Notice: The taking of bets in Class IV mobile gaming establishments (bookmakers) (October 2014)

(This Notice replaces item 1 of the Notice dated 6 November 2013).

Section 43/4. § 2, 5th member of the Act of 7 May 1999 on games of chance, bets, gaming establishments and the protection of players (hereinafter: “the Gaming Act”) specifies that a mobile gaming establishment is not allowed to take bets other than those relating to the event, the game or the competition in question.
The Parliamentary Preparatory Materials do not set out any further specifications on this topic.
 
1. What do “bets relating to the competition in question” mean?
Though there are no problems with the concepts “bets on the event in question” and “bets on the game in question”, it is not immediately apparent what Parliament meant with “bets on the competition in question”.
 
What exactly is meant by "competition"? Linguistically speaking, the dictionary tells us this may refer to:
a) a series of games/matches of a group of clubs who play against all the other clubs on one or two occasions (= in the narrow sense)
b) a different activity “of that sports discipline” undertaken on a competition basis (= wider sense)
 
It should be clear that if a football match is being held, both definitions make it clear that no bets are allowed to be taken at a tennis match for instance.
The Gaming Commission has now decided that the concept of "competition" is to sooner be understood in its wider sense, albeit confined to the competition in question in countries that are able to provide the required guarantees in respect of the fight of the phenomenon of “match fixing”:
  • all Belgian competitions;
  • competitions in countries of the European Economic Area (E.E.A.);
  • competitions in countries that are signatories to the European  Convention (Council of Europe) on the fixing of sports competitions after it was signed by Belgium;
  • international competitions which Belgian “teams” are allowed to join (for instance World Cup football or the Olympic Games).
In a concrete sense, this means that if a mobile gaming establishment is taking bets on a 2nd division football game for instance, it can also offer bets on all Belgian football games or football games from other E.E.A. countries or a country that signed the European Treaty to counteract match fixing.
 
Bets on a different sport such as tennis for instance cannot be taken via mobile gaming establishments on the occasion of a football match.
 
All bets on the sports discipline concerned may be taken by the class IV mobile gaming establishment with the restriction set out above, unless certain bets are specified by the Gaming Commission as being fraud-sensitive and these are publicised on the Commission's website by way of an Information Notice.
 
At the Gaming Commission's simple request, licence holders shall moreover cease the operation of a specific bet which is designated as fraud-sensitive by the Gaming Commission in the manner set out above.
 
Approved by the Gaming Commission at its session of 1 October 2014.
 
Etienne MARIQUE, Chairman

Notice: Match fixing - aimed at all F1 licence holders (4 June 2014)

As part of the fight against match fixing, as the regulator in the area of games of chance the Gaming Commission recently concluded co-operation agreements with FIFA and IOC. As we speak, there is now also a protocol under way at Belgian level aimed at safeguarding the integrity of sports.

Pursuant to section 43/5, 2. of the Gaming Act, all F1 licence holders are to comply with the requirements made of the function.
 
On 4 June 2014, the Gaming Commission decided that a prudent, careful and professional betting operator is to report all irregularities in connection with stakes being placed on the bets offered by him to the regulator at fraud@gamingcommission.be.
As the reporting centre for the operators, the Gaming Commission shall treat the information disclosed with every discretion and notify the reporting operator of the further investigation which may or may not be conducted.

 

Notice: Bets via Class IV mobile gaming establishments. What is permitted and what is not? (7 May 2014)

  • The regulations:
The Act of 7 May 1999 on games of chance, bets, gaming establishments and the protection of players specifies:
“Section 43/4, § 2. The Class IV gaming establishments are permanent or mobile.         
A mobile gaming establishment is a temporary establishment, in a clearly defined space, operated on the occasion, for the duration and at the location of an event, of a sports game or a sports competition. It must be clearly separated from the areas where alcoholic beverages are sold for on-premises consumption.                                                                                                                                                          A mobile gaming establishment is not allowed to take bets other than those that relate to the event, the game or the competition in question.” 
This provision shall be penalised under criminal law.     
What is also important is the in-principle ban to take bets in areas where alcohol is being sold as is apparent from:      
 
“Section 43/4.  
§1. Class IV gaming establishments are places exclusively meant for the taking of bets that are permitted under the said Act for account of the F1 licence holders.   
The taking of bets requires a F2 class licence. Save for the exceptions set out under §5, it is prohibited to take bets outside of a class IV gaming establishment.

