Belgian gambling venues to close as Covid-19 restrictions increased
Published in the Belgian Official Gazette, the ministerial decree states all cultural, festive, sporting, recreational and events establishments will close to the public from 28 October until at least 19 November.
The temporary closure order will apply to all gambling venues in the country.
Belgium has seen a sharp increase in the number of positive Covid-19 cases and deaths since the start of October. Yesterday (29 October), the country recorded 21,048 new cases and 132 related deaths.
The decision comes despite the government having earlier this week relaxed some of the capacity restrictions on gambling venues. This saw the number of people allowed inside casinos at one time increased from 40 to 200.
However, the 40-person limit was kept in place for gambling halls and betting agencies, while new closure restrictions were introduced in the Walloon and Flemish regions.
This will be the second time Belgian gambling venues will have been forced to shut due to Covid-19, having first temporarily closed in March. Betting shops started to reopen in June, with casinos following a month later.
Meanwhile, the Belgian Gambling Commission has added five new websites to its blacklist of gambling domains that are not permitted to operate in the country.
Machancecasino.org, Machancecasino.net, Sailibotinc.info, Frankcasino.com and Mbitcasino.com all now feature on the Commission’s igaming blacklist.
Operators that run sites without the relevant licence can be fined between €100 (£90.15/$116.78) and €100,000, while player who use these websites to gamble can be fined as much as €25,000.
GG.bet, Syndicate.casino and Whitlioncasino.com were also added to the blacklist last month.