Share article:
Share article:

360,553 Belgians on the betting blacklist in 2019

© PxHere

Last year saw the Excluded Persons Information System (EPIS) – the blacklist of people not allowed to frequent casinos, betting shops or online gambling sites – increase to 360.553 names.

The various reasons for being on the list include one in ten who have asked for their own exclusion, or been named by a family member as representing a danger to themselves because of a gambling addiction.

Otherwise, the Gaming Commission explains, a ban can be applied by a court, or by a legal representative of someone under a power of attorney.

Real and online gambling sites are in any case closed to anyone under the age of 18, while casinos and slot machine arcades have a minimum age of 21.

But not everyone who is barred from betting is considered a danger to themselves or others. Some professions are automatically barred from certain types of gambling: magistrates, notaries, bailiffs and members of the police force.

In those cases, the measure is a way of protecting against someone’s gambling debts being used to extort them to break the law.

EPIS has been in use in Belgium since 2004. Any time a member of the public enters a real or virtual casino or betting office, or a real slot machine arcade, they are required to give a first and second name and a date of birth, which are checked against the register to make sure the person is not banned.

For those living close to one of Belgium’s borders, and who may feel the temptation to gamble in the Netherlands, France or Germany, the possibility exists to apply for a self-imposed ban, for a period of time or a certain number or frequency of visits, from casinos in those countries.

The foreign ban can apply in the case of Holland Casino establishments in the Netherlands, all casinos in France (but application has to be made at a French police office) and casinos close to the Belgo-German border in Aachen, Duisburg or Hohensyburg Casino in Dortmund.

The names listed by EPIS fall into various categories: 10.1% voluntary exclusion; 16% excluded by profession; 27.9% excluded by reason of a debt resettlement agreement; and 46% by judicial order.

The final total of 360,553 entries does not represent the real number of those barred, the Commission explains, as some people may fall under more than one heading – for example an inveterate gambler who is also a police officer.

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

Latest news

European Council: Decisions on Covid-19 and energy and debate on other issues
At the two-days summit which ended on Friday, the European Council adopted conclusions on COVID-19, digital, energy prices, migration, trade and ...
Flanders ‘water bomb’ could cause €2 billion in damages and affect thousands
The next "water bomb" or heavy rainfall over Flanders could cause damages estimated at around €2 billion, and could affect up to 100,000 people in ...
Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine 90% effective in 5 to 11-year-olds
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 90.7% effective in preventing symptomatic forms of the coronavirus in children aged five to 11, Pfizer announced on ...
Belgian airport named best for cargo in Europe
Brussels Airport has been named the best airport in Europe in a 2021 roundup of the best cargo airports across the world. The Asian Freight, ...
NASA plans first return mission to Moon in February 2022
The United States space agency, NASA, has announced that it will be aiming to launch its first, uncrewed mission to the moon, Artemis 1, in February ...
New, reportedly more contagious Delta mutation being monitored
A new mutation of the Delta variant of the coronavirus, which is reported to be more contagious, is being monitored by health authorities in the ...
Angèle releases new single: ‘Bruxelles je t’aime’
Belgian singer Angèle has unveiled her latest song ahead of the release of her new album, due later this year. 'Bruxelles je t'aime' (Brussels I ...
23 million chickens and 1.7 million pigs: Climate experts call for livestock cut
Flander's livestock needs to be drastically cut to save the climate and reach the emission reduction targets, according to the latest advice from the ...
Vaccination uptake surges in Wallonia following CST announcement
The number of people getting vaccinated against the coronavirus increased fourfold in Wallonia after it was announced that the Covid Safe Ticket ...
Guilty by association
BRUSSELS BEHIND THE SCENES Weekly analysis and untold stories With SAM MORGAN Other Brussels behind the scenes stories: Brussels' bid to make ...
Health minister supports use of Covid Safe Ticket in workplace
As the use of the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) has been expanded in Brussels and is set to in Wallonia, federal health minister Frank Vandenbroucke has ...
Maggots show Conings may have lived longer following disappearance
Former army soldier Jürgen Conings, whose disappearance in mid-May resulted in a month-long manhunt, may have been alive for longer than has been ...