Belgium

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Belgium

This page is the right one for you if you are looking for Belgium’s top-rated sports betting sites. Our guide has everything you need to know about online betting in Belgium, from taxes that may apply to whether or not it’s legal to bet online.

Best Betting Sites in Belgium

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By and large, Belgium has been moving in the opposite direction from most countries by putting up stringent measures against internet gaming. In contrast to various European countries that are easing online gambling restrictions and attitudes towards it, the approach by Belgium is characterized by tough regulations on its people as well as bookmakers. It is quite astonishing bearing in mind what happened in 2011 when a more liberal attitude was taken.

Belgians Have Been Betting Since the 1400s

Belgium is a country whose gambling history goes back to centuries ago. From its earliest origins in the fifteen century, lotteries of one kind or another have existed throughout most of Belgium’s history while other forms of betting culture has been witnessed within the Belgian society over the years with horse racing and casinos becoming increasingly popular in the recent past.

Betting outlets are a common sight in Belgium. UK-based firm, Ladbrokes, has been present since 1980’s and is found in at least 440 locations within the country.

Belgium in 2002 legalised online gambling at a time when most other countries in Europe were prohibiting online betting activity. The population of Belgium enjoyed unrestricted, unmonitored years of betting until there was a visible shift in policy following the Gambling Act of 2009.

Stricter Online Regulation

By January 1, 2011 a new Belgian gambling law was put into force. Among others, it involved tight control of online gambling, closed licensing system. The licenses given to online activities were 9 for casinos, 180 for gaming arcades and 34 for betting.

One other provision for online operators was that they needed to be present in Belgium physically for example by locating their land servers and obtaining a terrestrial license. Only the companies that operated within Belgium could legally accept online bets.

To put it simply, this new legislation implies that any foreign-based online betting outlets such as bookmakers, casinos and poker rooms are prohibited from operating in Belgium.

If any party or person advertises illegal gambling services to the Belgian nation, in whatever form such as marketing, affiliates schemes and so on, there will be criminal penalties for them.

Betfair, however, challenged this position in court, and the law was upheld to maintain their ban on its operation. Companies that go against this law and operate in Belgium may be fined up to €25,000 or even up to €100,000 if they choose to continue offering their services.

How Betting Sites Secure a Licence in Belgium

Bookmaker Belgique or any betting site in Belgium that wants to get an authentic gambling license will have to go through the Gaming Commission, also called Kansspelcommissie. For a casino to operate it must have “licence A” but for an online betting site in Belgium it needs something more, that is “licence A+”.

According to the aforementioned, alien websites may not freely function in Belgium, therefore the firm will have to stay within its borders. The process of application could cost roughly five hundred thousand euros.

Flag of Belgium

The Best Bookmakers Operating in Belgium

The ‘blacklist’ of betting websites in Belgium, which has been expanding since 2011 when the new legislation was implemented. Despite initial indifference to the Belgian laws by most bookmakers, some recent legal wins over companies like Bet-At-Home (who disputed the legality of the blacklist) have made them comply with these rules.

Bwin and Ladbrokes

Ladbrokes has been running in Belgium for well over twenty years, so getting an online license was the next logical step for them. Bwin, another company that had previously contested some decisions of the Belgian Gaming Commission (BGC), is now fully licensed; however when signing up on their website, Belgians are directed to a ‘.be’ address.

GVC Holdings Group now owns Bwin, which is the sports betting partner of Belgium’s top tier football division known as the Pro League. Like any other bookmaking company with a license for their services in Belgium, Ladbrokes could not escape GVC that also bought it.

Betway and Other Recognisable Brands

You can easily access Betway in Belgium, which is one of the leading websites in the nation. This is especially true if you want to bet on the go via Betway’s app as it is one of the most popular mobile products for online sports betting. In addition, Betway constantly updates its promotions and provides competitive odds on various sports.

Betfair, which is also involved in a legal dispute with BCG, seems to have relented and is now operating within the confines of the law as there are no restrictions on premier betting exchange’s sign ups. Coral and Winner are the other major companies that can do business legally in Belgium.

Major Bookmakers Missing in Belgium

There is reluctance by a lot of online bookmakers, in both Europe and Asia, to operate in Belgium and get licensed. In particular, companies that do not cater for Belgians are:

  • Paddy Power
  • BetVictor
  • 188Bet
Belgium football fans

Depositing at Sports Betting Sites in Belgium

In Belgium, citizens have a lot of payment options to choose from when it comes to betting. Debit and credit cards are clearly the most well-liked ones but best bookmakers in Belgium can also propose PayPal, NETELLER, Paysafecard, Skrill, Western Union and bank transfer.

The majority of the betting websites that can be accessed are licensed in Belgium. This makes it easier for persons to fund their accounts because there are fewer problems and regulations when funding an account. If you want to make things even simpler, think about payment options that are well known within your area.