§ 2. The Class IV gaming establishments are permanent or mobile.       
A permanent gaming establishment is a fixed establishment, in a clearly defined space, at which the bets are operated.               
A permanent gaming establishment is exclusively meant for the taking of bets, with the exception of:
- the sale of specialist newspapers, sports magazines and gadgets;      
- the sale of non-alcoholic beverages;  
- the operation of no more than two automatic games of chance that provide bets on activities similar to those organised at the betting office. The King shall determine the terms under which the said games of chance may be operated.          
A mobile gaming establishment is a temporary establishment, in a clearly defined space, operated on the occasion, for the duration and at the location of an event, of a sports game or a sports competition. It must be clearly separated from the areas where alcoholic beverages are sold for on-premises consumption.”

§5. Other than the aforesaid Class IV gaming establishments, the following may also be taken:             

1° the totaliser bets on horse races and bets on sports events other than horse races and greyhound races, by way of ancillary activity by newsagents, natural persons or legal persons, that are registered as a commercial company with the Crossroads Database for Businesses, insofar as such bets are not taken in establishments where alcoholic beverages are sold to be consumed on-site. The King shall determine the specific terms which the newsagents are to comply with. They must hold an F2 licence.”           

This in-principle ban as introduced by Parliament is also apparent from the following section in combination with the Parliamentary Preparatory Materials on the ban:           

“Section 43/4.
§5. Other than the aforesaid class IV gaming establishments the following shall also be permitted to be taken:             

2° the totaliser bets on horse races within the meaning of section 43/2, §2, 1° and 2°, that are held within the enclosure of a race course, subject to the terms to be determined by the King. The association is to hold an F2 class licence.”

Parliamentary Preparatory Materials.  
“b) the totaliser bets on horse races that are held in Belgium and that are organised by a racing association that is recognised by the competent federation. However, this type of bet may be organised only the racing association that is organising the race concerned. On an exceptional basis, this association shall be permitted to take on the form of a not for profit association. This exception for the totaliser bets on horse races is explained by the fact that, provided the terms to be specified by the King are duly observed, the stakes may be taken in canteens at the race course where alcoholic beverages are sold.”    

(Draft bill amending the Act dated 7 May 1999 on games of chance, bets, gaming establishments and the protection of players, of the Code of Taxes equated with Income Tax, of the
Act of 26 June 1963 on the encouragement of physical education, sports and outdoor life and the supervision of companies that organise betting competitions on sports results, of the Act of 19 April 2002 on the rationalisation of the operation and the administration of the National Lottery, DOC CHAMBER 52, 1992/001, page 37)

The Royal Decree of 22 December 2010 on the form of the F2 class licence, the manner in which applications for F2 class A licences are to be submitted and examined and the obligations which F2 licence holders are to comply with in the areas of management and accounts, specifies:

“Section 4. One and the same natural person or legal person shall be prohibited from combining the class A licence on the one hand and the F2 class licence for a permanent class IV gaming establishment on the other hand, whether directly or indirectly, personally or through the mediation/agency of a natural person or a legal person, at one and the same location or inside one and the same establishment.       

One and the same natural person or legal person shall be prohibited from combining the B and C licence classes on the one hand and the F2 class A licence on the other hand, whether directly or indirectly, personally or through the mediation/agency of a natural person or a legal person, at one and the same location or inside one and the same establishment.”              
This provision shall be penalised under administrative law.       

The Notice of 6 November 2013 on the taking of bets in Class IV mobile gaming establishments (bookmakers) specifies:               

“The Gaming Commission shall decide to instigate a procedure enabling the taking of bets at public spaces where a major sports event is projected onto a large screen, subject to:          
- prior notification by the licence holder (location, date and duration);
- prior permission by the Gaming Commission's secretariat.”   

