Belgium further restricts slot machines in newsagents
Gambling machines in newsagents will soon have to be equipped with eID verification in an attempt by the government to better protect minors and people with gambling problems.
On Friday, the federal government approved a preliminary draft law by Justice minister Vincent Van Quickenborne (Open VLD) that further restricts gaming machines in newsagents. In particular, they will soon have to be equipped with identity checks so that minors and people on the Gaming Commission's Excluded Persons Information System (EPIS) list are automatically excluded.
The EPIS is a database of people who are banned from gambling, for example, because of addiction or collective debts. There are currently over 180,000 people on the list, including almost 48,000 gamblers who have listed themselves.
A study by the Gaming Commission shows that young people also need more protection. It shows that over half of the young people surveyed had gambled in the last three years. Among boys, the figure is 65 per cent. More than one in 10 gambles every day, which could be a sign of addiction.
The preliminary draft also strengthens the fight against illegal gambling websites by publishing the URLs in the Belgian Official Gazette. The Gaming Commission already obliges internet service providers to block sites in Belgium in this way. A legal enshrinement will allow it to act more decisively, Van Quickenborne says. The text will now go to the Council of State and the Data Protection Authority for advice.
© BELGA PHOTO LAURIE DIEFFEMBACQ