that: "It is indeed
the latter [the federal authority] which is competent to regulate games and betting, to
determine the conditions under which the activities which it tolerates can be exercised and to
arrange the control necessitated by their dangerous nature". The Court then annulled the
provisions of the Decree of the Flemish Parliament of 26 March 2004 laying down correction
measures in favour of Flemish horse races, authorising the Flemish Government to assist in
the creation of a non-profit-making association, "Vlaamse Federatie voor
Paardenwedrennen" (Flemish Horse Racing Federation) and amending and repealing certain
provisions of the Code on taxes equated to income tax. This judgement clearly establishes that
the subject of games and betting falls under federal jurisdiction.


2° Games operated via information society services

Bets are not only placed via betting agencies or bookmakers based at the location of the
sporting event itself. At the present time, numerous bets are also taken through the
intervention of electronic means of communication. Thus, with regard to the football matches
probably besmirched by the corruption discussed above, a significant part of the betting was
placed via the Internet from Asia.

More generally, it is necessary to channel all games of chance played on the Internet. The
game of poker, for example, is currently enjoying a frank success and the new trend consists
in betting on-line and, in particular, in playing poker on-line. According to the magazine,
Klasse, published by the Flemish Education Ministry, two out five young people aged
between ten and seventeen years have already played for money on the Internet. The average
age from which young people start to place bets is 11 years 8 months, according to a CRIOC
survey3.

Internet sites or other electronic communications networks that offer games of chance do not
constitute private gaming establishments. The Internet constitutes only a means whereby
games of chance and betting can be offered. Offering a game on the Internet is a "service
identical" to that of offering a game in the real world. This has been confirmed by the World
Trade Organisation in the context of a dispute between Antigua and Barbuda and the United
States regarding casinos on the Internet 4.

Currently, the law on games of chance does not provide for a specific licence for games of
chance operated by information society services, which are therefore prohibited under Article
4 of the same Act.

Despite the campaign of repression against illegal sites, it must be said that the interventions
are ineffective. Indeed, though it is possible successfully to react against sites located in
Belgium, it is extremely difficult in practice at European level and totally impossible at global
level.



3
    CRIOC: Centre for Research and Information for Consumer Organisations
4
    DS285 United States – Measures affecting the cross-border supply of gambling and betting services


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According to estimates, a sum of 60 billion dollars was staked on the various poker sites
around the world in 20055. A Dutch survey reveals that 30% of the young people questioned
expect to play even more frequently in the future. In all probability, poker will therefore
continue to be popular. Experts in the field of addiction have recently been confronted with
the first people hooked on poker, and this while social control is still very limited.

At present, there are thousands of sites and options offered by information technology and
means of communication, which allow young people to take part in games of chance. The
objectives of the Act of 7 May 1999, to wit to prevent access to games of chance by
compulsive players and minors, to foster transparency and financial control on games in
which money is involved, to control games software, and to identify and control the
organisers, have not been achieved. Moreover, the fact should be pointed out that the Belgian
State cannot raise any revenues on these games and, in particular, that the use of GSM, as
well as personal digital assistants (PDAs) and WAP, will further broaden the selection of
gaming options in the future.

To conduct a just and coherent policy, the games of chance offered and the stakes wagered on
the Internet and, by extension, on the electronic communications networks, must be reserved
for those who also operate games of chance and betting in the real world.

In this respect, it would be highly desirable that a European initiative be taken regarding this
cross-border phenomenon. The College of Commissioners has its disposal a significant survey
on this subject carried out by the Swiss Institute of Comparative Laws. The results are
currently undergoing analysis and should make it possible to take a clear position via a future
directive. The latter is not expected before 2010, or even 2013, however…


3° Games operated via the media

Apart from televised games which form the essence of a programme – and which currently
constitute an exception to the Act on games of chance, under its Article 3, 4. – there are still
numerous other events organised through the intermediary of the media.

The case of a well known Flemish radio station attracted the attention of Parliament on this
matter6. In actual fact, it had organised a competition during which the participants had to
guess the moment when a gold ingot was going to fall from a large block of ice. At the
present time, this type of game escapes all legal regulations.

Examples of this kind of competition are legion: the competitions organised at the end of a
television programme, during which the viewer has to send an answer by SMS to win a prize,
the competitions organised by the dailies, in which the players have to put together a fictive
team, the team in question obtaining points according to the actual results of this player in the
team (Megabike or Onze d‟Or, for example), etc.




5
    NRC Weekblad, 7 June 2005, http://www.toezichtkansspelen.nl/verslagen/Het_gezicht_van_Poker.pdf
6
 Question No 51-10142 by Mr Servais Verherstraeten of 7 February 2006 in the Justice Commission of the
Chamber of Representatives, http://www.dekamer.be


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Even though these games are a priori of a kind likely to engender a lesser addiction than
traditional games of chance, it is nonetheless necessary also to subject them to the obligation
to hold a licence, as is the case for other forms of games of chance.

Furthermore, there is no longer any justification for making a distinction between complete
television programmes, which, for the time being, constitute an exception to the legislation on
games of chance, and games of chance which are only part of a programme. A licence should
be required for all media games.


c) Exclusion of games offered during occasional events

Local associations or private individuals who wish to organise a competition which falls
within the definition of a game of chance must continue to enjoy this possibility. As an
example of such competitions, one may think of special events like donkey races, song bird
competitions, etc. This form of popular entertainment must continue. Although, from a strictly
legal point of view, these are games of chance, the forms of addiction are extremely limited
and the risk of criminal practices restricted.

This form of game of chance should therefore no longer fall within the scope of the Act on
games of chance in the future, provided that such games take place occasionally and are
organised by a private individual, a de facto association or a non-profit-making association for
the benefit of a charitable organisation, and as a form of entertainment, of course. What is
meant by "occasionally" is defined in legal terms as twice a year at the very most.

Consequently, this exception only affects amateur organisations on the occasion of special
events and not event organisation agencies.


d) Modification of the status and jurisdiction of the Gaming Commission

The Commission would no longer report to the Executive, via the SPF Justice, but would be
constituted with the Senate, a body with legislative power, in which all political leanings are
represented. It would no longer be constrained to allocate the revenues it generates to a fund
managed by the SPF Justice, but would be financially autonomous and independent.
Autonomy through the contributions paid by the licence holders and independence with
regard to the possibility of using the revenues it generates uniquely for the fulfilment of its
missions.

Finally, the Commission would also see itself granted the status of a no longer purely
administrative but jurisdictional body, and, at the same time, a new wide-ranging competence,
that of being able to impose fines upon anyone who fails to abide by the legislation on games
of chance.


4) Budgetary implications of the proposal

Based on a Dutch survey, it would appear that around 5.3% of the population with Internet
access plays on-line. In Belgium, approximately 4,200,000 people have an Internet



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connection. According to the same survey, at least 1.2% of those people regularly play on-
line, i.e. a total of at least 50,400 people.

At the present time, all of these casino and other games escape any form of control. Moreover,
the games of chance on the Internet in the strict sense do not currently generate any revenue
for the Belgian State; indeed, no taxes are currently levied on these activities. Turnover,
converted according to Belgian norms, is thought to be 93.38 million euro. Furthermore, this
figure is constantly growing.

This survey also analysed participation in games of chance by SMS or telephone. 37% of the
people questioned admitted to taking part in such activity, to wit, for Belgium, a total of 2.2
million inhabitants, which would represent a turnover of 23.34 million euro.

A comparison can also be drawn with the United Kingdom, where a survey has revealed that
the turnover from games of chance on the Internet represents a sum of 7.311 billion euro, and
the turnover from games by telephone a sum of 3.363 billion euro.

With regard to betting, based on information provided by betting agencies accredited by the
SPF Finance, it would be possible to achieve annual tax revenues of 27.009 million euro. This
sum includes revenues currently levied and the projected revenues to be paid (which is to say
taxes not currently collected by the Belgian State related to illegal betting). According to the
most prudent estimates, this projection would amount to around 14 million euro (but could, if
other sources are to be believed, reach 21.623 million euro). As we know that the number of
"regular" betting agencies is more or less equal to the number of "rogue" agencies, the prudent
estimates certainly do not seem to have been overestimated.

Furthermore, according to the figures obtained by the BLOSO7, taxes levied over the last five
years have been constantly falling.

In addition, to meet the challenges of extending the scope of the 1999 Act, the additional
operating costs of the Gaming Commission are estimated at 1.8 million euro.

However, if the additional revenues going to the public treasury are estimated, a further 1.7
million euro in payments received for the new licences should be added to 3.7 million euro in
annual contributions from existing licence holders, which makes a total of 5.4 million euro.
This sum cannot be equated with a tax, but represents indemnities owing on services, which
are paid into the Commission's funds, currently instituted in the budget of the SPF Justice.
The fund would therefore still remain in the black, all the more so in that it currently has more
than 10 million euro at its disposal.

It has further been noted that improved supervision of gaming and more effective proceedings
against illegal gaming have a beneficial effect on the collection of taxes. Thus, the tax
authorities noted in class II establishments, i.e. automatic gaming halls, an increase in
revenues of 40% in 2004 compared with the previous year and, since then, a continued rise
which has never faltered. This growth is due essentially to the Gaming Commission putting in
place better control structures, including an appropriate computer system.



7
 BLOSO: sports administration for the Flemish Community. Its counterpart in the French Community is the
ADEPS.


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Finally, one notes that the turnover of class I establishments, to wit casinos, has markedly
increased over recent years. This to such a point that, in 2007, Namur casino, for example,
employed 50 people for the purpose of optimising exploitation of poker games, that the
Gaming Commission has adapted to the current craze. These people, of course, pay income
tax. It is, on the other hand, highly probable that the casino will be able to pay additional taxes
based on its new profits. The tax authorities have also announced that they were going to
adapt their circulars for the collection of taxes from casinos.

The most cautious estimates of the situation, which would be the one that would prevail if the
betting and games of chance operated via information society services and via the media were
incorporated into the 1999 Act, show the following sums:


Type of game             Additional base turnover            Additional tax revenues
Additional revenues from     1328                             14
actual betting offices
Internet betting              132                              14
Casino games on the            97                               33
Internet
Television games                12                               1.5
Illegal actual games                                         For the record
TOTAL                          373                             62.5



COMMENTARY ON THE ARTICLES
Chapter 2: AMENDMENT OF THE ACT OF 7 MAY 1999 ON GAMES OF CHANCE,
GAMING ESTABLISHMENTS AND PLAYER PROTECTION, OF THE CODE ON
TAXES EQUATED TO INCOME TAX, OF THE INCOME TAX CODE, OF THE
ACT OF 26 JUNE 1963 ON PROMOTING PHYSICAL EDUCATION, SPORTS AND
OUTDOOR LIFE AS WELL AS ON THE MONITORING OF ENTERPRISES THAT
ORGANISE SPORTS BETTING CONTESTS, AND OF THE ACT OF 19 APRIL 2002
ON RATIONALISING THE OPERATION AND MANAGEMENT OF THE
NATIONAL LOTTERY

Section 1: Provisions amending the Act of 7 May 1999 on games of chance, gaming
establishments and player protection.

Article 2: Article 2 of the Act

The notions of betting, mutual betting, betting at fixed or agreed odds, media, media games
and information society services must be defined. As it currently stands, Article 2 is therefore
completed by the new Points 5° to 11°.

Betting is defined as a "game of chance in which a player stakes a sum and which generates
a win or a loss which does not depend on an act made by the player but on the verification of
an uncertain fact which is done without the intervention of players" (5°).

8
    Million euro.


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Mutual betting is a "bet in which an organiser acts as intermediary between the various
players who play against each other, and in which the stakes are pooled and distributed
among the winners, after factoring in a percentage intended to cover the taxes on gaming and
betting, the organisers' expenses and the profit that they allocate to themselves" (6°).

This type of betting is based on the principle of distribution: the sum that devolves on the
winning participants depends on the sum that has been staked and the number of players. The
organiser undertakes to organise a system that allows the participants to stake mutual bets; it
is itself not subject to any gambling risk. The gaming contract is made between the players.

Betting on odds (or an estimate) is a bet in which a player places his stake based on the result
of a determined fact, in which the sum of the win is determined according to given odds and
in which the organiser is personally required to pay the winnings to the players.

This type of betting is based on the principle of cash return: the maximum sum of any win is
fixed upon conclusion of the gaming contract, the odds being included as the chances of
winning. The organiser makes a bet individually with each punter. But he attempts to
manipulate the win/lose ratio in such a way that he can balance his accounting and which, in
any case, he reports as a gain. The gaming contract is made between the player and the
organiser.

Bets on odds are traditional casino games, such as roulette, dice games or blackjack.

Bets are at fixed or agreed odds according to whether the event on which bets are placed takes
place in Belgium (7°) or abroad (8°) respectively. In the latter case, indeed, the odds are based
on an agreement between Belgium and the country hosting the event.

They are offered to the public by betting agencies. There are fixed betting agencies and
mobile betting agencies. Mobile betting agencies are bookmakers, betting booths installed on
the site of pigeon races and those installed on the site of horse races (to wit, on the
racecourse).

Wins are calculated using a basic stake ratio. An example, the better to illustrate this system:


                             1              X             2
     Meet A           4.90           2.00          1.25

In the above case, a player who bets on meet A and places a stake on a victory for the home
team (1) receives 4.90 x his basic stake. If he bets on a drawn match (X), he can win 2 x his
stake, and, in the case of a victory for the away team (2), 1.25 x his stake.

With regard to media games, these games of chance will in future also be subject to a
licensing system and this for both spoken and written media. Only this kind of control can
guarantee effective player protection.

The media are defined as "any and all radio or television channels approved by the
Communities and any and all daily or periodical of which the registered offices of the



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operators or publishers are established in the European Union" (9°) and the media game as a
"game of chance operated via a media outlet" (10°).

For the definition of the notion of information society services, the proposed Act takes
inspiration from Directive 98/34/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council laying
down a procedure for the provision of information in the field of technical standards and
regulations and of rules on information society services9.

As the terms of the offering of games are subject to extremely quick technological evolution
(or even revolution), it is necessary that the definition allow a wide-ranging interpretation of
services. The proposed definition of the notion of "information society services" should be
capable of meeting this requirement.

It defines this notion as "electronic equipment for the processing (including digital
compression) and storage of data, and entirely transmitted, conveyed and received by wire,
by radio, by optical means or by other electromagnetic means" (11°).


Article 3: Article 3 of the Act

1° The current Article 3.1 of the Act on games of chance provides that "games related to
sports activities, and bets made on the occasion of such games" are not games of chance
within the meaning of such Act.

By means of this proposed Act, betting will henceforth be placed under the surveillance and
control of the Gaming Commission. This will affect betting on both sports and non-sports
events. They will therefore no longer be part of the exemption system in Article 3.

The "practice of sports" must, however, be retained as an exception: it goes without saying
that sport cannot be considered a game of chance within the meaning of the 1999 Act, even
though the element of chance is naturally present (as, where applicable, is the condition of
winning, via a victory premium). The survival of the policy of promoting sports activities
depends on it.

Sport is seen as physical activity practised by way of amusement or as a profession and which
has a ludic or competitive aspect, which requires or stimulates physical condition and skill
and to which certain rules apply.

The Gaming Commission itself must be able to assess when an activity may be considered a
sport, based on objective criteria. To do this, it will base its decision principally on the list of
accredited sports federations, without, however, being bound by it.

2° The current Article 3.3 of the Act is completed by occasional (card or board) games,
organised for entertainment purposes, provided that the latter are organised at the very most
twice a year by a private individual, by a de facto association or a non-profit-making


9
 The original Directive 98/34/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 June 1998 laying down a
procedure for the provision of information in the field of technical standards and regulations has been amended
by Directive 98/48/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 July 1998. It is upon Article 1, 2), a)
of such latter Directive that the proposed definition is based.


                                                                                                              12
                                                                                              13


association for the benefit of a charitable work. The reasons for this addition have already
been explained above.

Conversely, we have opted at this stage not to modify the way the game of poker is
supervised. At the present time, it is the College of General Crown Prosecutors that regularly
issues interpretative circulars regarding the meaning of the terms "a very limited stake" and "a
material advantage of low value" as laid down in Article 3.3. This is the most flexible way of
responding to the current craze for poker and therefore the growing demand for the
organisation of poker tournaments. The authors of this proposal are nonetheless convinced of
the importance of debate on the subject.

3° Finally, the current Article 3.4 is logically deleted, given that the games referred to in the
Royal Decree of 10 October 2006 laying down the terms to be met by games proposed in the
context of television programmes involving the use of series of Belgian telephone numbers for
which it is permitted also to invoice the caller for the price of the content in addition to the
cost of the communication, on the understanding that such price is limited to the series for
which the tariff to the end user is not dependent on the duration of the call, and which form a
complete game programme, to wit media games, will henceforth be subject to a licensing
system, under the conditions defined below.