This provision shall be penalised under administrative law.       
 
  • The practice. What is permitted where?
- Class I gaming establishments or casinos:
Class IV mobile gaming establishments are allowed to take bets inside the casino itself at an event taking place at the establishment such as a “Miss competition”.
Provided they have duly notified and been given permission by the Commission ahead of time, they are also permitted to take bets in the event of large screen projections of matches such as those of the World Cup. In that case however, the casino is to make sales of alcoholic beverages (read: the bar) and the area where bets are taken duly separated.        
 
- Class II gaming establishments or gaming arcades:      

Class IV mobile gaming establishments are not allowed to take bets at the gaming arcade (at one and the same location or inside one and the same establishment).
In the public area around a gaming arcade – provided they have duly notified and been given permission by the Commission ahead of time – bets may be taken by a class IV mobile gaming establishment in the event of large screen projections of a World Cup match for instance. Here too, the area where alcohol is served and the area where the bets are taken must be duly separated.
 
- Class III gaming establishments or cafés with 2 bingo machines:          

Class IV mobile gaming establishments are not permitted to take bets at cafés that have 2 bingo machines (at one and the same location or inside one and the same establishment).
In the public area around a café with 2 bingo machines – provided they have duly notified and been given permission by the Commission ahead of time – bets may be taken by a class IV mobile gaming establishment in the event of large screen projections of a World Cup match for instance. Here too, the area where alcohol is served and the area where the bets are taken must be duly separated.

- Bets in cafés in general (without a gaming licence):    

The ban on the combination of alcohol and bets is clearly apparent from the aforesaid statutory provisions that are penalised under criminal law, which means no bets may be taken by bookmakers at cafés (regardless of whether or not large screen projections are taking place).

However, bookmakers are permitted to take bets in the public area (for instance on the street in front of a café), on the occasion of a large screen projection, provided they have duly notified and been given permission by the Commission ahead of time. 
 
Please address all queries for information about and applications for permission to run a Class IV mobile gaming establishment to bookmaker@gamingcommission.be.

Notice: Bets with a limited stake and a limited chance of winning (local forecasts). What is permitted and what is not? (7 May 2014)

On the occasion of the upcoming World Cup Football, same as with previous World Cups – the inclination of citizens to gamble on such large-scale events will manifest itself in a variety of different ways, such as concluding small bets or forecasts at people's local cafés on impulse.

Given the exceptional nature of this type of large-scale events and the popularity of the Belgian football team, an adapted regulation was called for.           

What is permitted and what is not?      
 
  • The regulations
Section 3, 3. of the Gaming Act provides for an exception to operate games of chance without a licence if these are games of chance involving a limited stake and a limited chance of winning.
With the amendment of the Gaming Act, the King is to lay down detailed terms under which such games of chance may be operated. To date however, such a Royal Decree has yet to materialise.
Even though the section deals with card games and parlour games, such small bets may be considered as parlour games within the context of this section.
Failing an implementing order, the Gaming Commission has drawn up the priorities set out below regarding such bets.               
The guidelines below do not apply if a class IV mobile gaming establishment is in place. All the more so as the required channelling  of players to duly licensed gaming establishments takes precedence in that case.               
 
  • Priorities of the Gaming Commission's inspection cell.
The inspectorate will mount an investigation into local forecasts as a matter of priority if:         
- A question is put forward by law enforcement agencies or the Public Prosecution Office and the information on the stakes and the pay-outs that exceed the amounts specified in the previous version of the circular of the College of Attorneys-General with regard to the Gaming Act (0.20 euro stake and 6.20 euro maximum gain);
- Several betting formulas are offered other than win/draw/loss or the exact final score of a given match;      
- Minors (under the age of 18) are found to be present;            
- A commercial circuit is being set up;   
- Publicity is being run for illegal websites or establishments acting as sponsors;            
- The bets are being organised by or in the presence of persons known in criminal circles;
- A class IV mobile gaming establishment is found to be in place.
 
