12/17/09 – The contentious and recently passed Belgian Gaming Act (see previous InfoPowa reports) has triggered the first moves toward selectively restricted online gambling.
Following the approval of Belgium's new Gaming Act by the House of Representatives, the Belgian National Lottery has begun trialling online wagering on all current draws, with an additional set of games set to be launched in coming months.
The trials consist of a six-week test phase amongst 3 000 players, and if successful this will be followed by the full launch on 18 January 2010.
The country's new Gaming Act, which is expected to be signed into law in January 2010, has been roundly criticised for its restrictions on operators from fellow EU nations, and adverse European Commission advisories questioning its compatibility with European law. The restriction of Belgian licenses to holders of existing land-based gambling licenses in the country is a particularly controversial aspect.