4° A new paragraph 2 provides for allowing the King to establish more precise rules
regarding subparagraph 1, point 3.


Article 4: Article 3bis of the Act

Given that betting will now fall wholly within the jurisdiction of the Gaming Commission, it
will, of course, disappear from the jurisdiction of the National Lottery.

In consequence, the word "betting" is deleted from Article 3bis, subparagraph 1 of the Act on
games of chance.

Subparagraph 2 of Article 3bis is formally repealed, subsequent to its cancellation by the
Constitutional Court (judgement No 33/2004 of 10 March 2004).


Article 5: Article 4 of the Act

Paragraph 1 relates to the operation proper of games of chance and gaming establishments.

The principle enshrined in the 1999 Act is maintained as far as games of chance themselves
are concerned: such games may only be operated insofar as they have been formally
authorised by the King.

Likewise regarding gaming establishments: their operation is only permitted insofar as they
have already obtained a licence from the Gaming Commission.

We believe it useful expressly to mention in the Act that "except for the exceptions provided
for by the Act, no games of chance may be operated elsewhere than in a gaming establishment
which has obtained a licence pursuant to the Act". The exceptions referred to here concern


                                                                                              13
                                                                                                          14


games of chance operated via information society services and via the media, which, by
supposition, are not operated within a precise establishment.

Furthermore, the prohibition must not only include the operator of a game of chance or of an
illegal gaming establishment, but also the following persons referred to in paragraph 2, where
the game or the establishment does not comply with what is prescribed by the Act:

- The person participating in an illegal game of chance;
- The person who facilitates the operation of an illegal game of chance or of an illegal gaming
establishment;
- The person who publicises or canvases players for an illegal game of chance or for an illegal
gaming establishment.

Participation – Without the presence of player, it would be effectively impossible to operate
an illegal game of chance. Such incrimination introduces a non-negligible means of
dissuasion against participation in games of chance operated via illegal sites or in clandestine
gambling clubs. A good example of this is that of illegal cock fights where, for the time being,
the operator alone may be subject to criminal prosecution, whereas the players themselves
escape all criminal liability.

Facilitation of the operation – We refer here to all persons who, in any way whatsoever,
facilitate the operation of an illegal game of chance, such as a café operator, for example, who
puts his establishment at the disposal of organisers of a poker tournament which does not
meet the terms of the Act.

Advertising and canvassing – Under the current Act, the person who publicises a prohibited
gaming establishment or who handles the canvassing of players for such an establishment is
already punishable by criminal sanctions (Article 64). In light of this amendment of the Act
authorising games of chance by means of information society services, this offence is closely
linked to the very operation of such sites. Whence the presence of provisions on advertising
and canvassing in the principles transcribed in Article 4.

We find on the Internet, for example, numerous advertising banners for on-line casinos, and
the people who place them on their website may receive in exchange 10% of the total stakes
of the players who go to the casino site by means of their site. Information society services
(ISS) are currently excluded from European regulations on the responsibility of service
providers "on the grounds that the freedom to provide services in these fields cannot, at this
stage, be guaranteed under the Treaty or existing secondary legislation"10. The important role
played by these service providers in terms of offering games of chance implies that they may
also be incriminated.

Furthermore, paragraph 3 as proposed provides that those who may influence the result of a
game of chance may in future also be subject to prosecution. We refer here, for example, to
the corruption scandals that have occurred in the past. However, in order to prevent a pigeon-
fancier being able to bet on his own homing pigeons, which is specific to this kind of popular
entertainment, there is a need to limit the prohibition to persons who have a "direct" influence.


10
   Directive 2000/31/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2000 on certain legal aspects
of information society services, in particular electronic commerce, in the internal market ("Directive on
electronic commerce" or "e-commerce Directive").


                                                                                                          14
                                                                                               15


A pigeon-fancier, a dog trainer and a racehorse owner usually have no influence on the result
of a contest, unless, for example, they have administered proscribed drugs to their animals. A
jockey, on the other hand, does have a direct influence on the result of the contest as he
handles the horse himself.

This reasoning may also be applied outside sports involving animals. Thus, a football coach
has a direct influence on the result of the match, given that it is up to him to decide which
players to put on the pitch.

It should be pointed out that the proposed new Article 4 lays down an objective liability. It is
therefore sufficient to prove that there was no legal licence. The presence of a wrongful act is
then not required. The fact that a café operator is unaware that he has made his back room
available for an illegal poker tournament, whilst he himself provides the participants with
refreshments, will not therefore be retained as grounds to dispense with the offence.


Article 6: Article 5 of the Act

Article 1965 of the Civil Code provides that "the law shall not grant action regarding a
gambling debt or regarding the payment of a bet". A usual interpretation of this "gaming
exception" by the case law has given this rule much more than the scope of an exception:
gambling debts have an illicit cause, the gaming contracts themselves are therefore null and
void. The principle has thus become the absolute voidance of gaming contracts, as they are
contrary to public order and good morals. Such voidance affects all contracts concluded with
a view to promoting the game and the organisation or operation of the game; it is extended to
contracts accessory to the gaming contracts.

Therefore, the rule which prevailed prior to the entry in force of the Act on games of chance
was the following: games of chance are prohibited, any and all (principal or accessory)
contract related to such a game is null and void and may never therefore be subject to regular
legal action.

With the Act on games of chance, the prohibition on the operation of games of chance
continued to be the rule, but a possibility was instituted whereby Government authorisation to
operate such a game could be obtained.

The coexistence of this system and Article 1965 of the Civil Code has led to situations which
are difficult to accept, such as the impossibility for a casino or gaming hall employee, for
example, to take legal action regarding compliance with his contract of employment, or for
any co-contractor of such an establishment to sue for compliance with a contract of delivery,
repair, rental, etc., and this despite the existence of an operating licence legally issued to the
establishment in question.

Suppliers of goods or services to gaming establishments therefore had to deal with permanent
legal insecurity, to which an attempted remedy was sought with the introduction of Article 5
to the Act on games of chance.

This Article offers a solution for contracts concluded with a view to operating authorised
games of chance, which are not founded on illicit motives, like, for example, the company
contract regarding painting work in a casino or the contract of employment between a casino


                                                                                               15
                                                                                                          16


and a chartered accountant. These are therefore accessory contracts. These contracts may now
be subject to legal action dating from the coming into effect of the Act on games of chance.

However, current case law shows that this Article does not meet the actual wish of the
legislator.

Although the original intention of the legislator was to make such accessory contracts legal
contracts in civil terms, this provision failed in its aim insofar as the Act on games of chance,
being a criminal law, did not include any references to the gambling exception per se.

In its judgement of 30 January 2006, the Cour de Cassation interpreted Article 5 of the Act on
games of chance as follows: "the contrariety of the game to public order and good morals
enshrined in Article 1965 of the Civil Code is, in effect, independent of the point of knowing
whether or not the game is punishable under criminal law"11. As long as the Act on games of
chance does not exclude the gambling exception, civil law and criminal law will therefore
continue to be two distinct laws12.

Furthermore, until now, Article 5 has offered only one solution to the discussion on the legal
nature of accessory contracts. Proceedings regarding gaming contracts themselves, and
therefore gambling debts, continue to be inadmissible. On 20 June 2007, the Ghent Appeal
Court expressed itself as follows: "In consequence, the provisions of the Act of 7 May 1999 on
the obligation upon which the plaintiff's case is based, does not allow derogation from the
general principle of Article 1965 of the Civil Code, which allows no action for the payment of
a gambling debt" 13.

An exclusion of the gambling exception would therefore have its reason for existing: the
operator can thus always be forced to pay the winnings. A guaranteed payment joins the idea
underlying the Act on games of chance, to wit to create a responsible offer in order to meet an
inevitable demand. The suppression of the gambling exception for National Lottery products
is already an example of this. The current concept of gaming requires a re-examination of the
gambling exception and, in particular, its severe interpretation. However, as long as Article
1965 of the Civil Code is not suppressed or, at the very least, is not subject to an exception
under the Act on games of chance, gambling debts resulting from legal games of chance will
continue to be non-binding14.

The gambling exception enshrined in Article 1965 of the Civil Code would not, for all that, be
drained of its substance. It would maintain its utility, particularly in the case of illegal gaming
contracts.

The new Article 5 therefore provides that: "The principle of the gambling exception pursuant
to Article 1965 of the Civil Code shall not apply to contracts concluded under this Act".


Article 7: Article 6 of the Act


11
   Cass. (3ech.) AR C.04.0212.F, 30 January 2006 (All Business Services / Unibox Games), http://www.cass.be
(21 February 2006), Pas. 2006, fas. 2, 239.
12
   N. HOEKX, note under Ghent 20 June 2007, DAOR 2008.
13
   Ghent 20 June 2007, DAOR 2008
14
   Ibid. 6.


                                                                                                          16
                                                                                               17


1° At the present time, Article 6 of the Act on games of chance breaks down the
establishments concerned into three classes: class I or casinos, class II or automatic gaming
halls and class III or licensed premises.

In the opinion of the authors of this proposal, betting agencies constitute a fourth class of
gaming establishment, which must be included in the law. Betting agencies are actually
locations where players can place their bets and which may be fixed or mobile (bookmakers).
They will henceforth form class IV.

Conversely, it has not seemed useful to also to provide for a special class for Internet sites and
other games of chance operated by information society services, where the latter do not
constitute special gaming establishments. They only form a means whereby games of chance
and betting can be offered. Offering a game by means of information society services is a
"service identical" to that of offering a game in the real world. This has been confirmed by the
World Trade Organisation in the context of a dispute between Antigua and Barbuda and the
United States regarding casinos on the Internet 15.

2° A second amendment to this Article deals with the problem of the numerus clausus on the
number of class I, II and IV establishments. The Act provides that the number of class I and II
establishments be limited. The idea is also to limit the number of class IV establishments.

Indeed, the Act authorises only 9 class I establishments (Art. 29) and 180 class II
establishments (Art. 34) on the territory of Belgium. If this proposal becomes law, it would
authorise only a further 1,000 fixed class IV establishments and 60 mobile class IV
establishments (Art. 43ter, §3, proposed). Such a limitation is justified by the preservation of
the general interest, in this instance the protection of players, essentially compulsive players
and young players. This measure will be described in detail in the commentary on Article
43ter, §3.

This proposal gives the King the option to develop a regulation on the processing of an
excessive number of licence applications. This regulation is a good management measure,
which must offer the necessary guarantees on the objective and transparent processing of
applications.


Article 8: Article 8 of the Act

1° As is already the case for class I and II establishments, it is necessary to set the maximum
sum of the stake, the loss and the winnings per gambling option in the case of players, for
games of chance offered in class IV establishments, games of chance operated by means of
information society services and media games, and this in the general interest.

Indeed, these provisions constitute the basis of the policy on player protection in Belgium. In
this way, and by applying control mechanisms, both before the fact, by the approval of the
model by one of the bodies mentioned in Article 52, and after the fact, by initial verification,


15
  DS285 United States – Measures affecting the cross-border supply of gambling and betting
services, http://www.wto.org/french/tratop_f/dispu_f/cases_f/ds285_f.htm



                                                                                               17
                                                                                               18


periodic verification and inspections in the field, it is possible to guarantee that a player does
not suffer excessive losses in practice.

Betting constitutes the sole exception to the above provision.

If, however, class IV establishments are covered in the new Article 8, it is because, pursuant
to Article 43ter, §2, subparagraph 4, proposed, the operation of two games of chance
maximum (excluding betting), whether automatic or not, is authorised in class IV fixed
gaming establishments (betting agencies) under certain conditions to be determined by the
King. Therefore, as far as class IV fixed establishments are concerned, Article 8 proposed
simply affects the gaming machines and not the bets themselves.

The regulations on stakes for betting in class IV establishments are taken up in Chapter IV –
Section IIIbis (cfr infra).

2° Furthermore, in subparagraphs 2 and 3 of Article 8, the words "or the better" are deleted in
each case, as the organisation of betting is prohibited in both class II (subparagraph 2) and
class III gaming establishments (subparagraph 3) and is reserved exclusively for class IV
establishments.

3° Finally, Article 8 is completed by a subparagraph 6, which allows the King to index the
sums he has laid down under the first paragraph. For obvious reasons to do with the necessary
player protection, it is up to the Gaming Commission to give its opinion on the opportunity to
index these sums.


Article 9: Article 9 of the Act


International jurisdictions consider that the gaming regulator must be independent in respect
of citizens and existing institutions. Where a monopoly exists, the regulator must be separate
from the gaming operator who holds this monopoly16.

The authors of the proposal feel that the best guarantee of autonomy is that offered by
Parliament and that it would therefore be appropriate that the Gaming Commission be
henceforth instituted with the Senate, and no longer fall under the SPF Justice, as is currently
the case.

More fundamentally, it is important that, when it comes to selecting the company, the
broadest range of opinions possible be given the right to express itself. This may only be the
case insofar as the debate is brought before Parliament, where all political complexions are
represented, as opposed to the Executive, which flies only the colours of the majority. The
debate can only be truly exhaustive if all opinions are expressed.

Moreover, as the subject of gaming is profoundly ethical, particularly in terms of the
protection of society, an ongoing public debate is necessary on the development of the gaming
market. Each day, new games come into being, which are the stuff of dreams as far as their


16
     Court AELE, 14 March 2007, E-1/06


                                                                                               18
                                                                                                   19


creators and players are concerned. The Senate is the Parliamentary body before which such
ethical debates are brought.

The functioning and composition of the Commission could be similar to those of Committees
R (permanent Committee for the inspection of the intelligence and security services) and P
(permanent Committee for the inspection of the police services) or the Commission for the
protection of private life. The Senate could also exercise better control over the use of the
budget allowances allocated exclusively to the functioning of the Commission. This
adjustment would not engender additional costs for the Senate given that the Gaming
Commission is a financially autonomous body. It would simply be a question of moving the
budget allowance from an executive body to a legislative body.

The Commission is further granted the status of jurisdiction, in accordance with the wish of
the case law which concerns it17. The Commission combines the material, organic and formal
elements of a jurisdiction.

Indeed, from the viewpoint of the nature of its acts, the Commission performs jurisdictional
acts, which imply the prior existence of a particular action or an abstention from action.
Unlike normative acts, jurisdictional acts are particular acts.

The Commission is also an independent and impartial body as to the content of the decisions
it takes. Indeed, it is not required to report on its decisions to the hierarchical authorities nor to
the regulatory authorities.

However, entitlement to legal representation continues to be guaranteed. Indeed, the decision-
making procedure provides for an open debate, decisions are reasoned, present the formal
characteristics of jurisdictional acts, are covered by the authority of the matter judged and
may be challenged by ordinary and extraordinary means of recourse.

It is important once again to stipulate that, where the law defines the Gaming Commission as
"a body which forms opinions, takes decisions and performs inspections regarding games of
chance", it affects all games of chance referred to by the Act, which includes betting.



Article 10: Article 10 of the Act

In view of the aforementioned changes, it would seem appropriate also to adapt Article 10,
which details the composition of the Commission, taking inspiration, in particular, from the
structure of the Commission for the protection of private life.

The Commission passes from thirteen to twelve members. The number of ordinary members
of the Commission is reduced from twelve to ten. These ordinary members no longer
represent a particular minister.

Following the example of the adaptation made within the Commission for the protection of
private life, the new provisions also provide for a second full-time mandate, that of the Vice-
President.

17
     Brussels, 26 January 2006 (RG 2004/11253/A)


                                                                                                   19
                                                                                               20




Replacement of the President and the Vice-President is done by the "most longstanding
member". If several members have the same length of service, the eldest member has priority.

It is also suggested that the duration of the mandate of the members of the Commission be
extended, in this instance from three to six years, in order that they be given the opportunity to
actually put their experience to advantage. Indeed, the extension of the prerogatives of the
Gaming Commission and the complexity of the subject of games of chance require that its
members, responsible for assessing dossiers and taking any decisions on sanctions, have a
comprehensive knowledge of the subject.

Conversely, to prevent too close a proximity between the members of the Commission and the
world of games of chance, no conditions regarding experience or knowledge of gaming are
posited, except for the President and the Vice-President.


Article 11: Article 11 of the Act

The conditions that must be fulfilled to be appointed to and continue to be a member of the
Commission are somewhat adapted: the condition on the minimum age is lowered, the
condition on the absence of personal interest is detailed.


Article 12: Article 12 of the Act

It is henceforth provided that "The functions of President and Vice-President shall be
declared vacant when the incumbent is absent for more than six months or when their
mandate has ended prematurely".

An absence of six months may be the result of illness or accident; the premature end of the
mandate may be the result of dismissal, resignation or decease. These examples are not
exhaustive.


