Online gambling sites accounted for one-third of Belgium’s licensed gambling market revenue in 2015, according to new statistics from the state gaming regulator.
This week, the Belgian Gaming Commission (BGC) released its 2016 annual report, which (confusingly) contains Belgian-licensed operators’ financial information from 2015, allegedly due to the slow pace at which operators compile their individual statistics.
According to these stats, Belgian-licensed gambling revenue totaled €622m in 2015, 17% higher than 2014’s tally. Total online revenue was €211.3m, just over one-third of the overall figure.
The BGC’s ‘A’ license category of casino operators reported land-based gaming revenue of €102.3m in 2015, down 7% year-on-year. By contrast, these operators reported their online gambling revenue rising 41.2% to €78.6m in 2015.
The BGC breaks down its eight online casino ‘A’ licensees by amounts generated, but doesn’t identify these operators by name. Whoever they are, the top two online casinos claimed more than half (€44.2m) of this online pie.
The ‘B’ category of license involves slot machine arcade operators, who generated combined revenue of €234.5m in 2015, up 11.6% year-on-year. Of this sum, €157.3m (+3.4%) was generated at land-based venues, while €71.7m (+30.6%) came online. The top two online arcades also scored more than half (€39.8m) of the online total.
The ‘F’ licensed betting operators reported overall revenue of just under €206.5m, up 22.4%. Land-based betting improved 21.7% to €145.5m while online betting gained 24% to just under €61m. Here again, the top two online betting sites claimed more than half (€34.2m) of the total.
As for unauthorized online gambling sites, the BGC added 12 more names to its online blacklist in 2016, the same number as in 2015. The 2016 additions included the blacklist’s first fantasy sports operator, Buabook.com.
The BGC issued 85 administrative fines against gambling operators and their customers in 2016, including on one unauthorized (and unidentified) online gambling site. The BGC is one of the few regulators that actually penalizes players for playing with unauthorized sites, and nine players were hit with such fines in 2016.