Casinos for youGamblers in certain EU jurisdictions face limitations imposed by their respective authorities. Some may see the steps as necessary for consumer protection, while others might seek alternative options.
Regulators throughout Europe continue to tighten the reigns on gambling entertainment, with Belgium and Spain both implementing stricter limits on players. Most regulated jurisdictions in European face authoritarian regulations despite worrying research findings on the results of these.
Belgium recently announced the approval of a Royal Decree on deposit limits for remote gambling in the region. Spain opened a consultation on updated regulations which curb players with loss and spend limits.
Multiple studies point to an increase in illegal gambling when players experience a tighter grip on their entertainment choices, yet lawmakers ignore the warnings.
Belgium Government Restricts Deposits
Effective 20 October, gamblers in Belgium may only deposit €200 per week on individual operator websites. The news comes as the country’s government passed a Royal Decree in July and posted the amendment in the Belgian Official Gazette. Deposits limits apply per licensed website and apply across all verticals.
Once the law comes into effect, calculations on the players’ profiles include deposits from the last seven days of activity. The monitoring happens continuously and all limits are reset weekly to €200. According to the decree, players can apply for an increased deposit limit through their operator of choice. Approvals for higher limits depend on the player’s credit rating with the National Bank of Belgium and operators need to submit applications through the Belgium Gaming Commission (BGC).
Purportedly, players with clear records can enjoy unlimited deposits following approval. The new laws require regular monitoring of these profiles and if players default payments, the operator must flag the profile. This causes a reinstatement of the limits.
The Belgian regulator said:
“In order not to risk becoming a problematic gambler and to keep the game fun, it is recommended not to spend more than 5% of your income for this purpose.”
Gamblers from the region can request a smaller limit if they deem it suitable for their financial situation.
Proposals for Limits in Spain
The Spanish gambling regulator, the Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ), announced the possibility of new online gambling laws. Among others, these include loss limits per gambling session and amendments to rules for high rollers. The DGOJ opened a consultation on the public proposal in June with an expiration date on responses set for 9 August.
Regulations include new processes for operators when players register a new account and, instead of monthly or weekly limits, it proposes session limits. Operators may not save settings for players and players must enter limits every time they start a new session. The compulsory limits comprise time and net spend limits.
The DGOJ proposes operators contact players at least every 30 minutes during an active session through automated messages containing objective information about the player’s gambling behaviour. The Inspectorate also suggests a monthly compilation of player profiles with reports including play available throughout the month, total visits, deposits made, deposit limit management, and more.
If the laws come into effect, a loss limit threshold will bar players from using their profiles until a set time elapses. Operators must flag profiles of players who reach specific thresholds and messaging of these players will change according to their risk profile. Further restrictions include specific measures for younger players and no credit card funds for at-risk profiles.
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