Article 13: Article 14 of the Act

Article 14 covers the framework of the Commission. In the current Act, the secretariat is
composed of functionaries from the Ministry of Justice. Given that the Commission would no
longer be constituted with the SPF, but with the Senate, it is necessary to adapt this Article
accordingly.

In addition, with a view to improved player protection, it is provided that the secretariat
include in particular a "psycho-medical" assessment cell, comprising a psychologist, a
medical doctor, a social assistant and a jurist, which would have the essential duties of
"assessing" players facing a request for prohibition or lifting of prohibition and guiding them
towards suitable recognised cares centres.


Article 14: Article 15 of the Act



                                                                                               20
                                                                                              21


To appropriately fulfil the tasks attributed to them, the members of the Gaming Commission
(including, henceforth, the Vice-President) and its secretariat, who have the status of judiciary
police officers, must have their jurisdiction extended. They must, in addition to the place
where games of chance are operated, also have access to the places where the computer
system is located if the games of chance are operated by information society services.

Plans are also afoot to improve the flow of information between the Commission and the
judiciary.


Article 15: new Article 15bis in the Act

And vice versa too… At the present time, certain inspections are made of games of chance
and gaming establishments by officers reporting an offence without their having to inform the
Gaming Commission. Owing to the lack of fluidity in the flow of information, certain
decisions are taken without knowing the antecedents of a licence holder. In order to prevent
an increase in such situations, the mandatory transmission of information is provided for in
the Act.

Moreover, and this is a significant amendment regarding the functioning of the Commission, a
system of fines is provided for, to allow the Commission itself to impose fines if the public
Crown prosecutor fails to send any communication within six months of receipt of the police
report, and this without calling the offence into question. However, where the Crown
prosecutor informs the Commission within the time allowed (either of the bringing of
proceedings or the closure of the case without further action), the Gaming Commission
forfeits the option of imposing a fine. We have opted for a relatively short period of six
months to be able to guarantee rapid action.

This is a new departure in two respects. On the one hand, the Commission is granted the
jurisdiction to impose fines, in addition to the other sanction options which it has had up till
now. On the other hand, it may henceforth take action against a person who does not hold a
licence, since fines, like warnings, in fact, can be imposed upon anyone who contravenes
legislation on games of chance, contrary to the sanction options provided for until now, which
were only envisaged against licence holders. Persons acting illegally will therefore no longer
be at an advantage!


Article 16: new Article 15ter in the Act

The Commission's current sanction options, of course, will continue to exist in addition to the
proposed introduction of the system of fines. The Commission therefore retains the
competence to send warnings to any and all licence holders (it may also henceforth send them
to person who do not hold a licence), to suspend their licence for a given period, to purely and
simply revoke it or introduce the provisional or definitive operation of one or more games of
chance.

In the interests of clarity, the content of the current Article 21.2 is transferred into this new
Article 15ter.




                                                                                              21
                                                                                              22


Article 17: new Article 15quater in the Act

Article 15quater contains the system of fines proper, which has been described above.


Article 18: new Article 15quinquies in the Act

In 2007, the Gaming Commission initiated approximately 164 sanction cases. It is highly
probable that this number will markedly increase with the amendments proposed.

Indeed, on the one hand, the Commission is given the option to order sanctions against
persons who do not hold a licence, who commit an offence against the Act on games of
chance or its implementing orders (cfr supra), and, on the other hand, the number of licences
granted will inevitably increase given the new licences created (cfr infra).

In addition, in its Order No 153.124 of 22 December 2005, the Council of State decided that,
where the Commission wishes to avail itself of its competence on matters of licence
withdrawal, it must first hear the interested party. It has also ruled that the 1999 Act on games
of chance does not offer the option to leave this "hearing" to a few of its members, who then
report back to the Commission on the hearing.

Therefore, it is necessary, given the workload imposed upon it and its specificity, that the
Gaming Commission be authorised to set up chambers to handle the hearings.

A reform of the hearing procedure, which was provided for in the 1999 Act in Articles 21,
subparagraph 3, 30, 35, 40 and 49, is therefore indicated, with a series of new Articles which
govern the hearing procedure as a whole.

In response to the grievances expressed by the Council of State in its aforementioned
judgement, the new Article 15quinquies proposed imposes the holding of a hearing prior to
any decision based on Articles 15ter or 15quater, offers the interested party the option of
being represented by counsel and provides for the constitution of separate chambers within
the Commission with a view to this hearing.


Article 19: new Article 15sexies in the Act

The procedure prior to the hearing is also detailed in legal terms. Convocation to the hearing
is done by registered letter, which expressly mentions the option of being represented by
counsel and consulting the dossier.

Given that the Gaming Commission has been regularly confronted with continual applications
for postponement, with no aim other than time-wasting, it is now expressly provided that a
single postponement will be authorised and a further adjournment impossible.


Article 20: new Article 15septies in the Act

Article 15septies refers to the procedure to be followed subsequent to the hearing. The
members of the hearing chamber start by drafting a detailed report on such hearing.


                                                                                              22
                                                                                              23




When drafting the detailed report, the members of the chamber may seek the assistance of the
members of the secretariat.

With a view to protecting the entitlement to defence of the interested party, it is provided that
the latter has a period of 15 days as of receipt of the copy of the report to forward his
observations to the Commission.

The Commission then has a period of two months to reach its decision. In order to obviate the
problems raised by the judgement of the Council of State, it is now provided that the members
of the hearing chamber may take part in the deliberation and have deliberative voting rights.


Article 21: new Article 15octies in the Act

Still with a view to respecting the entitlement to defence, it is, of course, possible for the
interested party to challenge the decision of the Commission.

Given that administrative jurisdictions are not competent to rule on subjective rights, the
interested party will have to bring his case before the ordinary courts, more precisely the
Court of First Instance, which will sit in last resort. This decision may only be overturned if
the case is brought before the Appeal Court.

The appeal must be lodged within one month of notification of the decision of the
Commission and is not suspensive.


Article 22: new Article 15nonies in the Act

Finally, a new Article 15nonies is incorporated in the Act, which authorises the King to lay
down the terms of levying and collecting the fine and provides that the fines collected will be
paid into the Fund for the Treatment of Chronic Debt (Fonds de Traitement du
Surendettement) created by the Act of 5 July 1998.


Article 23: Article 19 of the Act

At the present time, all licence holders must pay an annual contribution used to cover the
Gaming Commission's installation, personnel and operating costs. The sole exception to this
principle concerns class D licence holders or the personnel of class I, II, and IV gaming
establishments.

Though it is logical that this principle remain in this place in the text of the Act, since it
details the way in which the Commission obtains the means to operate, the same is not true of
subparagraphs 2 and 3. These are transposed, with slight adaptations, into Chapter VIII
“Guarantees and costs”, which presently contains only a single provision on the guarantee.

In the current system, class A licence holders are required to pay a fixed annual contribution,
plus a contribution calculated per automatic appliance operated. Class B and C licence
holders, for their part, pay only a fixed annual contribution. As for class E licence holders,


                                                                                              23
                                                                                                        24


this may be a fixed annual contribution or a sum calculated per range of appliances,
depending on the type of activity operated18. This mechanism will be described in the
commentary on the new Article 70bis.

The authors of the proposal note that the principle of annual compensation is difficult to put
into practice with regard to class C licences (class III establishments or licensed premises) for
the reasons developed in the new Article 70bis. It would be more judicious to provide for
another system for class C licence holders. It is recommended that the licence C holder be
required to pay a total sum valid for the entire period covered by the licence at the start of his
licence.

For the class A+ or B+ licence, it would be appropriate to define a fixed sum and not to apply
progressive contributions. Indeed, in practice, it is almost impossible to calculate the number
of games of chance on-line. This number may also be changed by the licence holder on a
daily basis.

Holders of class F1, F1+, F2, G1 and G2 licences should also pay an annual contribution to
cover the Gaming Commission's operating and personnel costs. Owing to the quantity of bets
and the daily change in the number of bets, it is also necessary to set a fixed sum.

In budget terms, the Gaming Commission is therefore independent of the Federal Public
Services and must organise its operation using the contributions paid by licence holders.

A new system for setting the budget is put in place.


Article 24: Article 20 of the Act

The principle set out in Article 20, subparagraph 3: “The Commission shall grant class A, B,
C, D and E licences” must be deleted.

On the one hand, this provision causes a certain amount of confusion insofar as one may
assume that the Commission is obliged to grant a licence. Such an interpretation must be
rejected; it is, of course, up to the Commission to judge whether or not it grants a licence.

On the other hand, it seems superfluous to set out the aforementioned principle in Article 20,
subparagraph 3, when it is already mentioned in Article 21.


Article 25: Article 21 of the Act

The system of sanctions, taken up in Articles 15 et seq. of the Act proposed, is henceforth
clearly separate from the system of licences.

Whereas the current Article 21 contains all of the possible decisions that the Gaming
Commission can take, the planned amendment now provides only for the provisions on


18
   Cfr, for the year 2008, Royal Decree of 20 December 2007 on the contribution to the cost of operation,
personnel and installation of the Gaming Commission owed by the holders of class A, B, C and E licences for
the calendar year 2008 (M.B. 07/01/2008)


                                                                                                        24
                                                                                                    25


decisions regarding licences, decisions that may concern granting, as well as refusing,
licences.

A hearing procedure is, of course, also provided for in the licence granting phase.


Article 26: Article 22 of the Act

Given the changes to the structure of the Gaming Commission and, more specifically, creation
of the function of Vice-President (new Art. 9), Article 22 must be adapted accordingly: in
subparagraph 2, the words “of his deputy” are replaced by the words “of the Vice-President”.


Article 27: Article 25 of the Act

Article 25 is subject to one of the most significant amendments. The competencies of the
Gaming Commission are markedly extended and the European demand that a coherent policy
on the channelling of gambling be conducted is met19. Indeed, there can only be question of a
coherent and systematic policy on games of chance if jurisdiction on the matter is exercised
by a single body, in this instance the Gaming Commission.

The proposed amendment envisages the creation of four new classes of licence and of three
additional licences.

On the one hand, the F1, F2, G1 and G2 licences are the four new licences; on the other, an
additional licence may further be granted to holders of A, B and F1 licences for the operation
of games of chance via information society services (the additional licences – A+, B+ and
F1+ – will be dealt with in Article 27bis proposed).


1) The new class F1, F2, G1 and G2 licences

The class F1 licence permits the operation of a class IV fixed gaming establishment or betting
agency. This licence is granted for a period of nine years renewable. The setting of this
duration has a double justification. First, holders of the new class F1 licence will probably
have to make a non-negligible investment, which one can only hope will be redeemed before
the expiry of a relatively long period, such as nine years, for example. Second, the duration of
nine years is also the period laid down for class II licences, to wit automatic gaming halls.

The class F2 licence permits the operation of a class IV mobile gaming establishment or
bookmaker. For this licence too and for the same reasons as for the class F1 licence, a period
of nine years renewable is envisaged.

Given that the members of the personnel of class IV gaming establishments will be in direct
contact with the clientele each day, they, just like the personnel of class I and II
establishments, will have to have a class D licence. This licence must therefore be extended
accordingly.


19
  CJEC, 6 November 2003, C-243/01 (Italy / Piergiorgio Gambelli); CJEC, 6 March 2007, C-338/04 (Italy /
Placanica); http://eur-lex.europa.eu


                                                                                                    25
                                                                                              26


The Royal Decree of 20 June 2002 on the conditions of introduction, on the form of the class
D licence and on the aptitudes and certificates required to exercise a professional activity in a
class I or II gaming establishment provides, in its Article 8, for a compulsory training course
for the holders of a class D licence. During such training, organised by the Gaming
Commission, a session is explicitly scheduled on the way in which members of the personnel
can recognise compulsive players and encourage them to seek professional help. It is
therefore indicated that the personnel of betting agencies also be made to follow this training
and, consequently, the class D licence imposed upon them.

No contribution is planned for this licence and the administrative costs incurred are borne by
the budgetary fund provided for in Article 19, §2.

The class G1 licence permits the operation of games of chance in television programmes by
means of series of Belgian telephone numbers. These are “telephone games” currently
regulated by the Royal Decree of 10 October 2006. For these games of chance, a shorter
period of five years is provided for, given the rapid development in this game of chance
market.

The class G2 licence permits the operation of games of chance via media other than those
presented in television programmes by means of series of Belgian telephone numbers. In very
concrete terms, this concerns games of chance organised by radio stations, newspapers,
magazines, etc. These operators will also need a licence in the future if they wish to operate a
game of chance. In this case, the validity of the licence is for one year, given the short
duration of the “competitions”.


2) The additional A+, B+ and F1+ licences

What characterises these additional licences is that they are accessory to the “principal” A, B
and F1 licences, which allows them, in particular, to be each of equal duration to their
respective “principal” licence. Likewise, if the “principal” licence is withdrawn, regardless of
the reason, the additional licence will suffer the same fate. The reverse is not true, however:
the withdrawal of an additional licence does not automatically bring about the loss of the
“principal” licence.

Conversely, the suspension of the “principal” licence does not bring about the suspension of
the additional licence. Indeed, if a decision is taken to suspend a licence, only the application
of the licence is suspended and not its possession. For this same reason, a licence is not
further extended when it has been suspended.


Article 28: Article 26 of the Act

To obviate confusion and maintain a clear structure in the prohibitive provisions in the Act,
Article 26 is replaced by the following provision: “No one shall be authorised to transfer a
granted licence”.


Article 29: Article 27 of the Act



                                                                                              26
                                                                                              27


The prohibition on concurrence stipulated in the first subparagraph was established to prevent
any and all collusion between the actual operators of games of chance and the members of the
personnel, on the one hand, and the manufacturers/suppliers of such games of chance, on the
other hand. From this point of view, the same principle must be applied for the four new
classes of licence and the three additional licences.

It is currently stipulated in the second subparagraph that the holders of a class A, B and C
licence do not have the right to transfer their games of chance, either free of charge or subject
to payment, without the permission of the Gaming Commission. This provision must also be
laid down for the holders of a class F1 licence.

For the additional licences, on the other hand, there is no need to lay down such a rule.
Indeed, the games of chance referred to in this Article must be of a material nature, whereas
the games operated by a holder of an additional A+, B+ and F1+ licence are of a virtual
nature.


Article 30: new Article 27bis in the Act

One of the essential amendments envisaged in this proposed Act lies in the introduction of a
system of licences for games of chance operated by information society services.

This provision does not fall under the chapter on gaming establishments (Chapter IV) because
the use of information society services is not considered as a separate gaming establishment
but as a medium for operating (virtual) games of chance authorised in gaming establishments
I, II or IV. Conversely, it can usefully be incorporated in this chapter on licences (Chapter
III).

It has already been stipulated, in the commentary on Article 25 of the Act, that the possession
of an A, B or F1 licence was an essential condition to obtaining an additional licence. Holders
of an additional licence must therefore satisfy all of the conditions imposed upon them for the
A, B or F1 licences at all times. Furthermore, they must at all times satisfy the conditions laid
down to obtain and keep an additional licence.

Moreover, the authors of this proposal wish to subject the obtaining of an additional licence to
the payment of operating duties. These duties would correspond to a sum to be set by the
King for each additional licence concerned.

The payment of operating duties is to be made to the Gaming Commission fund, discussed in
Article 19, §2. The revenues from operating duties will be used to fund public campaigns
aimed at player protection or the promotion of access to sports for young people.


Article 31: Article 30 of the Act

Given that the general procedure for the granting of licences is already laid down in Article 21
of the Act, Article 30 becomes superfluous and must therefore be repealed.


Article 32: Article 31 of the Act


                                                                                              27
                                                                                             28




The conditions on obtaining a class A licence by class I establishments are reinforced by the
addition of a supplementary condition, to wit the presentation of an attestation issued by the
Federal Public Service Finances establishing that the establishment satisfies all of its fiscal
obligations.


Article 33: Article 32 of the Act

This proposal is intended first and foremost to block a loophole in the 1999 Act, which
nowhere provides that the holder of a licence must continue to satisfy the conditions under
which the licence was granted during the term of validity of his licence.

It then aims to complete Article 32 of the Act with a Point 5, which requires the “actual”
operation of the gaming establishment concerned by the class A licence or the games of
chance operated therein, as an additional condition to keeping such licence. This condition
provides a solution to the problem of “dormant” companies.

Pursuant to Article 29 of the Act, the number of authorised gaming establishments in class I is
limited to 9 and, pursuant to Article 34, the number of authorised gaming establishments in
class II is limited to 180. However, for class II establishments, this regulation simultaneously
presents a negative effect. For some time, all the places have been taken and no new gaming
establishments can be authorised.

