The Belgian Association of Gaming Operators (BAGO) has warned that increasing the minimum age for gambling from 18 to 21 would see customers turning to illegal gambling providers.
The Association used Italy as an example with estmates of €18.5bn being spent on illegal gambling each year.
Chairman Tom De Clercq said: “BAGO has repeatedly spoken out in favour of restricting advertising, including through the traditional media. But we have also always warned that a total ban on advertising in places where illegal operators are present en masse, especially online, will have serious side effects. We must once again note that policymakers disregard the solutions we provide in favour of populist formulas.”
The bill drafted by Green MP Stefaan Van Hecke and Passed by the Chamber of Representatives also wants to limit online operators to just one verticle of gambling, which the Assocation warns would make it more difficult for operators to have a complete view of player spending.