  • The inspectorate shall not mount an investigation into local forecasts as a matter of priority if:
- A single betting formula is being organised per match played on the same day (win/draw/loss or the exact final score) for which the stake does not exceed two euros;   
As such it is irrelevant whether the prize to be won is a cash prize or a material prize. Both constitute elements of gain that qualify the bets as a game of chance. The greater the prize to be won, the greater the likelihood of the Public Prosecution Office or law enforcement agencies asking the Commission to step in, which means it is advisable to contact the Public Prosecution Office and the municipal authority at all times with regard to the intended organisation of local forecast bets.

Notice: The taking of bets in mobile class IV gaming establishments (bookmakers) (November 2013)

Article 43/4, § 2, paragraph 5 of the Act of 7 May 1999 on games of chance, bets, gaming establishments and the protection of players (hereinafter referred to as: the “Gaming Act”) holds that a mobile gaming establishment is not permitted to take bets other than those that have a bearing on this event, match or competition.

The Parliamentary Preparatory Materials do not specify anything else on this subject.
 
However, in a practical sense, this raises two questions.
 
1. How is the phrase "paris qui portent sur cette compétition" ("bets that have a bearing on this competition") to be understood?
Whereas the concepts "bets that have a bearing on this event" and "bets that have a bearing on this match" do not involve any interpretative problems, precisely what the legislator meant to say by "bets that have a bearing on this competition" is less straightforward.
Exactly how is the term "competition" to be understood? From a linguistic standpoint, the term "competition" is defined as:
a) a series of matches of a group of clubs, in which each club is to play against all the other clubs on one or two occasions (= in the strict sense);
b) (same as the first element in a combination of words) another activity performed as part of a match of a "sports discipline" (= in the wider sense).
The two definitions above make it clear that if it is a football match that is being held, no bets can be placed on a tennis match, for example.
The Gaming Commission has now decided that as soon as it is purely and simply a matter of competition, the concept of competition is to be understood in the strict sense.
For all intents and purposes, this means that if a mobile gaming establishment accepts bets on a second division match, for instance, it is only allowed to offer bets on matches in this division. As such, if a premier league team takes part in a European competition (e.g. the UEFA Champions League), bets may be offered on all matches of this European competition.
 
2. Can bets be taken in public places where the event or the match is shown on a large screen?
Another question relates to the possibility of offering bets in public places where a major match is transmitted live. It is important to bring a clear answer to this question in light of the organisation of the World Football Cup in 2014.
In this respect, Article 43/4, § 2, paragraph 4, which prescribes that a mobile gaming establishment is one that is operated for the duration of and at the location of an event of a sports match or of a sports competition, is equally relevant.
In this case, the question is whether such a public place may be considered as the location of the event or of the sports match.
This does not appear to be the case in the strictest sense.
However, given the strict regulations governing the gambling industry since 1 January 2011, and the ratio legis of the Gaming Act, which is meant to provide a balance between profitability for the licensed gambling industry and the statutory provisions of the Gaming Act, specifically with a view to protecting the gamblers, a broader interpretation of this concept appears to be a reasonable position.
As such, the Gaming Commission is in favour of a procedure allowing bets to be placed/taken in public places where a major sports event is broadcast live on a large screen, subject to:
-  the Commission being advised therefore ahead of time by the licence holder (location, date and duration);
-  prior permission being granted by the Gaming Commission's secretariat.
 

Notice: Procedure for F2 licence renewal applications (September 2013)

Since the first three-year period for numerous F2 licences is set to expire in 2014, for those licences that the operators wish to renew, these need to be renewed for a new three-year period. In order to enable the Gaming Commission to process these applications in good time, as well as to avoid a time period of non-operation between the expiry of the first three-year period and the approval of the licence renewal, the procedural rules prescribed below, which are intended to ensure the swift processing of applications, must be observed.

How do I submit a renewal application with the Gaming Commission?
  • A duly completed, signed (original signature) and dated F2 licence application form must be submitted by a letter sent by registered post addressed to the Gaming Commission's secretariat at least six months before the end of the first three-year period.
 