The problem is that, when the holder of a licence closes his business, he generally prefers to
continue to pay his contributions and, in this way, keep his licence rather than relinquish the
licence and thus run the risk of finding himself on a waiting list of new licence applications.
Indeed, the current Act allows that a gaming establishment be kept as is without actual and
effective operation being demanded. Although this problem manifests itself especially in class
II gaming establishments, it is opportune to introduce this additional condition for all gaming
establishments for which a quota has been set. This condition will guarantee the pursuit of a
coherent policy.

The proposed addition will imply the obligation of actual operation of the gaming
establishment or of the games operated therein, which will require dormant establishments to
make room for new licence holders who, at that moment, find themselves on a waiting list.

To prevent the Act being bypassed, for example, through the operation of a single appliance,
the Gaming Commission will be given discretionary powers to rule upon the reality of
“actual” operation. To this end, economic forecasts may form an objective criterion. During
the performance of conversion or refurbishment works, a reasonable period will also be taken
into account.


Article 34: Article 35 of the Act

Article 35, which concerns class II establishments, is repealed for the same reason as that
invoked in Article 30 of the Act regarding class I establishments.




                                                                                             28
                                                                                             29


Article 35: Article 36 of the Act

Following the example of what is laid down in Article 31 of the Act for class I establishments,
Article 36 of the Act on class II establishments is completed by a Point 7, worded as follows:
“produce an attestation issued by the Federal Public Service Finances establishing that all
fiscal obligations have been satisfied”.


Article 36: Article 37 of the Act

What is said with regard to Article 32 of the Act for holders of licences for class I gaming
establishments also holds for those in class II.

On the one hand, this proposal is intended first and foremost to block a loophole in the 1999
Act, which nowhere provides that the holder of a licence must continue to satisfy the
conditions under which the licence was granted during the term of validity of his licence.

On the other hand, pursuant to Article 34 of the Act, the number of authorised class II gaming
establishments is limited to 180. However, to take into account, on the one hand, the
phenomenon of “dormant” companies, which is very prevalent in the world of automatic
gaming halls and, on the other hand, the number of applicants awaiting a licence that they
cannot currently obtain owing to saturation of the authorised number of establishments,
imposition of the condition of “actual” operation upon class II establishments is proposed.


Article 37: Article 40 of the Act

Article 40, which concerns class III establishments, is repealed for the same reason as that
invoked in Article 30 of the Act regarding class I establishments and in Article 35, regarding
class II establishments.


Article 38: Article 42 of the Act

Following the example of what is laid down in Article 31 of the Act for class I establishments,
and in Article 36 of the Act for class II establishments, Article 42 is completed as follows:
“and produce an attestation issued by the Federal Public Service Finances establishing that
all fiscal obligations have been satisfied”.


Article 39: new Section IIIbis in the Act

With regard to one of the preoccupations of this proposed Act, which is to understand the
issue of betting within the framework of legislation on games of chance, it is imperative that a
new section be introduced into the 1999 Act, which deals specifically with betting and betting
establishments.


1) Betting



                                                                                             29
                                                                                              30


Betting was formerly divided into four major categories: betting on the results of sporting
events, betting on horse races, betting on events and illegal betting.

It goes without saying that there is no question of henceforth authorising all of these forms of
betting. At the present time, only mutual betting and fixed or agreed odds betting are present
in the Belgian market (with the exception of horse racing). In view of bringing Belgian
regulations into line with the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Communities,
which promotes a policy of channelling the sector, it would be recommended that only these
forms of betting be permitted and the other forms of betting prohibited.


2) Class IV gaming establishments or betting agencies and licences

Class IV gaming establishments or (fixed or mobile) betting agencies are establishments in
which bets can be placed.

According to specialists, Belgium had more than 1,100 fixed betting agencies in 2007. Only
665 of them received bona fide “recognition” through their membership of the Professional
Association of Betting Agencies (A.P.A.P.)20. Unrecognised agencies do not pay the taxes on
gaming and betting agencies. According to specialists in combating fraud, the loss of tax
revenues in 2007 for the Regions amounted to around 30 million euro. Moreover, for betting
agencies affiliated to the A.P.A.P., this loss naturally signifies unfair competition, insofar as
unrecognised agencies are not subject to the same fiscal, social and economic obligations.

With the adoption of the Act of 7 May 1999, the existing number of casinos, with the
exception of Brussels casino, and the number of automatic gaming halls was frozen (Article
29: 9 casinos and article 34: 180 automatic gaming halls). It would seem opportune to apply
this measure by analogy to class IV gaming establishments and to approximately limit the
total number of authorised betting agencies to the total number of (authorised or rogue)
betting agencies which currently exist. This is the reason why the number of licences is set at
1,000 licences for fixed betting agencies and at 60 licences for mobile betting agencies.

This measure is imposed upon class I, II and IV gaming establishments in order to limit the
economic availability of gaming, in the interests of player protection and with a view to
optimising control over establishments.

The principle governing the subject of betting is the following. The operation of a fixed class
IV gaming establishment requires a class F1 licence and the operation of a mobile class IV
gaming establishment requires a class F2 licence. Bets may only be taken inside a licensed
fixed or mobile establishment.

There are, however, three exceptions to this rule. With regard to their specific nature, certain
bets can be organised outside a class IV establishment. The organisers must nonetheless
possess a class F2 licence. This includes:

a) Bets which are related exclusively to the final result of a homing pigeon race organised by
a pigeon fanciers society affiliated to the National Pigeon Fanciers' Federation. By exception,
this society may have the form of an ASBL.

20
     Press release of 13 March 2007 by the Professional Union of Betting Agencies.


                                                                                              30
                                                                                               31




b) Bets proposed by booksellers, natural persons or legal entities, registered with the Banque-
Carrefour des Entreprises as commercial companies, with the exception of places in which
alcoholic beverages are sold to be consumed on the premises, and with the exception of night
shops as referred to in Article 4bis of the Act of 24 July 1973 establishing mandatory evening
closure in trade, the craft industry and services.

c) Mutual bets on horse races which take place in Belgium and which are organised by a
racing association affiliated to the Belgian Horse Racing Federation. Such betting can only be
organised by the racing association which organises the race concerned. Here too,
exceptionally, the organising society may have the form of an ASBL.

Following the example of what is laid down for the other types of licence, the applicant for a
class F1 or F2 licence must satisfy comparable conditions to obtain and keep his licence. At
the present time, the Federal Public Service Finances has the option to refuse authorisations to
offer betting facilities if the fiscal obligations are not respected. The intention of the authors
of this proposal is to maintain this constraint by requiring the applicant requesting a licence
from the Gaming Commission to prove that his fiscal obligations are in order by producing an
attestation from the tax authorities to this end.

The betting agency, of course, has the right to take bets. It is, however, also permitted to sell
specialist magazines, sports magazines, gadgets and non-alcoholic beverages in fixed gaming
establishments. These products are, indeed, related to the economic activity exercised by the
betting agency. A fixed betting agency is also authorised to operate a maximum of two games
of chance, whether automatic or otherwise.

Finally, it is up to the King to determine beforehand the necessary rules on betting, class F1
and F2 licences and class IV gaming establishments.


3) Betting on horse races

The objective of the authors of the proposal is to ensure greater professionalism in the horse
racing sector, which is currently a relatively closed and opaque sector. In their opinion,
integrating betting on horses in the general licensing system would be a good solution to
professionalise this activity and ensure better provision of information to the player and
greater transparency as to the bets proposed.

The credibility and, therefore, the success of the horse racing branch depend on it.

It must be pointed out that booksellers are forbidden from accepting fixed or agreed odds nets
on horse races which take place abroad.

The option is also left to the King to authorise and regulate mutual betting on horse races for
races which take place abroad. We thus refer to being able to take pure mutual bets, for
example, on French races pooled with the French PMU from recognised racing associations.

Indeed, numerous Belgian horses run in France, given the shortage of racecourses in Belgium
and the poverty of the Belgian sector. The interest of those involved in the horse racing sector
in French races is therefore considerable.


                                                                                               31
                                                                                               32




Not only does this openness make it possible to comply with European provisions, it also
makes it possible to compete on a level playing field with the French sector, which, on the
contrary, is authorised to take this type of bet on Belgian races.

This provision should further make it possible to refill the coffers of the horse racing sector in
the Regions via the tax on gambling and betting and even in the Federal State via corporation
tax.


Article 40: Article 44 of the Act

The personnel of class IV gaming establishments must also hold a class D licence. We refer,
on this matter, to the explanation on Article 25 of the Act.


Article 41: Article 46 of the Act

Given that numerous people within the gaming sector operate as independents, it is
recommended that the words “members of the personnel” be replaced with the words “holders
of licence D” and that the words “where applicable” be inserted between the words “provided
for” and “in their contract of employment”.


Article 42: new Chapter IVbis in the Act

It is finally planned that a new chapter on media games be inserted in the Act.

The authors of the proposal consider, in fact, that the federal legislator is competent to
organise the subject of games of chance broadcast by the media, when the content (the games
of chance) unquestionably prevails over the vehicle (the media). The question of coherence of
the general policy on games of chance also depends on it, particularly with regard to federal
competence on games of chance operated via information society services like the Internet.

In 2004, it was decided to subject television games to general and specific rules which are
defined by the Code of Ethics for Telecommunication and would be controlled by an Ethics
Commission to be set up. As the creation of this Commission was some time in coming, a
provision was laid down in the Framework Act of 27 December 2004, according to which it
was accepted that “the King set the conditions to be met by games proposed in the context of
television programmes involving the use of series of Belgian telephone numbers for which it is
permitted to invoice the caller for the price of the content in addition to the cost of the
communication, on the understanding that such price is limited to the series for which the
tariff for the end user is not dependent on the duration of the call, and which form a complete
game programme.” 21. This paragraph has been taken up in the Act, in Article 3.4. which
deals with limits on the scope of the notion of games of chance.




21
     Article 291 of the Framework Act of 27 December 2004 (M.B. 31/12/2004)


                                                                                               32
                                                                                                                     33


Pursuant to this provision, television games have been included in the system of exception of
Article 3 of the Act, such that media games are not currently deemed to be games of chance,
as referred to in the Act of 7 May 1999.

The Royal Decree discussed in the Framework Act finally came into effect on 1 January 2007
22
   . It stipulates that the approval of such games and the treatment of complaints pertaining
thereto be done by the Gaming Commission.

In 2007, more than 400 complaints were processed by the Commission. At the present time,
withdrawal of approval does not guarantee monitoring of the television game phenomenon.
Even though the operators have considerably adapted their offer, problems subsist. Other
media games, such as radio games and games via the printed press, are, in theory, prohibited.
However, the judicial reaction does not constitute an adequate solution as it cannot keep pace
with the flexibility of the offer.

In the context of following a coherent policy, it is essential that television games, like radio
games and games via the printed media, be incorporated into a licensing system, which offers
the same guarantees as the other licences (financial transparency, solvency, functional
requirements, regularity of games, contribution to the Commission's personnel costs).

Player protection can only be guaranteed by the adoption of clear rules. The majority of media
games require a small stake and offer significant winnings, which increases the attractiveness
of the game. The danger that participants play repeatedly and more than their financial means
allow is high.

Moreover, these games are easily accessed by minors. A growing number of games of this
kind is organised in an increasingly aggressive form. In view of player protection, the current
policy of tolerance can no longer be accepted.

Telephone games constitute an exception to this situation. The legal framework surrounding
telephone games has made it possible to make people more aware, via the communication of
the presenter and the system of control, among other things. A reduction in the number of
calls for telephone games has also been noted. Such a framework must also be adopted for all
other media games.

As these kinds of game do not take place in a tangible gaming establishment, they are not
taken up in Chapter IV (gaming establishments), this kind of game being placed in a separate
Chapter IVbis.

This new Chapter comprises eight Articles (Articles 47bis to 47nonies). As for the other
games of chance, the system put in place for media games rests on the prior acquisition of a
G1 licence (television programmes operated using series of Belgian telephone numbers) or a
G2 licence (games of chance operated by a media outlet, other than television programmes
operated using series of Belgian telephone numbers). To obtain and keep such a licence, it is
necessary to meet various conditions developed in the text of the proposal.

22
   Royal Decree of 10 October 2006 laying down the conditions to be met by games proposed in the context of
television programmes involving the use of series of Belgian telephone numbers for which it is permitted to
invoice the caller for the price of the content in addition to the cost of the communication, on the understanding
the such price is limited to the series for the the tariff to the end user is not dependent on the duration of the call,
and which form a complete game programme (M.B. 19/10/2006).


                                                                                                                    33
                                                                                              34




In the majority of cases, the applicant for this licence will be the television channel or the
game supplier for a game operated via the television and, for a game operated via the radio or
written press, the radio station or the periodical.


Article 43: Article 48 of the Act

Owing to the very broad scope of the notions included in Article 48, principally the words
“gaming equipment”, numerous types of equipment used in games of chance fall within the
scope of the licence obligation.

Within the framework of assessment of class E licence applications, the Gaming Commission
has decided that a licence was necessary when the equipment used, whether in material or
immaterial form, could have an influence on the game or its control mechanisms.

If this strict interpretation is extended to the operation of games of chance by information
society services, the providers of Internet services and telephony should also be in possession
of a class E licence. Indeed, it is their networks which are used, and such networks must
guarantee correct data transmission.

However, these organisation are already placed under the surveillance of a public body, the
Belgian Institute of Post and Telecommunications Services (IBPT), pursuant to Article 9, § 1
of the Act of 13 June 2005 on electronic communications. It is therefore logical that these
providers constitute an exception to Article 48, as they are already controlled by the IBPT.


Article 44: Article 49 of the Act

For the same reason as the one given in Article 30 of this Act, to wit for reasons of
redundancy with Article 21, it would also be advisable to repeal Article 49.


Article 45: Article 50 of the Act

For the same reason as the one mentioned in Article 31 of the Act, Article 50 is here also
completed by a point which requires the licence applicant to “produce an attestation issued
by the Federal Public Service Finances establishing that all fiscal obligations have been
satisfied”.


Article 46: Article 51 of the Act

Article 51 takes its inspiration from similar articles which apply to holders of an A, B, F1, F2,
G1 and G2 licence.


Article 47: Article 52 of the Act




                                                                                              34
                                                                                                    35


In the context of extension of licences, Article 52 must naturally be extended to each model of
equipment or appliance used within the framework of F1, F2, G1 and G2 licences and to each
model of equipment or appliance used within the framework of additional licences.

In subparagraph 1 of this Article, the words “in a class I, II and II gaming establishment” are
replaced by the words “operated by the holder of a licence referred to in this Act”.

Moreover, the final sentence in subparagraph 1 of this Article is also replaced. Use of the
Dutch word “vergunning” may lead to confusion with legally granted A, B, C, D, E, F1, F2,
G1 or G2 licences, which are also called “vergunningen”. This does not, however, concern a
licence of this kind but an approval. The final sentence in subparagraph 1 may therefore be
usefully replaced as follows: “An attestation of recognition is issued by way of proof.”.

As far as subparagraph 2 is concerned, under Articles 43 and 49 of the EC Treaty and the
corresponding case law of the Court of Justice of the European Communities, Member States
must refrain from excluding international players in the market from the gaming sector, who
nonetheless meet the rules applicable23. Whence the proposed amendment to the second
indent of subparagraph 2.

Still in subparagraph 2, a new Point 4 provides yet another means of control “by a service,
appointed by the Commission, the operating mode and means of which are laid down by the
King”.


Article 48: Article 54 of the Act

Paragraph 1 deals with the minimum age permitted to be able to play. The minimum age
permitted for a class IV gaming establishment to take bets must be set at 18 years. This rule
only applies, however, to bets. As has already been stipulated in Article 43ter, § 2,
subparagraph 5 of the Act, two games of chance at most, whether automatic or not, are
permitted in a fixed betting agency. For these games of chance, a minimum age of 21 years is
required, as is currently the case for games of chance located in class I and II establishments.

Participation in games of chance operated via information society services must, like access to
class I and II gaming establishments, be prohibited to young people under the age of 21 years,
when it is precisely these class I and II establishments which are permitted to put games of
chance on-line (via additional A+ and B+ licences). An exception must again be laid down for
betting, where the minimum age can be set at 18 years, since only class IV establishments are
permitted to operate on-line betting (via the additional F1+ licence).

Betting is already permitted as of majority because these games of chance create less
addiction that those that can be operated by holders of an A or B licence or by holders of an
additional A+ or B+ licence. Whilst, in the case of games sensu stricto, the player
immediately learns his result, in the case of betting, he must await the result of the
competition on which he has betted. This short-odd versus long-odd theory is confirmed by
various scientific studies.



23
  CJEC, 6 November 2003, C-243/01 (Italy / Piergiorgio Gambelli); CJEC, 6 March 2007, C-338/04 (Italy /
Placanica); http://eur-lex.europa.eu


                                                                                                    35
                                                                                               36


In addition, in several places in this provision, the words “class I and II gaming
establishments” are systematically replaced by the words “practice of games of chance within
the meaning of this Act”. This amendment should enable the Gaming Commission more
explicitly to cover all games of chance, whether real or virtual.

