April 6, 2020

Belgian Gaming Commission Publishes Advise for Players in Lockdown

Belgian Gaming Commission Publishes Advise for Players in Lockdown

The Belgian Gaming Commission (BGC) released guidelines to help consumers protect themselves from gambling-related harm while the country stays on lockdown due to the ongoing novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Belgium’s nationwide lockdown started on March 18, and although this was due to continue until April 5, the government decided to extend the measures this week for up to April 19. Should the number of coronavirus cases and hospital admission fail to decline until the target date, the government said that it would be extending the lockdown period further.

According to the BGC, it is aware that during the lockdown period, more people may access iGaming services and eventually suffer from gambling-related problems. Because of this, the commission published consumer guidelines to help fight against any potential issues, especially allowing players to self-exclude from all licensed gambling websites in the country through email.

The BGC explained that anyone who is worried about their gambling habits can call the ‘SOS Jeux’ helpline and talk to an advisor with regards to their problems. Consumers can also contact the BGC directly through email if they have any questions or concerns.

Furthermore, the commission advised players to communicate with family and friends on the phone or through video call to help them pass the time during the lockdown.

“While gambling has never been the solution to any problem, the current situation could see people spending more time on the internet especially on gaming sites,” the BGC explained. “In addition, many people lose social control because they are alone at home.  Therefore there is a risk new players will become addicted or that existing players will sink further into addiction. It is of the utmost importance that the players, an in particular the vulnerable players, are not forgotten,” it added.

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