Belgian Casino Operators Unite for Gambling Harm Prevention in ‘Duty of Care Agreement

In Belgium, casino operators have introduced a new Duty of Care Agreement to foster responsible gaming practices in the country. This initiative, led by the Belgian Association of Gaming Operators (BAGO), involves all six of its member organizations. These include Kindred, Napoleon, Ardent Group, Golden Palace, BetFirst, and Star Casino. The agreement was signed with a common goal: to protect consumers from the potential risks of excessive gambling and gambling-related harm.

What you need to know

  • The Belgian Association of Gaming Operators (BAGO) has initiated a Duty of Care Agreement to protect consumers from gambling-related harm.
  • Key members including Kindred, Napoleon, Ardent Group, Golden Palace, BetFirst, and Star Casino have signed this agreement.
  • The agreement focuses on preventing problem gambling and enhancing player protection through AI and staff training.

The agreement was developed in response to the growing prevalence of online gambling in Belgium, where around 70% of gamblers engage in online activities. While most of these gamblers play responsibly, there is a concern for those who might fall into excessive gambling behaviors.

The Duty of Care Agreement is founded on four critical pillars. Firstly, it involves the development of policies to provide players with tools like voluntary deposit limits and self-exclusion options. This approach aims to empower players to manage their gambling activities responsibly.

Secondly, the agreement emphasizes the creation of a sophisticated detection system. This system will leverage AI and scientifically-based criteria to identify potentially risky gambling behaviors, such as high-frequency playing or large deposits.

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In addition to these technical measures, the agreement also focuses on educating and training BAGO members’ employees. This training is crucial to ensure staff can recognize signs of problem gambling and respond appropriately.

Moreover, the agreement stipulates that details of these prevention policies will be shared with Belgium’s gambling regulator. This step ensures transparency and accountability in the operators’ efforts to safeguard consumers.

BAGO’s chairman, Tom De Clercq, and secretary general, Damien Thiéry, have both emphasized the importance of responsible gambling. De Clercq highlighted the necessity of creating an environment where gambling is both safe and responsible:

“A duty of care is a useful addition to other existing protective measures, such as the EPIS check and the deposit limit with associated checks on default. Our focus is on creating an environment in which players can participate in gambling in a responsible and safe manner.“

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Thiéry pointed out that a small percentage of the Belgian population is at risk of gambling addiction, which can lead to personal, emotional, or financial issues. He firmly believes that the sustainability of the gambling industry cannot rely on addictive behaviors.

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