Smoking ban in gaming establishments

On 22 November 2013 the Gaming Commission received a letter from the Public Health Minister, Mrs Onkelinx, stating that no amusement machines are to be present in rooms that are also used as smoking rooms.

According to FPS Public Health, the current smoking legislation (Act of 22 December 2009 setting out a general regulation for smoke-free closed rooms/premises accessible to members of the public and for the protection of employees from tobacco smoke and the RD of 28 January establishing the requirements made of smoking ban signs and of the installation of an exhaust system) are now given a restrictive interpretation in respect of the fact that the operators of closed rooms/premises that are accessible to members of the public are permitted to provide a smoking room under certain conditions.
This restrictive interpretation by FPS Public Health was recently confirmed in two court rulings (Criminal Court Oudenaarde on 6 June 2013 and Criminal Court Liège of 8 October 2013).
The Gaming Commission wishes it to be known that it is continuing to uphold its position as outlined in its notice dated September 2012 on the smoking ban until the aforesaid rulings take on the effect of res judicata (i.e. until all appeal procedures have been exhausted).
 
Finally, FPS Public Health wishes it to be known that a letter on this matter will be sent out to all licence holders.
 
The judgment of the criminal court of Liège was confirmed by the court of appeal of Liège on 30 September 2014. As the gambling machines were set up in the smoking lounge, the court considers that room as a public space in which smoking is prohibited.