The Flemish expertise center VAD is pushing for the minimum gambling age in Belgium to be raised from 18 to 21. VAD, which consists of over 70 substance and addiction groups and works closely with the Flemish government, released a memorandum outlining this and eight other priorities for policies on alcohol, psychoactive medication, video games, and illegal drugs.
The memorandum emphasizes the need for consistent legislation to regulate access to gambling and alcohol, calling for price increases, advertisement bans, and limiting availability. This includes raising the minimum age for gambling to 21 and the minimum age for purchasing alcohol to 18. Currently, Belgians cannot gamble with casinos or slot machines, both online and retail, until the age of 21, but the minimum age for placing bets is 18.
VAD believes that limiting access to gambling and alcohol can help protect vulnerable individuals in the population. This push for stricter regulations comes in response to concerns about problem gambling and addiction in the country.
In a related development, the Belgian Association of Gaming Operators (BAGO) implemented a Duty of Care mandate in response to criticisms from the political sector. BAGO, representing six popular operators in the gambling sector, committed to measures aimed at monitoring problem gambling, including a uniform detection system, player communication, and staff training.
The organization believes that these efforts will help address concerns about problem gambling and addiction, as well as protect vulnerable individuals in the population. This push for stricter regulation comes in response to concerns about problem gambling and addiction in the country.