  • The application must be completed at least three months before the end of the first three-year period.
An application is considered as complete when the documents listed below are provided alongside the application form:
1. (if it is a company) an up-to-date list of all the shareholders and directors or managing directors of the licence holder: names, addresses, dates and places of birth and national numbers or company numbers;
2. an up-to-date list of the companies in which the directors or managing directors of the licence holder or the licence holder himself hold at least 20 % of the shares;
3. an up-to-date list of the terms of office being served in other companies by the directors or managing directors of the licence holder or the licence holder himself;
4. a new standard document entitled “Statement from the Mayor on Class IV Gaming Establishments,” duly completed and signed by the competent authority.
If the municipality has delivered no statement within two months after the application being submitted, the F2 licence awarding procedure may proceed. For this, the statement application must be affixed to the licence application, along with proof of the date of application with the municipality;
5. two tax clearance certificates delivered by FPS Finance (direct tax + VAT; no older than three months on the date of the application) stating that the applicant has honoured all certain and uncontested tax obligations incumbent upon him.

Notice: Clarifications regarding F2 licence renewal applications for betting offices that are operated in a separate room in another principal business (September 2013)

For the benefit of future F2 licence renewals from 2014 onwards, the present notice is intended to specify who (the F1 licence holder or the F2 licence holder) is to apply for the licence for a permanent Class IV gaming establishment or betting office when this betting office is a partitioned room in another principal business.

This issue has already been addressed previously in notices adopted by the Gaming Commission in July 2011, October 2011 and June 2012. (http://www.gamingcommission.be/opencms/opencms/jhksweb_en/gamingcommission/besl/wdsch/index.html )
These notices specify that F2 class licences must be applied for by "the actual operator" within the meaning of Article 2, 2°, of the Act of 7 May 1999 on games of chance, gaming establishments and the protection of players (hereinafter referred to as: the “Gaming Act”).
 
Who is the current actual operator when a betting office is operated as a partitioned room in another principal business?
 
1. The general rule: it is for the principal trader to submit the application (in his own name)
The principal trader is considered as the actual operator within the meaning of the Gaming Act when a betting office is operated as a separate room on his business premises. As such, it falls to him to apply for the F2 licence in his own name.
 
2. Exceptions to the general rule:
 
2.1. Formal agreement between the parties
For reasons of established (professional) practices, and notwithstanding the general rule above, the F2 licence may be awarded and issued in the name of the F1 licence holder when:
-     the principal trader formally agrees thereto in writing;
-     this consent is limited to the duration of the licence (three years);
-     this consent expressly specifies that the F1 licence holder bears full responsibility for the
     operation of the betting office;
   this consent expressly specifies that the principal trader will not invoke the Gaming Commission's notice dated June 2012 on the actual operator in the event of any conflict between the F1 licence holder and the F2 licence holder during the licence period.
 
2.2. Effective control of a partitioned room
An F1 licence holder can also call the general rule into question when the latter demonstrates, by way of sufficient material supporting elements, that he is the actual operator of the betting office. An important element in making this determination is the effective control of the partitioned room.

Notice: The actual operator in the event of any conflict between F1 and F2 (June 2012)

1. This notice is intended to clarify the "Bets" notice dated 05 October 2011:
"The Gaming Commission has come to notice that occasionally two different applications (by 2 different legal entities) are sent in for the same address to obtain an F2 class licence for a permanent class IV gaming establishment. If two applications are found to be contradictory, the licence will be awarded only to the actual operator of the betting office. If there are any doubts, an investigation will be conducted to establish the actual operation. If the actual operation still cannot be determined, the licence will be awarded to the licence applicant who has been offering bets in the Class IV gaming establishment the longest." ( = notice 05 October 2011)


