Since cash games and games of chance were legalised in 2010 certain operators have succeeded in entering the French market. In spite of the multitude of requests very few have been able to obtain licences granted by the Authority of the Regulation of Online Gaming (Arjel) which has caused discontent among many applicants. Once the agreement is received internet gambling operators can legally offer sports and horse racing betting and poker games. In two years of operation, the Arjel is granting its licences very sparingly and the total is just a little over 20. This independent administrative authority prefers to proceed carefully and verify that the applicants will follow the regulations perfectly before granting them the authorisation to do business.For our Belgian neighbours, the position of the Commission for Games of Chance (AJH) is much less strict. It grants licences to real and virtual casinos and supervises the developers. In any case, it grants many more approvals in particular to European operators who have been given F+ licences dealing with sports betting and A+ licences dealing with casino games. In spite of everything, the AJH remains vigilant and ensures that the online gaming market is not taken over by illegal operators. Some took the risk of offering their games without authorisation and had to pay a 10 000 euro fine. The AJH has its own Black List on which it names the sites banned in Belgium and which now number 45. It also punishes those who don’t obey the rules it has put in place.

European gaming operators are very pleased to have been able to enter the Belgian market which is attractive due to its large number of players and also its tax system which is much more attractive than that in France. Belgium will also attract many more online gaming site operators who want to enter this very buoyant market. Belgium authorises online casino games once the operator is linked to a land based casino. In fact, a real casino just needs to partner with an online operator to apply for a licence to the Commission for Games of Chance and to make slot machines or table games or cards ( live roulette, baccarat, blackjack) available to players.