The decision has been met with some heavy criticism from local gambling operators such as Bago, who claimed that this would have no benefits for the customer and instead leaves them with confusion about which operators are legal and which are illegal. Bago highlighted that there is a serious problem within the Belgian gambling industry, with 1 in 3 operators visually advertising over social media who don’t own the appropriate license, meaning that they are operating illegally.
Bago pointed out the hypocrisy of the Belgian government after revealing that 40% of the gambling ads in Belgium are targeted toward their national lottery. They beg the question, who is the government trying to benefit?
Bago president Tom De Clercq has other ideas on how to combat illegal operators and had this to say:
“Today, more and more legal operators are deploying algorithms and artificial intelligence to quickly identify emerging problematic gambling behaviors and offer solutions to players, including advising them to register on the EPIS [self-exclusion] list. If we want to fight gambling addiction effectively, this is the way to go.”