A good example is that Bancontact Mobile can generally be found as a deposit option in most sites. But if you are interested in sports betting, and want to gamble using cryptocurrencies, there are many Belgium-based websites where you can use Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies that have rapidly gained popularity.

Do You Pay Taxes on Winnings in Belgium?

Belgium has a vague measure of taxing gambling winnings. Many sources propose that money got from betting is tax exempt, just like it is across the entire continent. On the other hand, the Belgian Treasury argued that any “occasional or accidental winnings outside of a professional activity“, thus including play winnings, are subject to taxation of “various income” at a rate of 33%.

The BCG argued that players don’t pay any tax when they win a game, which contradicts this legal interpretation.

Reality is that tax rates in Belgium are regionally determined, which are three: Walloon, Flemish and Brussels-Capital. It should be mentioned that at the time of writing this rate may be different, but as it stands now the tax rate is 11% on gross margins for online gambling. There are also some bets in Belgium that do not fall under Gaming Act like Lotteries that can operate free from taxes.

Kevin De Bruyne

Most Popular Sport for Betting in Belgium

Football is the most popular sport in Belgium, but this country is not just about football. In addition, given below are few sports that are commonly bet on most in Belgium:

Football

Belgium is famous for its strong football tradition. In spite of not having won any major competition, Belgium National Team topped the FIFA World Rankings in 2015, placing ahead of France and Brazil who are giants in soccer as well as finishing third at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Just recently, Belgium has given birth to some of the most prolific world’s international football players like Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku.

One can also bet on a variety of different international leagues and competitions such as the English Premier League and the Bundesliga at our recommended sites. There are teams like Anderlecht and Club Brugge in the Belgian First Division A, which is also known as the Belgian Pro League.

Basketball

Belgium’s top basketball championship is called the Pro Basketball League or EuroMillions Basketball League. There are 10 teams in the league and therefore many games to bet on at all leading sports betting websites. When unsure of whom to choose, just go for Filou Oostende that has a record of over 20 titles won so far. Racing Mechelen almost closed up until merging with Sobabee in 1995 which gave birth to Racing Basket Antwerpen.

In case you are interested in exploring international options, one thing you can do is to try NBA betting; or any other elite basketball league for a change.

Tennis

The impact of Belgium on the game is evident by a walk through the International Tennis Hall of Fame – where one of their former top-ranked players, Justine Henin was inducted. For instance, relative newcomers; David Goffin and Elise Mertens show similar aspirations thus; it should not be surprising that virtually all the best gambling sites in Belgium provide betting options for almost every tennis tournament.

The European Open in Antwerp is one of the most captivating tournaments on the tennis calendar. It is Belgium’s lone ATP Tour Event, having seen former champions like Andy Murray and Ugo Humbert.

Esports

Esports keeps growing as a real sport every year, and this has raised the stakes of betting. It is evident that Belgian takes it very seriously because they have their own governing body known as Belgian Esports Federation. Some of the teams in Belgium include: Brussels Guardians, Ion Squad, KRC Genk Esports and Sector One among others.

Among the games most commonly played are Fortnite, League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Rocket League. You can bet from Belgium on every top eSports betting site.

Law-related items on map of Belgium

Final Thoughts on Betting Online in Belgium

Part of the Gaming Act 2009, declarations by the Gaming Commission have set new stringent laws concerning online gambling in Belgium. The gaming fraternity scoffed and resisted at first when they heard that Belgians cannot use unlicensed websites but BGC has been winning cases in court.

Since big organisations such as Bwin and Betfair have agreed to the stipulations that govern their receipt of a Belgian gambling license, the number of bookmakers available for use by Belgian citizens has increased.

It is always bad for the pro gamblers who do the big businesses in betting if they don’t have access to mainstream football betting sites such as 188Bet. Nevertheless, there are a plenty of alternatives to choose from on different horse races, football and NBA betting with Belgian bookmakers for those who do it for fun only.

FAQ

Is betting legal in Belgium?

Yes, it’s entirely legal to gamble on the internet in Belgium. Check out our guide to online gambling in Belgium to find out which websites are suggested by our specialists and all other things you should be aware of.

Which is the best sports betting app that I can get in Belgium?

An app will always be available for the best online sports betting platforms. To identify the most suitable Belgian bookmaker app, consider things like whether you would prefer to download a gambling app offering live chat or the one with the neatest interface layout visible while betting on tennis in play.

Can I use bet365 in Belgium?

Indeed, bet365 can easily be accessed from Belgium. You do not even need a VPN because players in Belgium can play at bet365 legally. Additionally, the gambling behemoth entices Belgian sports gamblers with a hefty bonus.

Q.Is PayPal betting possible in Belgium?

A.Yes, yes, you can always deposit and withdraw funds using PayPal, at many of Belgium’s most well-known sports betting sites. It is a highly popular online payment gateway in the country and worldwide, which makes it one of the safest and most convenient ways to fund betting accounts.

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