he new gambling laws in Belgium which will effectively outlaw the affiliate model in the gambling sector are likely to be implemented within a year, according to Tatiana Klaeser of Klaeser Avocat.
Speaking at EIG this week, Klaeser suggested that should the new regulations continue along the normal path, then they will be in force by Q3 2018.
The Belgian Council of Ministers voted for a series of measures on 13 October expected to be cleared by European regulators in the new year, after which there will be an eight month consultation process.
One of the provisions will see operators only able to advertise on their own website or via email marketing, severely curtailing any marketing potential. Klaeser said: “The restrictions in Belgium would kill affiliate websites. It is terrible for the industry if operators can’t advertise properly as it puts them at the same level as grey operators, who are less regulated.
“The ideal jurisdiction I believe would mirror the abilities of the grey industry as it would be easier to attract the grey market customers.”
Klaeser also criticised the way the new regulations were drafted, suggesting that they were drafted by the National Lottery and fed to the Minister for Justice to get council approval.
The provisions also severely restrict bonuses, which will also be restricted to the operator’s own site. A new limit of 275 euros per month caps the amount operators can offer to players.