Under paragraph 2, certain professions are subject to a ban on frequenting gaming
establishments. Betting is not, however, part of this ban, insofar as the visit to a class IV
gaming establishment is, at present, part of traditional social life and popular entertainment
where the possibility is offered to numerous people to forge relations in an “entertaining”
manner. Those games of chance which involve betting also create less addiction for the
aforementioned reasons. Betting via information society services, however, continues to be
forbidden to these people.

Paragraph 3 is completed by an important Point 1bis. At the present time, a ban may only be
imposed at the request of people who themselves so request. Experience shows, however, that
this rule does not offer sufficient player protection. A gambling addiction is not generally
limited to the player himself but often impinges upon the people surrounding him. Indeed, the
family, the work environment, friends, etc. may be aware of a gambling problem that the
player is experiencing and wish to help him. Based on current regulations, these people
cannot do much more than try to persuade the player to stop playing and hope that he agrees
to seek help.

The authors of this proposal are of the opinion that certain categories of people affected must,
like the player himself, be able to request the ban on access to games of chance on behalf of
the latter. These are members of his family, his debt counsellor, the President of the Public
Social Assistance Centre (CPAS) to which he reports and the gaming establishment which he
frequents.

Likewise, the Commission must also be able to order such a ban as a matter of course. This
initiative is, however, subject to the combination of objective indicators (rate of frequentation,
level of the stakes, medically confirmed disorders, deviant behaviour induced by the game,
etc.), attesting to the existence of a pathology.

Still on paragraph 3, the authors recommend adding the obligation that the Commission seek
the opinion of its assessment cell prior to each decision on prohibition or the lifting of
prohibition.

The opinion returned by this cell will make it possible, in cases in which a ban has been
requested, to determine whether the player concerned is afflicted by a pathology necessitating
medical, psychological, social and/or legal attention, and, in cases in which the lifting of a ban
has been requested, to determine whether the player concerned can safely return to gaming
establishments and thus prevent people who have not been cured from again being exposed to
the temptation of gambling.

The cell must also be able, where applicable, to refer the player to a suitable recognised care
centre, and this throughout the prohibition process, from its being imposed to its lifting.

For practical reasons, paragraph 4 is completed by a third subparagraph which provides that
“the information to be forwarded to the Commission by the judiciary bodies must be sent by
electronic means”.


                                                                                               36
                                                                                              37




Finally, paragraph 5 is amended in accordance with what has just been stated.


Article 49: Article 55 of the Act

Article 55 of the Act must be harmonised with Article 9 and henceforth refer to the “Federal
Public Service Justice”.


Article 50: Article 58 of the Act

This Article forbids the extension of credit to players. The sole exception to this principle is
the use of credit cards in class I gaming establishments.

The intention of the authors of this proposal is also to permit the use of credit cards for games
of chance operated by means of information society services.

In addition, the ban on automatic teller machines is lifted within all types of gaming
establishment. “Automatic teller machine” is taken to mean all and any automatic distributor
by means of which it is possible to withdraw cash from one's account. The presence of
distributors does not seem to constitute a danger in the context of player protection. On the
one hand, the withdrawal of cash is generally limited to a specific amount per week; on the
other hand, there are so many distributors outside gaming locations that the fact of having to
go somewhere else to withdraw money is not really dissuasive. Finally, in view of an effective
policy against money laundering, it should be noted that the provenance of money from a
bank account is more easily identifiable than cash.

Authorisation of currency changers in the various types of establishment is henceforth also
laid down.


Article 51: Article 59 of the Act

Owing to the specificities of the system of participation in virtual games of chance,
application of Article 59 of the Act cannot be extended to games of chance operated via
information society services. To obviate confusion, the word “actual” is inserted before the
words “games of chance cannot be practised”.

This provision can no longer be extended to class IV gaming establishments because it is
specific to the operation of betting agencies to use cash money to take bets. Betting must be
explicitly excluded from the application of the Article.


Article 52: Article 60 of the Act

Given the strict policy in Belgium governing the donation of gifts, beverages and food, it
would be appropriate to extend the measures laid down for class IV gaming establishments or
betting agencies. The only gaming establishments in which this practice is currently permitted
are casinos (class I). The latter may, per week and per player, offer a maximum of up to €


                                                                                              37
                                                                                                  38


50.00 in presents, drinks or meals free of charge or at a lower price than the market price. This
practice is prohibited in establishments in the other classes, as it is naturally intended to attract
clientele.

To conduct a coherent policy, it is necessary also to apply the complete prohibition of
presents to the new class of gaming establishments. Otherwise, betting agencies would, in
fact, enjoy a competitive advantage over gaming establishments in other classes. Moreover, it
is also in the interests of players that these establishments not be permitted to practise this
form of promotion.


Article 53: Article 61 of the Act

It is currently required that folders intended for players be put at their disposal in the three
types of establishments referred to by the Act. These folders are, in fact, designed and
distributed by the Gaming Commission.

It is desirable that these folders also be available in class IV gaming establishments and can
be downloaded in the case of games of chance operated via information society services.


Article 54: Article 62 of the Act

The system of registration is closely linked to the problem of player exclusion, which is
referred to in Article 54 of the Act. Article 62 of the Act must be adapted in parallel with
Article 54.

In addition, the period of ten years imposed with regard to the conservation of the copy of the
identity documents of players must be markedly reduced. Indeed, it is not very practical and
pointless that copies of data regarding the identity of players be held for such a long time. A
period of five years would more than suffice should an inquiry or legal proceedings be
necessary.

The sixth and final subparagraph must also be adapted to the provisions mentioned in the first
subparagraph. The obligation to keep a register is extended to class IV fixed gaming
establishments, in which the operator has enjoyed the option of including one or two
automatic or other games of chance.

In this respect, it should be pointed out that the terms “class II or III” currently used in the
Act constitute a material error which must be corrected. On the one hand, this final
subparagraph makes direct reference to the first subparagraph of the same Article and
therefore covers the same gaming establishments, to wit class I and II establishments. On the
other hand, the withdrawal of the licence is mentioned and the licences are not referenced by
Roman numerals (class I or II), but by letters (class A or B).

The King is further given the possibility of laying down rules on admission and registration
with regard to the practice of games of chance in class III establishments. Indeed, in the near
future, all Belgians will possess an electronic identity card and, at the same time, all games of
chance present in licensed premises will be able to function based on this identity card.



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                                                                                                           39


It would be useful, at the present time, to be able to provide a rapid response to any problems
which may arise from this development, particularly thanks to the imposition of a register to
be kept in all licensed premises. Everyone knows, for example, that bingo halls, which seem
to be free of danger, are not so harmless, since their accessibility allows very young players to
become dependent upon them.

To conclude, it is recommended that an eighth subparagraph be added to Article 62 of the
Act. The players of virtual games of chance will, in future, also be registered. The way in
which this registration is to be done in reality has not yet been determined and depends in part
on technological systems currently under development. The King will lay down these
conditions.


Article 55: Article 63 of the Act

The scope of Article 63 of the Act must be extended to the various additional prohibitive
provisions.

The minimum and maximum sums have been adapted to the introduction of the euro.


Article 56: Article 64 of the Act

By analogy to Article 63, this Article is also completed by a number of prohibitive provisions.

The minimum and maximum sums have been adapted to the introduction of the euro.

The current provision of Article 64, subparagraph 2, 2 may be deleted. In this proposed Act,
the fact of engaging in advertising for games of chance or for prohibited gaming
establishments is made explicitly punishable by Article 4, §2.


Art. 57: new Article 70bis in the Act

As has been said, at the present time, all licence holders must pay an annual contribution used
to cover the Gaming Commission's installation, personnel and operating costs. The sole
exception to this principle concerns class D licence holders or the personnel of class I, II, and
IV gaming establishments.

The King's delegation contained in former subparagraphs 2 and 3 of Article 19 is transposed
into a new Article 70bis, in the Chapter “Guarantees and costs”, which adapts the regulations
to the amendments proposed. In substance, nothing changes: it is left to the King's discretion
to set the contribution of each category of licence holder on an annual basis.

As an example, the most recent Royal Decree, that of 20 December 200724, sets the following
contributions for the year 2008 (Article 1):
- Class A: € 16,726 + € 541 per appliance (minimum € 16,244)

24
  Royal Decree of 20 December 2007 on the contribution to the cost of operation, personnel and installation of
the Gaming Commission owed by the holders of class A, B, C and E licences for the calendar year 2008 (M.B.
07/01/2008)


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                                                                                              40


- Class B: € 8,363
- Class C: € 113
- Class E: maintenance, repair or equipment services: € 2,789
- Class E: sale, rental, hire purchase, supply, provision, import, export and production: € 1,394
per increment of 50 appliances.

In the future, for the class A+ or B+ licence, it would be appropriate to define a fixed annual
sum and not to apply progressive contributions. Indeed, in practice, it is almost impossible to
calculate the number of games of chance on-line. This number may also be changed by the
licence holder on a daily basis.

Holders of class F1, F1+, F2, G1 and G2 licences should also pay an annual contribution to
cover the Gaming Commission's operating and personnel costs. Owing to the quantity of bets
and the daily change in the number of bets, it is also necessary to set a fixed sum.

Finally, as far as class C licences are concerned, a change in the mechanism is laid down. As
will be explained below in the commentary on Article 71 of the Act, it is provided that the
annual contribution levied on the holders of class C licences (nor, in fact, on guarantees) no
longer be charged, but that, for practical reasons, the one time payment of a higher sum be
imposed upon them at the time the licence is granted.


Article 58: Article 71 of the Act

Article 71 of the Act provides, in its subparagraph 1, for a system of guarantees for all license
holders except class D. These guarantees must be paid to the Caisse des Dépôts et
Consignations in cash or in securities. In the event of default on payment of costs in the broad
sense, i.e. the annual contribution, of any sums owing per appliance, of any fines, etc., the
Commission may, under subparagraph 2, deduct the equivalent of the sums owing from the
guarantee paid.

The guarantee system causes significant problems in the processing of dossiers regarding
establishments which hold a class C licence, the licence for the placement of games of chance
in licensed premises.

On the one hand, approximately 8,137 licensed premises currently possess a C licence. When
filing their application, they must, under Point 3 of subparagraph 4 of Article 71, pay a
guarantee of € 500 to obtain the licence. Since the coming into effect of the Act on games of
chance, a total of 21,045 licences has been requested. Presented in a very rudimentary
manner, this means that 12,908 (21,045 – 8,137) requesting establishments are already no
longer holders of their licence and that all of the guarantees have had to be refunded to them.
Which implies particularly cumbersome administrative management on a day-to-day basis.

On the other hand, when the holder of a licence does not pay his dues, the Commission may
decide to deduct the equivalent of the dues from the guarantee paid. Since the annual
contributions in line with indexation already amount to more than € 100 (€ 113 in 2008), the
guarantee of € 500 is therefore no longer sufficient to cover the sums owing over five years.
Which requires the Commission regularly to summons the holders of class C licences to pay a
new guarantee within 5 days, pursuant to subparagraph 3 of Article 71, on pain of having their
licence lawfully suspended.


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                                                                                            41




Moreover, when the holder of a licence deposits his guarantee with the Caisse des Dépôts et
Cconsignations, he receives the proof of this deposit. The form is entitled “proof of
enrolment” in the books of the Caisse. When the licensed premises cease to operate, this proof
must be submitted to the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, accompanied by a letter of
release from the Gaming Commission. This document is frequently missing as the café owner
cannot find it. A declaration of loss to this end must be drafted and signed by the competent
mayor in the presence of two witnesses. Nor is reimbursement of the guarantee always rapidly
expedited. It may be, indeed, that the licence holder has moved, that the account number does
not tally, that the guarantees were paid by a third party (e.g. the supplier of the games of
chance or the spouse) or that the licence holder has been declared bankrupt and that the
guarantee is part of the mass of assets.

At the present time, 11,622 licensed premises have deposited a guarantee with the Caisse des
Dépôts et Consignations, amounting to a sum of € 5,811,000.

The proof of enrolment must also be presented when the Commission decides to deduct
unpaid sums from the guarantee. In such a case, it is, of course, rare that the voluntary
collaboration of a licence holder is optimal. It is only when the Commission has made several
attempts to obtain the documents required that the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations may
operate the deduction from the guarantee paid.

If, at a given time, the guarantee is no longer paid by the holder of a licence, an inspection
service in the Gaming Commission, in collaboration with the local police, will check whether
the “bingo” type machines have actually been disconnected. The exploitation of a suspended
licence is, in fact, a criminal infringement of Article 4 of the Act.

From a practical point of view, this system would seem impracticable as far as holders of
class C licences are concerned and causes numerous pointless costs and problems. Managing
this procedure is a full-time job for three members of staff of the Gaming Commission and
two members of staff of the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations.

It would therefore be more judicious to provide another system for the holder of class C
licences. It is recommended that the holder of a C licence be made to pay the full sum owing
at the start of his licence. The size of this contribution is defined annually, pursuant to the
provisions of the new Article 70bis in the Act.

An according amendment of the Act would undoubtedly lead to a considerable administrative
simplification, which would delight the Gaming Commission.

Independently of the above changes, Article 71 must also be adapted to the newly introduced
licences.

Given that four new classes of licence and three additional licences are established and that
the Gaming Commission is financially independent, the holders of a new licence and an
additional licence must also pay a guarantee. The amount of the guarantee for the new
licences and the additional licences is valued as follows:

    Guarantee for the holder of an A+ licence:                                   250,000 euro
    Guarantee for the holder of a B+ licence:                                     75,000 euro


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                                                                                             42


      Guarantee for the holder of an F1 licence:                                    13,000 euro
      Guarantee for the holder of an F1+ licence:                                   75,000 euro
      Guarantee for the holder of an F2 licence:                                     9,000 euro
      Guarantee for the holder of an G1 licence:                                    80,000 euro


Article 59: Article 71bis of the Act

Further to what has just been explained regarding the holders of class C licences, a
transitional provision must also be established for the holders of class C licences who have
already paid a guarantee. The guarantee system is kept for holders of class C licences who
receive their licence before 1 January of the year following that of the coming into effect of
this proposed Act.


Article 60: new Article 76bis in the Act

It goes without saying that a period of transition must be established for existing class IV
establishments and for the other existing natural persons and legal entities that may also, by
way of exception, organise betting. When the Act of 7 May 1999 was drafted, such a system
had also been laid down for casinos, automatic gaming halls and licensed premises.

There are currently approximately 2,000 places which organise betting in Belgium (1,100
fixed betting agencies, to which must be added mobile betting agencies, bookmakers at
racecourses, at the sites of cycle races, bookshops, etc.). It is necessary to give these people
the option of continuing the exercise of their economic activities until the Gaming
Commission has reached a decision on their dossier.

The conditions permitting class IV establishments to take advantage of this transitional period
are, on the one hand, the constitution of a guarantee and, on the other hand, the filing of a
complete and correct dossier within a reasonable period of time, in this instance, two months.
If the people concerned do not file a complete and correct dossier within this time, they will
forfeit the right to exercise their activities after the transitional period.

Likewise for existing television games which, pursuant to the Royal Decree of
10 October 2006, have received authorisation from the Gaming Commission.

All other existing establishments continue, of course, to be prohibited and punishable until
such time as they obtain a licence from the Gaming Commission.


Article 61: new Article 76ter in the Act

In order that the transition between the current and future functions of the Gaming
Commission be expedited quickly and easily, a certain number of transitional provisions
related to the Commission are also inserted.


Section 2: Provisions amending the Code on taxes equated with income tax



                                                                                             42
                                                                                                  43


Article 62: Article 2 of the Code

In Article 2 of the Code on taxes equated with income tax, replaced by the Royal Decree of
29 March 1994 and amended by the Acts of 22 March 1998, 4 May 1999, 8 April 2003 and
10 August 2005, the figure “327” is inserted between the figures “307” and “337”.


Article 63: Article 66 of the Code

Title III of the Code on taxes equated with income tax refers to the tax on gaming and betting.
Chapter VIII takes up the “special provisions pertaining horse races and the betting thereto
pertaining”. This Chapter includes Articles 66 and 67 of the Code. These Articles must be
repealed, since they put the subject of horse racing under the aegis of the Federal Public
Service Finances.


Article 64: Article 67 of the Code

As stated above, Article 67 of the Code is repealed.


Section 3: Provision amending the Income Tax Code

Article 65

In its time, the Act of 7 May 1999 added a provision to the Income Tax Code requiring the
Gaming Commission to inform the SPF Finances whenever it suspects a case of tax evasion.

By means of the proposed amendment, the opposite will also be true: the director of the
competent tax authority who has evidence regarding a possible case of tax evasion will also
be required to inform the Commission of it. An improvement in the flow of information
should thus be assured.