2. The Gaming Commission has come to notice that conflicts continue to frequently arise between, on the one hand, the F1 licence holder who has also obtained an F2 class licence made out in his name for a Class IV gaming establishment, which is a partitioned space situated in another principal business and, on the other hand, the principal trader. Any principal trader who is looking to terminate his/her collaborative agreement with the F1 licence holder and obtain a Class IV licence in his own name (whether as a natural person or a legal entity) for a partitioned space within his principal business is to observe the procedure prescribed below:
  • submit a fully documented application file in his/her own name with the Gaming Commission;
  • cancel the collaborative agreement with the F1 licence holder for the operation of the Class IV gaming establishments in observance of the contractual notice period;
  • inform the Gaming Commission of the cancellation and of the time limits to be observed;
  • again pay a three-year contribution for the F2 class licence.
F2 licences are awarded to principal traders who, by acting in compliance with the above procedure, have shown that they are the actual operator of the betting office, only after the establishment (if necessary, by way of a sanctions procedure) by the Gaming Commission that the old F1/F2 licence holder is no longer able to run the actual operation at the address concerned.
The self-employed principal trader is subsequently awarded a licence made out in his name – obviously provided all licensing terms are met – given that he may be considered as an operator of games of chance within the meaning of Article 2, 2° and of Article 4 of the Gaming Act.

This notice serves as an instruction in respect of the processing of applications by the secretariat. The Gaming Commission will decide at its own discretion on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration the concrete circumstances of the case.

Notice: Several F2 applications at one address (October 2011)

The Gaming Commission has come to notice that sometimes two different applications (by 2 different legal entities) are sent in for the same address to obtain an F2 class licence for a permanent class IV gaming establishment. If the two applications are found to be contradictory, the licence will only be awarded to the actual operator of the betting office. If there are any doubts, an investigation will be conducted to establish the actual operation. If the actual operation still cannot be determined, the licence will be awarded to the licence applicant who has been offering bets in the Class IV gaming establishment the longest.

Notice: F2 contributions - gaming machines in betting offices - partitioned space in other trading premises (July 2011)

1. Contributions for F2 licences must be paid by F1 operators. Payment requests are to be sent to the F2 licence applicants concerned. If an F2 licence applicant (a betting office or a newsagent) works with several F1 operators, the contribution must be paid in a single transaction. In this case, the F2 is to inform the various F1s. The latter must reach an agreement as to how the contribution is to be paid. Partial payments are not permitted.


2. To set up two gaming machines in a betting office, the licence holder must:
  • Hold an F2 class licence for a permanent Class IV establishment or must have submitted a licence application before 1 March 2011 and qualify for the transitional measures
  • Pay a one-off contribution of € 360
  • Supply the contact details of the party that installs and repairs the gaming machines
  • Obtain confirmation of receipt of payment from the Gaming Commission's secretariat before the two gaming machines are installed at his betting office.
PLEASE NOTE: in order for the licence holder to be able to guarantee the required inspection, these machines may be installed only at betting offices where a supervisor is constantly on site.

3. As prescribed under Article 43/4 of the Co-ordinated Law on games of chance, a permanent Class IV establishment may be operated in a partitioned space of a different trading premises.
These partitioned spaces must comply with the following requirements:
  • A permanent Class IV establishment as a partitioned space is not permitted to be set up in an establishment having its principal activity at a place where alcohol is sold to be consumed on site;
  • The activities conducted in the partitioned space must be activities permitted under article 43/4§2 of the Co-ordinated Law on games of chance in a permanent Class IV establishment;
  • The space must be clearly, permanently and unequivocally partitioned from the other principal activity, which means that this partitioned space must be partitioned from the other principal activity by a door. No means of access other than the door is allowed to exist between the two operations. A separate access door leading out onto the street is not required.
  • A registration machine where the self-service terminal is located must be fitted in the partitioned space;
  • The partitioned space must have a separate counter where all bet placing and bet taking transactions are performed;
  • If two gaming machines are installed, a supervisor must be constantly on site to enable the machines to be inspected at all times.
  • As of 1 January 2012, all Class IV gaming establishment are required to have a video surveillance system in place by way of an additional control measure.
All licence applicants have until 1 September to make the necessary changes. After this date, the Gaming Commission's Inspection cell will perform the necessary inspections on the ground before licences are awarded.
Finally, please be reminded that all members of staff employed at a permanent Class IV establishment are required to carry a D licence.