Section 4: Provisions amending the Act of 26 June 1963 on the promotion of physical
education, sports and outdoor life as well as on the monitoring of enterprises that
organise sports betting contests.

Article 66

Since Chapter I of the Act, which discusses “the organisation of betting on the results of
sporting contests” (Articles 1 to 9), is deleted (cfr infra), it is also necessary to amend the title
of the Act in order to remove the reference to the organisation of such betting.


Article 67

Chapter I of the Act, which includes Articles 1 to 9, must be repealed insofar as “the
organisation of betting on the results of sporting contests” is henceforth governed by the Act



                                                                                                  43
                                                                                              44


of 7 May 1999 on games of chance, gaming establishments and player protection, as amended
by this proposed Act, and put under the control of the Gaming Commission.


Article 68

Article 12, 1 of the Act is repealed, since it mentions the “product of betting on the results of
sporting contests” and refers to Article 8, itself repealed.


Section 5: Provisions amending the Act of 19 April 2002 rationalising the operation and
management of the National Lottery

Article 69

In Article 3, § 1, subparagraph 1, of the Act of 19 April 2002 rationalising the operation and
management of the National Lottery, the word “betting” is deleted.

The second subparagraph of the same Act is further replaced as follows:

“The National Lottery shall be responsible, in the general interest and according to
commercial methods, for organising national lotteries and betting, in the forms and in
accordance with the general rules established by the King, for national lotteries at the
proposal of the Minister and for betting, after seeking the opinion of the Gaming Commission,
referred to in Article 9 of the Act of 7 May 1999 on games of chance, gaming establishments
and player protection, at the proposal of the Minister and the Ministry of Justice.”.


Article 70

In Article 21, § 1, subparagraph 2 of the same Act, the words “in gaming establishments” are
deleted.

Moreover, in Article 21, § 1, of the same Act, the third paragraph must be replaced as follows:

“The King shall, at the proposal of the Minister and of the Ministry of Justice, lay down the
exact rules under which this inspection shall take place.”.




                                                     Marie-Hélène CROMBE-BERTON
                                                     Alain COURTOIS


                                              ***


                                   PROPOSED ACT


                                                                                              44
                                                                                            45




Chapter 1: GENERAL PROVISION


Art. 1

This Act regulates a matter referred to in Article 77 of the Constitution.


Chapter 2: AMENDMENT OF THE ACT OF 7 MAY 1999 ON GAMES OF CHANCE,
GAMING ESTABLISHMENTS AND PLAYER PROTECTION, OF THE CODE ON
TAXES EQUATED TO INCOME TAX, OF THE INCOME TAX CODE, OF THE
ACT OF 26 JUNE 1963 ON PROMOTING PHYSICAL EDUCATION, SPORTS AND
OUTDOOR LIFE AS WELL AS ON THE MONITORING OF ENTERPRISES THAT
ORGANISE SPORTS BETTING CONTESTS, AND OF THE ACT OF 19 APRIL 2002
ON RATIONALISING THE OPERATION AND MANAGEMENT OF THE
NATIONAL LOTTERY


Section 1: Provisions amending the Act of 7 May 1999 on games of chance, gaming
establishments and player protection.

Art. 2

Article 2 of the Act of 7 May 1999 on games of chance, gaming establishments and player
protection is completed with the following points:

“5° Betting: game of chance in which a player stakes a sum and which generates a win or a
loss which does not depend on an act made by the player but on the verification of an
uncertain fact which is done without the intervention of the players;

6° Mutual betting: bet in which an organiser acts as intermediary between the various players
who play against each other, and in which the stakes are pooled and distributed among the
winners, after factoring in a percentage intended to cover the taxes on gaming and betting, the
organisers' expenses and the profit that they allocate to themselves;

7° Fixed odds betting: bet in which a player stakes money on the result of a determined fact
taking place in Belgium, in which the sum of the winnings is determined according to given
fixed odds and in which the organiser is personally required to pay the winnings to the
players;

8° Agreed odds betting: bet in which a player stakes money on the result of a determined fact
taking place abroad, in which the sum of the winnings is determined according to given
agreed odds and in which the organiser is personally required to pay the winnings to the
players;

9° Media: any radio or television station approved by the Communities and any daily or
periodical where the operator's or the publisher's registered offices are based in the European
Union;



                                                                                            45
                                                                                             46


10° Media game: game of chance operated via the media;

11° Information society services: electronic equipment for the processing, including digital
compression, and storage of data, which are entirely transmitted, conveyed and received by
wire, by radio, by optical means or by other electromagnetic means.”


Art. 3

In Article 3 of the same Act, amended by the Framework Act of 27 December 2004, the
following amendments are made:

1° Point 1 is replaced by the words: “1. the exercise of sports;”;

2° In Point 3, the words “as well as” are deleted and the words “and games organised
occasionally and at most twice a year by a private individual, by a de facto association or by a
non-profit-making association to the benefit of a social or charitable work,” are inserted
between the words “analogous occasions” and “not requiring”;

3° Point 4 is deleted;

4° A subparagraph 2 is inserted, worded as follows:

“The King may determine the terms of application of paragraph 1, Point 3.”.


Art. 4

In Article 3bis of the same Act, amended by the Act of 19 April 2002, the following
amendments are made:

1° In subparagraph 1, the word „betting‟ is deleted;

2° Subparagraph 2 is repealed.


Art. 5

Article 4 of the same Act is replaced by the following provision:

“Art.4. - § 1. All persons shall be prohibited from operating, in any place, in any form,
whether in a direct or indirect manner, one or more games of chance other than those
authorised by the King, pursuant to this Act.

All persons shall be prohibited from operating, in any place, in any form, whether in a direct
or indirect manner, one or more gaming establishments, without a licence previously granted
by the Gaming Commission, pursuant to this Act.

Apart from the exceptions laid down in the Act, no game of chance may be operated
elsewhere than in a gaming establishment which has obtained a licence pursuant to this Act.


                                                                                             46
                                                                                             47




§ 2. All persons shall be prohibited from participating in a game of chance, from facilitating
its operation, from engaging in advertising or from canvassing players for a game of chance,
which it may be reasonably ascertained has been organised in violation of this Act, elsewhere
than in a gaming establishment which has obtained a licence pursuant to the Act, or by anyone
else other than a gaming establishment which has obtained a licence pursuant to the Act.

All persons shall be prohibited from facilitating the operation of a gaming establishment, from
engaging in advertising or from canvassing players for a gaming establishment which has not
obtained a licence pursuant to the Act.

§ 3. All persons shall be prohibited from participating in any game of chance if, owing to their
capacity, they may have a direct influence on its result.”.


Art. 6

Article 5 of the same Act is replaced by the following provision:

“The principle of the gambling exception laid down in Article 1965 of the Civil Code shall
not apply to contracts concluded under this Act. ”.


Art. 7

In Article 6 of the same Act, the following amendments are made:

1° The word “three” is replaced by the word “four” and the words “and class IV gaming
establishments or betting agencies” are inserted between the words “licensed premises” and “,
according to”;

2° A subparagraph 2 is inserted, worded as follows: “The number of class I, II and IV
establishments is limited by the Act. The King may determine the procedure for processing
excess licence applications”.


Art. 8

In Article 8 of the same Act, amended by the Framework Act of 8 April 2003, the following
amendments are made:

1° In subparagraph 1, the words “class II and III” are replaced by the words “class II, III and
IV, with the exception of betting, and for each game of chance operated by means of
information society services and for each game of chance operated by the media” and the
words “and betters” are deleted;

2° In subparagraph 2, the words “or the better” are deleted;

3° In subparagraph 3, the words “or the better” are deleted;



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                                                                                             48


4° A sixth subparagraph is inserted, worded as follows:

“The King may, by Decree deliberated in the Council of Ministers, and after seeking the
opinion of the Gaming Commission, index the sums of the games of chance referred to in
subparagraph 1.”.


Art. 9

In Article 9 of the same Act, the words “of the Minister of Justice” are replaced by the words
“of the Senate”.



Art. 10

Article 10 of the same Act, amended by the Act of 19 April 2002, is replaced by the following
provision:

Ҥ 1. The Commission shall comprise twelve members: a President, a Vice-President, ten
ordinary incumbent members and ten ordinary replacement members.

§ 2. The President and the Vice-President shall be appointed by the Senate for a term of six
years renewable.

The President and the Vice-President shall be chosen from the persons offering each and
every guarantee in terms of independence and who possess expertise in matters of games of
chance.

The President and the Vice-President shall each have a different linguistic role.

The President shall be a magistrate of the national legal service. He shall be appointed from
the French-speaking or Dutch-speaking magistrates who, pursuant to Article 43quinquies of
the Act of 15 June 1935 on the use of languages in court proceedings, have provided proof of
knowledge of the Dutch language or of the French language respectively.

The President shall be assigned as of right owing to his jurisdiction. As a magistrate, he shall
keep his place in the list of rank. For the duration of his mandate, he shall be expected to
undertake his duties. The provisions on retirement and pension shall continue to be applicable
to him. His replacement shall be provided for by an additional nomination, pursuant to the
provisions of the Judicial Code. If he is a head of court, his replacement shall be provided for
by means of the additional nomination of a magistrate of immediately inferior rank.

When the President cannot fulfil his function, he shall be replaced by the Vice-President or,
failing this, by the longest serving ordinary member.

The Vice-President shall be a member of the federal judiciary police force, able to provide
proof that he possesses sufficient knowledge of the second national language and with at least
five years' experience of games of chance. He shall enjoy the same treatment as the President,
as well as the increases and perquisites pertaining thereto.


                                                                                             48
                                                                                              49




The President and the Vice-President shall exercise their function full time. For the duration
of their mandate, they may not exercise any other professional activity unless they be
authorised so to do by the Council of Ministers.

They shall enjoy treatment equal to that of first prosecutor to the Cour de Cassation, as well as
the increases and perquisites thereto pertaining, including the linguistic premium referred to in
Article 357, § 4, of the Judicial Code.

§ 3. The ten ordinary incumbent members and the ten ordinary replacement members shall be
appointed by the Senate for a term of six years renewable.

Both the group of ordinary incumbent members and that of ordinary replacement members
shall be composed according to linguistic parity.

Apart from travel and accommodation expenses, the ordinary members of the Commission
shall, for each meeting, enjoy an attendance fee, the sum of which shall be determined by the
King.

§ 4. All members of the Commission shall remain in post until the nomination of their
successors.

§5. The Commission shall fulfil its duties in complete independence.”.


Art. 11

Article 11 of the same Act is replaced by the following provision:

Ҥ 1. To be appointed and remain President, Vice-President or ordinary member of the
Commission, it shall be necessary:

1. To be Belgian;
2. To enjoy their civil and political rights and be of irreproachable morality;
3. To reside in Belgium;
4. Not to exercise or have exercised functions in a gaming establishment or not to have or
have hade a personal, direct or indirect interest on their own behalf, on behalf of their spouse,
on behalf of their legal cohabitant or on behalf of a parent or a relation to the fourth degree,
regardless of their nature, in the operation of such an establishment or in another licensed
activity referred to in this Act;
5. Not to be the holder of an elective mandate, whether at municipal, provincial, regional or
federal level;
6. To exercise for a least ten years an academic, legal, administrative, economic or social
function.

§2. In the five years following the end of their mandate, the President, the Vice-President and
the ordinary members of the Commission may not exercise any function in a gaming
establishment or have a personal, direct or indirect interest on their own behalf, on behalf of
their spouse, on behalf of the legal cohabitant or on behalf of a parent or a relation to the



                                                                                              49
                                                                                            50


fourth degree, regardless of their nature, in the operation of such an establishment or in
another licensed activity referred to in this Act.”.


Art. 12

Article 12 of the same Act is replaced by the following provision:

“The functions of President and Vice-President shall be declared vacant when the incumbent
is absent for more than six months or when their mandate has ended prematurely”.


Art. 13

Article 14 of the same Act is replaced by the following provision:

“The Commission shall have at its disposal a secretariat, the structure, status and method of
recruitment of which shall be determined by the Senate, at the proposal of the Commission.

The secretariat shall include, in particular, an assessment cell, comprising a psychologist, a
medical doctor, a social assistant and a jurist.”.


Art. 14

In Article 15 of the same Act, the following amendments are made:

1° In § 1, subparagraph 2, the words “the Vice-President” are inserted between the words
“The President,” and “and the members”;

2° In § 1, subparagraph 3, 1., the words “, places where components of the Internet network
are located, which are used for the operation of games of chance” are inserted between the
words “premises” and “and rooms”;

3° § 2, subparagraph 1, is completed as follows: “Where applicable, it shall forward the
original of the report which it has drawn up to the competent court.”;

4° § 2, subparagraph 2, is replaced by the following provision: “The report referred to in the
previous subparagraph, drawn up with regard to infringements of the provisions of this Act or
of its Implementing Orders, shall prevail until proved otherwise.”.


Art. 15

An Article 15bis, worded as follows, is inserted into the same Act:

Ҥ 1. The police officer who observes an infringement of the provisions of this Act or of its
Implementing Orders shall forward a copy of the report pertaining thereto to the Commission.




                                                                                           50
                                                                                               51


Such copy shall explicitly mention the date upon which the original of the report was
forwarded or submitted to the Crown prosecutor.

§ 2. If, within six months of receipt of the original of the report, the Crown prosecutor informs
the Commission that legal action shall be taken or that he considers that there is insufficient
evidence, the Commission shall forfeit the option of applying Article 15quater.

§ 3. If, within the period laid down in the previous subparagraph, the Crown prosecutor sends
no communications to the Commission or lets it know that, without bringing the existence of
the infringement into doubt, no further action shall be taken in the case, public proceedings
shall cease. In such cases, the Commission may apply Article 15quater.”.


Art. 16

An Article 15ter, worded as follows, is inserted into the same Act:

“The Commission may, by reasoned decision, send warnings to any natural person or legal
entity who infringes the provisions of this Act or of its Implementing Orders, suspend the
licence for a specific period, revoke the licence and temporarily or definitively prohibit the
operation of one or more games of chance.”.


Art. 17

An Article 15quater, worded as follows, is inserted into the same Act:

Ҥ 1. Subject to the measures laid down in the preceding Article, the Commission may, in the
event of infringement of Articles 4, 8, 26, 27, 43bis, 43ter, 43septies, 43octies, 46, 54, 58, 60,
62 or 64, subparagraph 2, and of the conditions laid down in Article 15, §3, impose a fine on
the perpetrators.

§2. The maximum sum of the fine is set at 3,000 euro for an infringement of Articles 4, 8, 26,
27, 43bis, 43ter, 43septies, 43octies, 46 or 64, subparagraph 2. The maximum sum of the fine
is set at 700 euro for an infringement of Articles 54, 60 or 62.

§3. Payment of the fine, as referred to in the preceding paragraphs, shall bring public
proceedings to an end.”.


Art. 18

An Article 15quinquies, worded as follows, is inserted into the same Act:

“The Commission may not take any of the measures laid down in Articles 15ter and 15quater
before inviting the interested party to a hearing, whether or not he is the holder of a licence as
referred to in the Act. The latter shall be entitled to be represented by counsel. Such
entitlement shall be expressly mentioned in the invitation.




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                                                                                                52


To this end, the Commission may set up separate chambers, comprising the President or the
Vice-President and two ordinary members.”.


Art. 19

An Article 15sexies, worded as follows, is inserted into the same Act:

“In the cases laid down in Articles 15ter and 15quater, the chamber of the Commission set up
to this end shall invite the natural person or legal entity concerned to the hearing by registered
letter, mentioning the possibility of consulting the dossier.

The interested party may request the postponement of the hearing one time only, by registered
letter addressed to the chamber referred to in the previous subparagraph.

The chamber shall set the new date upon which the dossier shall be heard.”.


Art. 20

An Article 15septies, worded as follows, is inserted into the same Act:

Ҥ 1. The members of the chamber before which the interested party has been heard shall
draw up a detailed report of the hearing. A copy of the report shall be forwarded to the
interested party by registered letter.

§2. After receipt of the copy referred to in the previous paragraph, the person being
investigated in the procedure shall have a period of fifteen days to forward his comments
regarding the report to the Commission.

§3. The Commission shall deliberate and reach a decision within a period of two months as of
expiry of the period referred to in §2. The members of the chamber before which the
interested party has been heard may take part in the deliberation and shall have deliberative
voting rights. The decision shall be communicated to the interested party by registered
letter.”.


Art. 21

An Article 15octies, worded as follows, is inserted into the same Act:


Ҥ 1. The interested party who contests the decision of the Commission may appeal by motion
to the Court of First Instance at his place of domicile or at his registered office within a period
of one month as of notification of the decision of the Commission.