Notice: Self-service terminals - clarifications and adjustment to the restriction in respect of the acceptance of bets by newsagents on self-service terminals

First and foremost, readers are referred to the information notices of 4 May 2011 and 17 October 2012 regarding the issue of self-service terminals.

 
Notwithstanding these notices, talks with manufacturers and F1 licence holders have revealed a need for a clear definition of a self-service terminal.
 
In practice, there are three types of terminals to place bets.
 
  1. The conventional terminal, exclusively used by the operator
 
These are terminals installed behind the counter at a newsagents on which the newsagent places the stake, enters the details of the bet into the computer system, and issues the ticket to the player.
 
  1. The standalone self-service terminal, on which everything (stakes / details / tickets) can be performed by the player himself
 
These types of standalone terminals are not permitted for use in light of the registration and inspection requirements imposed by the Belgian Gaming Act and its implementing decrees.
 
Terminals of this type may be installed only in fitted form in compliance with the following information notices:
 
Ø self-service terminals for the acceptance of bets at betting offices or newsagents are permitted under strict conditions. As such, self-service terminals installed at newsagents must ensure age verification, as well as preclude losses in excess of € 200 per day and per player. In addition to providing age verification, the self-service terminals at betting offices are also required to ensure the due registration of bets upwards of € 1,000. The aforesaid checks can be validly ensured through the active intervention of the operator when the stake is paid in, or upon issuance of a ticket. (Information notice dated 4 May 2011);
 
Ø there MUST be an active interaction on the part of the operator (by way of a payment being made into the hands of the operator in person or the issuance of a ticket by the operator) BEFORE the bet is concluded and before the ticket – which serves as proof of the bet – is handed to the player (Information notice dated 17 October 2012).
 
  1. The so-called keyboard-operated system on which the player at least performs the entry of the bet details himself/herself.
 
In this situation, the player generally pays the stake into the hands of the trader himself and generally also receives the ticket from the trader, but he enters the details of the bet into the computer system himself.
 
In practice, on the one hand there are keyboard-operated systems in the form of a computer not connected to a network on which the player enters details. On the other hand there are also keyboard-operated systems where the terminal is placed on the trader's counter, but where the screen - on which the details are entered - is turned to face the player, allowing him/her to enter the details themselves – often by way of a touchscreen.
 
Henceforth, the Gaming Commission defines all terminals that are solely used by the trader, and on which the players themselves place their stakes, enter details of their bets or withdraw tickets, as self-service terminals. In light of this wide-ranging definition of self-service terminals, henceforth a maximum of 4 self-service terminals are permitted for placement at any single newsagents.
 
The information notice dated 17 October 2012 is consequently hereby amended as follows:
Article 43/4, § 5 of the Gaming Act and the Royal Decree dated 22 December 2010 prescribing conditions for the placing of bets outside of Class IV gaming establishments define the means by which newsagents are permitted to take bets as an ancillary activity. The Gaming Commission has come to notice that these conditions are not always observed, and that some newsagents are seen to become betting offices in disguise. The Gaming Commission has therefore decided that no more than 4 self-service terminals for bets are permitted at newsagents, with a view to maintaining the ancillary nature of the activity and ensuring appropriate operation.
 
Non-compliance with the above restrictions may result in an administrative sanctions procedure being brought against the licence holder.

Notice: Procedure for applications for the relocation of class IV establishments

Up to 30 June 2013 the procedure for the relocation of a Permanent Class IV gaming establishments remains in place. A betting office already existing prior to 1 January 2011 can, however, invoke the exception to the application of the 1,000 metre rule as provided under the aforementioned procedure once only.


From 1 July 2013 onwards the relocation of an F2 licence for a permanent Class IV gaming establishment will be possible subject to the following conditions:

  1. through application of the 1,000 metre rule
  2. subject to prior authorisation from the Gaming Commission
  3. if the betting office is a partitioned space, the office must remain a partitioned space at the new location.