§ 2. The appeal shall not suspend the effect of the decision of the Commission.

§ 3. The decision of the Court of First Instance is only subject to appeal to the Supreme Court.



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                                                                                             53


§ 4. Subject to the previous paragraphs, the provisions of the Judicial Code shall be applicable
to the appeal brought before the Court of First Instance.”.


Art. 22

An Article 15nonies, worded as follows, is inserted into the same Act:

“The King shall lay down the detailed provisions for levying and collecting the fine imposed.

The fines levied shall be paid to the Fund for the Treatment of Chronic Debt (fonds de
traitement du surendettement) created by the Act of 5 July 1998 on the collective payment of
debts and the possibility of selling immovable assets seized.”.


Art. 23

In Article 19 of the same Act, amended by the Act of 8 April 2003, the following amendments
are made:

1° In §1,

a) The words “class A, B, C and E” are replaced by the words “class A, A+, B, B+, C, E, F1,
F2, F1+, G1 and G2”;

b) Subparagraphs 2 and 3 are deleted;

2° In §2,

a) The words “of the Federal Public Service Justice” are replaced by the words “of the
Senate”;

b) The words “class A, B, C and E” are replaced by the words “class A, A+, B, B+, C, E, F1,
F2, F1+, G1 and G2”;

3° A paragraph 3 is inserted, worded as follows:

“The Senate, at the proposal of the Commission, shall set the latter's annual budget, which
shall be recorded in the budget provisions.

The balance of current receipts which appears in Title I of Article 16.06 (receipts allocated to
programme 12-62-5) of the budget of the Federal Public Service Justice shall be paid into the
budget of the Senate.

The Commission shall append to its proposed budget a brief administration plan, the purpose
and form of which it shall determine, subject to the comments of the Senate. The annual
business report referred to in Article 16 shall include a section describing the system of
monitoring reserved for such plan.




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                                                                                              54


After deduction of the Commission's installation, personnel and operating costs, the balance
of the contributions referred to in this Article shall be paid into the Senate's provision by the
Commission's accountant.”.


Art. 24

In Article 20 of the same Act, subparagraph 3 is deleted.


Art. 25

Article 21 of the same Act is replaced by the following provision:

“The Commission shall rule, by reasoned decision, upon applications for the granting of
licences provided for in this Act.

In reaching its decision, the Commission shall check whether all of the conditions laid down
by this Act regarding the applicant and the licence referred to are met.

The Commission may hear the applicant before reaching a decision on the application. If the
applicant so desires, the Commission shall be required to hear him.

In all cases, the applicant shall be entitled to representation by counsel.”.


Art. 26

In Article 22, subparagraph 2, of the same Act, the words “of his deputy” are replaced by the
words “of the Vice-President”.


Art. 27

Article 25 of the same Act is replaced by the following provision:

“There are nine classes of licence and three additional licences:

l. The class A licence shall allow, for periods of fifteen years renewable and under the
conditions that it lays down, the operation of a class I gaming establishment or casino;

2. The additional class A+ licence shall allow, under the conditions that it lays down, the
operation of games of chance by means of information society services;

3. l. The class B licence shall allow, for periods of nine years renewable and under the
conditions that it lays down, the operation of a class II gaming establishment or automatic
gaming hall;

4. The additional class B+ licence shall allow, under the conditions that it lays down, the
operation of games of chance by means of information society services;


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                                                                                               55




5. The class C licence shall allow, for periods of five years renewable and under the
conditions that it lays down, the operation of a class III gaming establishment or licensed
premises;

6. The class D licence shall allow its holder, under the conditions that it lays down, to
undertake a professional activity of any kind in a class I, II or IV gaming establishment;

7. The class E licence shall allow, for periods of ten years renewable and under the conditions
that it lays down, the sale, rental, hire purchase, supply, provision, import, export, production,
maintenance, repair and equipment services of games of chance;

8. The class F1 licence shall allow, for periods of nine years renewable and under the
conditions that it lays down, the operation of a class IV fixed gaming establishment or betting
agency;

9. The additional class F1+ licence shall allow, under the conditions that it lays down, the
operation of a class IV fixed gaming establishment or betting agency by means of information
society services;

10. The class F2 licence shall allow, for periods of nine years renewable and under the
conditions that it lays down, the operation of a class IV mobile gaming establishment or
bookmaker;

11. The G1 licence shall allow, for periods of five years renewable and under the conditions
that it lays down, the operation of games of chance in television programmes involving the
use of series of Belgian telephone numbers;

12. The G2 licence shall allow, for a period of one year renewable and under the conditions
that it lays down, the operation of games of chance by media other than those presented in
television programmes involving the use of series of Belgian telephone numbers.”.


Art. 28

Article 26 of the same Act is replaced by the following provision:

“No one shall be authorised to transfer a granted licence.”.


Art. 29

In Article 27 of the same Act, the following amendments are made:

1° In subparagraph 1, the words “class A, B, C and E” are replaced by the words “class A,
A+, B, B+, C, D, F1, F1+, F2, G1 and G2”;

2° In subparagraph 2, the words “A, B or C” are replaced by the words “A, B, C or F1” and
the words “class I, II and III” are replaced by the words “class I, II, III and IV”.



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                                                                                               56




Art. 30

An Article 27bis, worded as follows, is inserted into the same Act:

Ҥ 1. The Commission may grant a holder of a class A, B or F1 licence an additional licence,
respectively A+, B+ and F1+, for the operation of games of chance via information society
services.

§ 2. The King shall determine, by Decree deliberated in the Council of Ministers, the
qualitative conditions to be met by the operator, which cover at least the following items:
- The security of payment operations between the operator and the player;
- The solvency of the operator;
- The game rules used for games of chance;
- The policy of the operator regarding the accessibility of socially vulnerable groups to games
of chance;
- The settlement of complaints;
- The detailed provisions on advertising;
- The detailed provisions on surveillance and control of the games of chance operated.
The licence may be issued only if the servers upon which the data and the web design of
games of chance are managed are located in a permanent establishment on Belgian territory
and possess a domain name issued by DNS Belgique.

§ 3. The additional licence may be obtained only against payment of operating duties by the
applicant. The King shall determine, by Decree deliberated in the Council of Ministers, the
amount of the operating duties for each additional licence.

The payment is to be made to the Gaming Commission fund, discussed in Article 19, §2. The
revenues from operating duties shall be used to fund public campaigns aimed at player
protection or the promotion of access to sports for young people.

§ 4. The duration of the validity of the additional licence shall be equivalent to the duration of
the validity of the A, B or F1 licence with which it is associated.”.


Art. 31

Article 30 of the same Act is repealed.


Art. 32

Article 31 of the same Act, amended by the Royal Decree of 4 April 2003, is completed by a
point 6, worded as follows:

“6. Produce an attestation issued by the Federal Public Service Finances establishing that all
fiscal obligations have been satisfied.”.


Art. 33


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                                                                                             57




In Article 32 of the same Act, amended by the Royal Decree of 4 April 2003, the following
amendments are made:

1. Subparagraph 1 is completed by the words “not only continue to satisfy the conditions
listed in the previous Article but also:”;

2. A point 5. is added, worded as follows: “put into or keep in service, effectively install or
maintain the games of chance or the gaming establishments for which a licence has been
granted.”.


Art. 34

Article 35 of the same Act is repealed.


Art. 35

Article 36 of the same Act, amended by the Royal Decree of 4 April 2003, is completed by a
point 7, worded as follows:

“7. Produce an attestation issued by the Federal Public Service Finances establishing that all
fiscal obligations have been satisfied.”.


Art. 36

In Article 37 of the same Act, amended by the Royal Decree of 4 April 2003, the following
amendments are made:

1. Subparagraph 1 is completed by the words “not only continue to satisfy the conditions
listed in the previous Article but also:”;

2. A point 5. is added, worded as follows: “put into or keep in service, effectively install or
maintain the games of chance or the gaming establishments for which a licence has been
granted.”.


Art. 37

Article 40 of the same Act is repealed.


Art. 38

Article 42 of the same Act, amended by the Royal Decree of 4 April 2003, is completed as
follows:




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                                                                                                 58


“and produce an attestation issued by the Federal Public Service Finances establishing that all
fiscal obligations have been satisfied.”.


Art. 39

A Section IIIbis, including Articles 43bis to 43nonies, is inserted into Chapter IV of the same
Act after Article 43, and worded as follows:

“Section IIIbis. – Class IV gaming establishments.

Sub-section I: Betting

Art.43bis § 1. It is prohibited to take a bet, as defined in Article 2, 5° to 8°, regarding an event
or an activity contrary to public order or good morals.

§ 2. With the exception of betting on horse races, the only bets authorised are:
1° Mutual bets;
2° Fixed odds bets;

§3. All bets in compliance with this Act and which are subject to a stake higher than the sum
or the cash return laid down by the King shall be registered by the operator in a computer
system and the data recorded shall be kept for 5 years.

The King shall determine the data which shall be recorded and their detailed provisions.


Sub-section II: Betting establishments

Art. 43ter §1. Class IV gaming establishments or betting agencies are establishments in which
betting can be organised.

It is prohibited to organise betting outside a class IV establishment, with the exception of the
case laid down in Articles 43ter, §5 and §6 and 43octies, §1.

§2. Class IV gaming establishments or betting agencies shall have a mobile or fixed nature.

A mobile betting agency is a temporary establishment clearly delimited in area, which is
operated upon the occasion, for the duration and at the location of an event, of a sports contest
or a sports competition. It shall be clearly separated from the place in which alcoholic
beverages are sold to be consumed on the premises.

A mobile betting agency may not take bets other than those related to such event, such contest
or such competition.

A fixed betting agency is a permanent establishment clearly delimited in area, which is used
solely for the placing of bets. It may, however, also carry out:
- The sale of specialist newspapers, sports magazines and gadgets;
- The sale of non-alcoholic beverages;
- The operation of a maximum of two automatic games of chance.


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                                                                                                59




The King shall determine the conditions under which the automatic games of chance referred
to in subparagraph 4, third indent, may be operated.

§3. A maximum of 1,000 class IV fixed gaming establishments and 60 class IV mobile
gaming establishments shall be authorised.

§4. Operation of a class IV fixed gaming establishment shall require a class F1 licence.
Operation of a class IV mobile gaming establishment shall require a class F2 licence.

§5. Bets which are exclusively related to the final result of a homing pigeon race organised by
a pigeon fanciers club affiliated to the national pigeon fanciers federation may be taken or
organised outside a class IV establishment. Non-profit-making associations may accept such
bets. The organisers shall hold a class F2 licence.

§6. Booksellers, natural persons or legal entities, registered with the Banque-Carrefour des
Entreprises as commercial companies, with the exception of places in which alcoholic
beverages are sold to be consumed on the premises, and with the exception of night shops as
referred to in Article 4bis of the Act of 24 July 1973 establishing mandatory evening closure
in trade, the craft industry and services, may accept bets which are authorised pursuant to this
Act. They shall hold a class F2 licence.

Art. 43quater. To be able to obtain a class F1 or F2 licence, the applicant shall:

1. If he is a natural person, prove that he is a national of a Member State of the European
Union and, if it is a legal entity, prove that it has such status under Belgian law or the law of a
Member State of the European Union;

2. If he is a natural person, prove that he is in full possession of his civil and political rights
and, if it is a legal entity, prove that the board members and managers enjoy such rights, and,
in all cases, conduct themselves in a manner befitting the requirements of the function;

3. Where applicable, present the list of sports for which he wishes to take bets and, for the
class F1 licence, present the games of chance which he wishes to operate, pursuant to §2,
subparagraph 4;

4. Provide proof of his solvency and of his financial capacity;

5. Provide the Commission with any useful information to enable it to check the transparency
of the operation and identify the shareholders, as well as subsequent modifications pertaining
thereto;

6. Produce an attestation issued by the Federal Public Service Finances establishing that all
fiscal obligations have been satisfied;

7. Notify the settlement of bets to the Commission.

Art. 43quinquies. To be able to continue to hold a class F1 or F2 licence, the applicant shall
not only continue to meet the conditions listed in the previous Article but also:



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                                                                                             60


1. If he is a natural person involved in any way whatsoever, directly or indirectly, personally
or through the intermediary of a legal entity, in the operation of a class IV gaming
establishment, inform the Commission of his identity and be able to be unequivocally
identified at all times by the latter;

2. Make it possible for the Commission to unequivocally identify at all times and know the
identity of all other natural persons involved, in any way whatsoever, directly or indirectly,
personally or through the intermediary of a legal entity, in the operation of a class IV gaming
establishment;

3. Provide the Commission with any useful information to enable it to check the transparency
of the operation at all times and identify the shareholders, as well as subsequent modifications
pertaining thereto;

4. Notify any change to the settlement of bets to the Commission;

5. Where applicable, abide by the provisions of the cooperation agreement with the
Commission;

6. Put into or keep in service, effectively install or maintain the games of chance or the
gaming establishments for which a licence has been granted.

Art. 43sexies. The King shall determine:

1. The form of class F1 and F2 licences;
2. The provisions on application and examination of applications for class F1 and F2 licences;
3. The obligations to be met by class IV gaming establishments in terms of administration and
accounting;
4. The operating rules on betting operated in a class IV gaming establishment;
5. The rules on monitoring and control of betting operated in a class IV gaming establishment,
possibly by an appropriate computer system.


Sub-section III: Betting on horse races

Art. 43septies. As far as horse races are concerned, the only bets authorised are:

1. Mutual bets on horse races which take place in Belgium and which are organised by a
racing association affiliated to the Belgian Horse Racing Federation.
2. Fixed odds bets on horse races which take place in Belgium and which are organised by a
racing association affiliated to the Belgian Horse Racing Federation.
3. Shared bets which take place abroad, either according to the results of mutual bets, or
according to the agreed odds to which the parties refer.

Art. 43octies. § 1. The bets referred to in Article 43septies, 1., may be organised only by the
racing association which organises the race concerned. It shall hold a class F2 licence. Such
association may take the form of a non-profit-making association.

§2. The bets referred to in Article 43septies, 2., may be organised by the racing association
which organises the race concerned or by a mobile betting agency. It shall hold a class F2


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                                                                                               61


licence. Betting which is organised by a mobile betting agency shall require the prior consent
of the racing association which organises the race concerned.

§3. The bets referred to in Article 43septies, 3., may be organised only by a fixed betting
agency.

Art. 43nonies. By derogation to Article 43septies, 1., the King may authorise mutual betting
on horse races which take place abroad. Such bets may be organised only by a racing
association affiliated to the Belgian Horseracing Federation. It shall hold a class F2 licence.
Such association may take the form of a non-profit-making association.

The King may lay down the conditions under which such bets can be taken. These conditions
shall refer, in particular, to the prior conclusion of a bilateral international agreement and its
approval by the Gaming Commission.


Art. 40

In Article 44 of the same Act, the words “class I or class II” are replaced by the words “class
I, II or IV”.


Art. 41

In Article 46 of the same Act, the words “members of the personnel” are replaced by the
words “holders of a class D licence” and the words “where applicable” are inserted between
the words “laid down” and “in their contract of employment”.


Article 42

A Chapter IVbis, including Articles 47bis to 47nonies, is inserted into the same Act after
Article 47, and worded as follows:

“Chapter IVbis – Media games.

Section I – General rules.

Art. 47bis. It is prohibited to operate a game of chance via a media outlet, as defined in
Article 2, 9° and 10°, without first obtaining a class G1 or G2 licence.

Art. 47ter. For the purposes of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply:

- Game duration: the period between the placing of the stake and the definitive end of the
game, which is accompanied by a win or a loss;

- Provider: any person who, in his own name or on his own behalf, provides or retails services
or electronic or telephonic communication networks;




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                                                                                                  62


- Organiser: any person who organises a game as referred to in this Chapter and/or determines
its content;

- Game supplier: the television broadcaster and its broadcast channel on which the game is
shown to the television viewer;

- Facilitating company: any person who puts his infrastructure at the disposal of and/or
collaborates in the management or processing of the communication emanating from the
television viewer.

Art. 47quater. To be able to obtain a class G1 or G2 licence, the applicant shall:

1. If he is a natural person, prove that he is a national of a Member State of the European
Union and, if it is a legal entity, prove that it has such status under Belgian law or the law of a
Member State of the European Union;

2. If he is a natural person, prove that he is in full possession of his civil and political rights
and, if it is a legal entity, prove that the board members and managers enjoy such rights, and,
in all cases, conduct themselves in a manner befitting the requirements of the function;

3. Deposit a complete application dossier with the Commission, in which the organisation,
selection and method of the game are explained.

In the application dossier referred to in subparagraph 1, 3., the provider, the organiser, the
game supplier and the facilitating companies shall be specified. Each of such persons shall
also, if a natural person, prove that he is in full possession of his civil and political rights and,
if it is a legal entity, prove that the board members and managers enjoy such rights.

Art. 47quinquies. To be able to continue to hold a class G1 or G2 licence, the applicant shall
not only continue to meet the conditions listed in the previous Article but also:

1. If he is a natural person involved in any way whatsoever, directly or indirectly, personally
or through the intermediary of a legal entity, in the operation of a media game, inform the
Commission of his identity and be able to be unequivocally identified at all times by the
latter;

2. Make it possible for the Commission to unequivocally identify at all times and know the
identity of all other natural persons involved, in any way whatsoever, directly or indirectly,
personally or through the intermediary of a legal entity, in the operation of a media game;

3. Provide the Commission with any useful information to enable it to check the transparency
of the operation at all times and identify the shareholders, as well as subsequent modifications
pertaining thereto;

4. Produce an attestation issued by the Federal Public Service Finances establishing that all
fiscal obligations have been satisfied.”.


Section II. - Television programmes operated by means of series of Belgian telephone
numbers.


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Art. 47sexies. A class G1 licence is mandatory to be able to broadcast television programmes
involving the use of series of Belgian telephone numbers for which it is permitted to invoice
the caller for the price of the content in addition to the cost of the communication, on the
understanding that such price is limited to the series for which the tariff to the end user is not
dependent on the duration of the call, and which form a complete game programme.

Art. 47septies. The King shall determine:

   1. The form of the class G1 licence;
   2. The provisions on application and examination of applications for class G1 licences;
   3. The provisions on the administration and operation of establishments which may offer
      media games, on the understanding that the accounts for gaming operations shall be
      kept separately;
   4. The rules on the operation of media games;
   5. The rules on the monitoring and control of media games.


Section III. – Games of chance operated by a media outlet, other than television programmes
operated using series of Belgian telephone numbers.

Art. 47octies. A class G2 licence is mandatory to be able to broadcast games of chance via a
media outlet, other than television programmes using series of Belgian telephone numbers and
which form a complete game programme.

Art. 47nonies. The King shall determine:

   1. The form of the class G2 licence;
   2. The provisions on application and examination of applications for class G2 licences;
   3. The provisions on the administration and operation of establishments which may offer
      media games, on the understanding that the accounts for gaming operations shall be
      kept separately;
   4. The rules on the operation of media games;
   5. The rules on the monitoring and control of media games.”.


Art. 43

A paragraph 2 is inserted in Article 48 of the same Act, worded as follows:

“Providers who have expedited the notification laid down in Article 9 of the Act of 13 June
2005 on electronic communications shall be exempted from this obligation regarding games
and chance and betting for which a licence has been obtained pursuant to the provisions of
this Act.”.


Art. 44

Article 49 of the same Act is repealed.



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                                                                                               64




Art. 45

Article 50 of the Act is completed as follows:

“4. Produce an attestation issued by the Federal Public Service Finances establishing that all
fiscal obligations have been satisfied.”.


Art. 46

Article 51 of the same Act is replaced by the following provision:

“To be able to continue to hold a class E licence, the applicant shall not only continue to meet
the conditions listed in the previous Article but also:

1. If he is a natural person involved in any way whatsoever, directly or indirectly, personally
or through the intermediary of a legal entity, in the operation of an activity for which a class E
licence is required, inform the Commission of his identity and be able to be unequivocally
identified at all times by the latter;

2. Provide the Commission with any useful information to enable it to check the transparency
of the operation at all times and identify the shareholders, as well as subsequent modifications
pertaining thereto.”.


Art. 47


In Article 52 of the same Act, the following amendments are made:

1° In subparagraph 1,

a) The words “in a class I, II and II gaming establishment” are replaced by the words
“operated by the holder of a licence referred to in this Act”.

 b) The sentence “A permit shall then be issued by way of proof.” is replaced by the sentence
“An attestation of recognition shall be issued by way of proof.”;

2° In subparagraph 2,

a) In the first indent, the words “Ministry of Economic Affairs” are replaced by the words
“Federal Public Service Economy”;

b) In the second indent, the words “either by a body accredited to this effect under the Act of
20 July 1990 regarding the accreditation of certification and inspection bodies as well as test
laboratories, under the supervision of the Metrology service” are replaced by the words
“either by a body accredited to this effect under the Act of 20 July 1990 regarding the
accreditation of conformity assessment bodies or accredited in another Member State of the
European Communities or in another Member State which is party to the Agreement on the


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                                                                                              65


European Economic Space, under the control of the Metrology Service of the Federal Public
Service Economy”;

c) A fourth indent is inserted, worded as follows: “- To wit, by a service, appointed by the
Commission, and the mode and means of operation of which are laid down by the King.”.


Art. 48

In Article 54 of the same Act, the following amendments are made:

1° In §1,

a) In the first sentence, the words “classes I and II” are replaced by the words “class I, II and
IV which operate games of chance as referred to in Article 43ter, §2, subparagraph 4,”;

b) In the second sentence, the words “is prohibited” are replaced by the words “and the
practice of betting in class IV gaming establishments are prohibited”;

c) A subparagraph 2 is added, worded as follows:

“The practice of games of chance operated by means of information society services is
prohibited to persons under the age of 21 years. The practice of betting operated by means of
information society services is prohibited to minors.”;

d) A subparagraph 3 is added, worded as follows:

“The practice of games of chance operated via the media is prohibited to persons under the
age of 21 years.”;

2° In §2,

a) The words “class I and II” are replaced by the words “class I, II and IV which operate
games of chance as referred to in Article 43ter, §2, subparagraph 4,”;

b) A subparagraph 2 is added, worded as follows:

“The practice of games of chance operated via information society services or the media, and
the practice of betting operated outside a class IV gaming establishment, are also prohibited to
them.”;

3° In §3,

a) The beginning of the first sentence is replaced by the following:

“On the opinion of its assessment cell, the Commission shall order the prohibition of access to
the practice of games of chance within the meaning of this Act:”;

b) A point 1bis. is added between points 1. and 2., worded as follows:



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“1bis. Persons for whom prohibition of access has been requested by any person who can
prove a vested interest and who has the quality of family member of the interested party, debt
mediator of the interested party, President of the CPAS approached by the interested party, or
gaming establishment visited by the interested party, or for whom prohibition of access is
envisaged by the Commission as a matter of course;”;

c) A second subparagraph is added, worded as follows:

“In the case referred to in subparagraph 1, point 1bis., prohibition of access may be ordered
by a chamber of the Commission. The chamber shall reach its decision after gathering all and
any useful information and after hearing the interested party. The decision shall be duly
reasoned and forwarded to the persons concerned.”.

d) A third subparagraph is added, worded as follows:

“In the case referred to in subparagraph 1, points 1. and 1bis., the interested party may request
the Commission to lift prohibition of access. The Commission shall hand down its decision
after gathering all and any useful information, including the opinion of its assessment cell.
The decision shall be duly reasoned and forwarded to the persons concerned.”.

e) A fourth subparagraph is added, worded as follows:

“In the cases referred to in subparagraph 1, points 1. and 1bis., where it considers it necessary,
the Commission's assessment cell may guide prohibited persons or persons whose prohibition
is lifted to a suitable, recognised care centre.”.

4° In §4,

a) The beginning of the first sentence is replaced by the following:

“The Commission shall order preventive prohibition of access to the practice of games of
chance within the meaning of this Act:”;

b) A third subparagraph is added, worded as follows:

“The information to be forwarded to the Commission by the judiciary bodies shall be sent by
electronic means.”;

5° In §5, the words “to class I and II gaming establishments” are replaced by the words “to
the practice of games of chance within the meaning of this Act”.


Art. 49

In Article 55 of the same Act, as amended by the Royal Decree of 4 April 2003, the words
“Ministry of Justice” are replaced by the words “Federal Public Service Justice”.


Art. 50



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In Article 58 of the same Act, as amended by the Act of 8 April 2003, the following
amendments are made:

1° In subparagraph 1, the words “and for the practice of games of chance operated via
information society services,” are added between the words “class I” and the words “, it is
prohibited”;

2° Subparagraph 4 is replaced by the following provision: “The presence of automatic
distributors of bank notes and currency changers is permitted in class I, II, III and IV
establishments.”.


Art. 51

In Article 59 of the same Act, the following amendments are made:

1° The words “actual” are inserted between the words “Games of chance” and the words
“may not be practised”;

2° The following sentence is added:

“This provision shall not apply to the practice of betting.”.


Art. 52

In Article 60, subparagraph 1, of the same Act, as amended by the Act of 8 April 2003, the
words “classes II and III” are replaced by the words “class II, III and IV”.


Art. 53

Article 61, subparagraph 2, of the same Act is replaced by the following provision:

“The Commission shall provide class I, II, III and IV gaming establishments with folders
containing information on the addiction to gambling, the 0800 number of the counselling
service and the addresses of social assistants. The establishments concerned shall at all times
have such folders in stock and make them available to the public in a visible place. For games
of chance operated via information society services, the folders shall be available for
download.”.


Art. 54

In Article 62 of the same Act, the following amendments are made:

1° In subparagraph 1, the words “classes I and II” are replaced by the words “class I, II and
IV, which operate games of chance as referred to in Article 43ter, §2, subparagraph 4”;

2° In subparagraph 3, the word “ten” is replaced by the word “five”;


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3° In subparagraph 6, the words “class II or III” are replaced by the words “class A, B or F1”;

4° A subparagraph 7 is inserted, worded as follows:

“The King may determine the terms of admission and registration for the practice of games of
chance present in class III establishments.”;

5° A subparagraph 8 is inserted, worded as follows:

“The King shall determine the terms of admission and registration for the practice of games of
chance via an electronic communications network.”;


Art. 55

In Article 63 of the same Act,

1° The words “of Articles 4, 8, 26, 27, 46 and 58” are replaced by the words “of Articles 4, §1
and §3, 8, 26, 27, subparagraph 1, 46 and 58”;

2° The words “of 100 francs to 100,000 francs” are replaced by the words “of 3 euro to 3,000
euro”.


Art. 56

In Article 64 of the same Act,

1° In subparagraph 1,

a) The words “of Articles 54, 60 and 62” are replaced by the words “of Articles 4, §2, 43bis,
43ter, 43septies, 43octies, 54, 60 and 62”;

b) The words “of 26 francs to 25,000 francs” are replaced by the words “of 0.70 euro to 700
euro”;

2° In subparagraph 2, point 2° is deleted.


Art. 57

An Article 70bis is inserted into Chapter VIII of the Act, worded as follows:

“The annual fees owed by the holders of class A, A+, B, B+, E, F1, F2, F1+, G1 and G2
licences, and the initial fee owed by holders of a class C licence, which constitute the
contribution to the costs of installation, personnel and operation of the Commission, under
Article 19, §1, shall be set by the King, by Decree deliberated in the Council of Ministers.




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The King shall bring before the legislative chambers a draft Act confirming the Decree issued
in implementation of the previous subparagraph.”.


Art. 58

In Article 71 of the same Act, amended by the Royal Decree of 20 July 2000, the following
amendments are made:

1° In subparagraph 1, the words “of the class D licence” are replaced by the words “of class C
and D licences”;

2° Subparagraph 2 is replaced by the following provision:

“In the event of default on payment of costs by a licence holder, the Commission may deduct
the sums owing from the guarantee as a matter of priority.”;

3° Subparagraph 4 is replaced by the following provision:

“The actual guarantee is set at:
   1. The sum of 250,000 euro for a class A licence;
   2. The sum of 250,000 euro for an additional class A+ licence;
   3. The sum of 75,000 euro for a class B licence;
   4. The sum of 75,000 euro for an additional class B+ licence;
   5. The sum of 25,000 euro for a class E licence, when the holder provides exclusively
       maintenance, repair or upkeep services for games of chance, and the sum of 12,500
       euro per increment of 50 appliances when the holder provides any other activity
       necessitating a class E licence;
   6. The sum of 13,000 euro for a class F1 licence;
   7. The sum of 75,000 euro for an additional class F1+ licence;
   8. The sum of 9,000 euro for a class F2 licence;
   9. The sum of 80,000 euro for a class G1 licence.”.


Art. 59

An Article 71bis, worded as follows, is inserted into the same Act:

“Contrary to what is laid down in Article 71, the system of guarantees is maintained for
holders of class C licences who receive their licence before 1 January in the year following
the coming into effect of the Act of … amending various provisions on games of chance. The
sum of the guarantee owed shall be set each year pursuant to Article 71, as it existed prior to
the coming into effect of such Act.”.


Art. 60

An Article 76bis, worded as follows, is inserted into the same Act:




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“Existing fixed and mobile class IV establishments, likewise other existing natural persons or
legal entities authorised to accept bets under Articles 43ter, §5 and §6, and 43octies, §1, that
can present an attestation from the Federal Public Service Finances, according to which they
have satisfied all of their fiscal obligations, shall be entitled to continue their activities until
the Commission's decision on the granting of a class F1 or F2 licence, provided that they
deposit a guarantee as referred to in Article 71 and file with the Commission a complete,
correct dossier as referred to in Article 43quater within a period of two months as of the
coming into effect of the Act of … amending various provisions on games of chance.

Applicants for G1 licences for the operation of television programmes involving the use of
existing Belgian telephone numbers, who have authorisation from the Commission, may also
continue to operate their activities under the same conditions.”.


Art. 61

An Article 76ter, worded as follows, is inserted into the same Act:

“The appointment of the current members of the Gaming Commission, pursuant to the
provisions of the Act of 7 May 1999 on games of chance, gaming establishments and player
protection, as implemented at the time of adoption of the Act of … amending various
provisions on games of chance, shall continue to be valid, likewise the period that it lays
down.

Members of the personnel in function at the Commission upon the coming into effect of the
Act of … amending various provisions on game of chance shall keep their function and their
status until the adoption of the measures taken in implementation of § 1. If they are not re-
employed by the Commission upon the appointments operated pursuant to the aforementioned
measures, such agents shall by right rejoin the services of the Federal Public Service Justice,
with the status applicable to them.”.


Section 2: Provisions amending the Code on taxes equated with income tax

Art. 62

In Article 2, subparagraph 1, of the Income Tax Code, replaced by the Royal Decree of
29 March 1994 and amended by the Acts of 22 December 1998, 4 May 1999, 8 April 2003
and 10 August 2005, the figure “327” is inserted between the figures “307” and “337,”.


Art. 63

Article 66 of the same Code is repealed.


Art. 64

Article 67 of the same Code is repealed.



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Section 3: Provision amending the Income Tax Code

Art. 65

Article 327, §6, of the 1992 Income Tax Code, inserted by the Act of 7 May 1999, is
completed as follows:

“If, for application of the provisions of the aforementioned Act, the Director of Taxation notes
an infringement of the provisions of this Code or the Code on taxes equated with income tax
and the Decrees issued regarding their implementation or if concrete elements lead him to
assume the existence of a tax evasion mechanism, he shall inform the Commission thereof by
registered letter.”.


Section 4: Provisions amending the Act of 26 June 1963 on the promotion of physical
education, sports and outdoor life as well as on the monitoring of enterprises that
organise sports betting contests.

Art. 66

In the title of the Act of 26 June 1963 on the promotion of physical education, sports and
outdoor life as well as on the monitoring of enterprises that organise sports betting contests,
the words “as well as the monitoring of enterprises that organise sports betting contests” are
deleted.


Art. 67

Chapter I of the same Act, as amended by the Acts of 4 June 1971, 28 December 1973 and 19
April 2002, is repealed.


Art. 68

Article 12, 1° of the same Act is repealed.


Section 5: Provisions amending the Act of 19 April 2002 rationalising the operation and
management of the National Lottery

Art. 69

In Article 3, §1, of the Act of 19 April 2002 rationalising the operation and management of
the National Lottery, as amended by the Act of 24 December 2002, the following
amendments are made:

1° In subparagraph 1, the word “, betting” is deleted;

2° Subparagraph 2 is replaced as follows:


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“The National Lottery shall also be responsible, in the general interest and according to
commercial methods, for organising national lotteries and betting, in the forms and in
accordance with the general rules established by the King, for national lotteries at the proposal
of the Minister and for betting, after seeking the opinion of the Gaming Commission, referred
to in Article 9 of the Act of 7 May 1999 on games of chance, gaming establishments and
player protection, and at the proposal of the Minister and the Minister of Justice.”.


Art. 70

In Article 21, §1, of the same Act, the following amendments are made:

1° In subparagraph 2, the words “in gaming establishments” are deleted;

2° Subparagraph 3 is replaced as follows: “The King shall, at the proposal of the Minister and
of the Minister of Justice, lay down the exact rules under which this inspection shall take
place.”.


Chapter 3: COMING INTO EFFECT

Art. 71

This Act shall come into effect on the date set by the King.




                                                     17 July 2008


                                                     Marie-Hélène CROMBE-BERTON
                                                     Alain COURTOIS




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