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  1. #1
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    Exclamation The end of gambling affiliate websites in Belgium?

    Hello all,

    Last weekend I saw this article (https://www.cdenv.be/actua/beschermi...sch-gokgedrag/) about an approved law in Belgium. Is this the end of gambling affiliate websites in Belgium?

    "Internet advertising is only possible on the licensed website on which the games of chance are operated, or through personalized advertising. Pop-ups or enveloping advertisements that appear around the homepage of a website will no longer be allowed. This will take effect from the summer of 2019."

    The biggest winners in this story are undoubtedly the National Lottery and the providers of illegal gambling games in Belgium.


    PS: does anyone have a link to the fully written law?

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    "Internet advertising is only possible on the licensed website on which the games of chance are operated"


    Maybe the journalist who wrote this article did not understand well? Maybe that means that only advertising for legal gaming sites, those with a license, will be allowed and that Belgium will be more severe for affiliate websites that advertise illegal sites? Belgium has traditionally been considered very lax about the enforcement of Internet gambling advertising laws.


    Because if the journalist has understood the law and if we must understand this sentence literally, it means that gambling affiliation on the web will be prohibited: it means that advertising on the internet is prohibited everywhere except on the website of a licensed operator.

    Which is absurd. Because it is no longer advertising if the only place on the internet where you can "advertise" is in your own property.

    So I bet that the journalist misunderstood.
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  5. #3
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    I found this (in French) exposing the bill (and nothing in this text talks about banning gambling affiliation):

    https://www.koengeens.be/fr/news/201...d-et-les-paris


    And here is the latest news (in English) on the website of the Belgian Gaming Commission. This news is recent (September 19, 2018 ) and does not speak to prohibit the affiliation. They are simply saying that it is forbidden to advertise illegal sites.

    https://www.gamingcommission.be/open...mmission/news/

    If a new law as drastic as implied by the quoted sentence was to be put in place, the Gaming Commission website would talk about it. But I can not find anything on their site.

    So in my opinion, the journalist misunderstood.
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    Thanks for your answers Mario, but I don't think the journalist misunderstood.

    Check for example also this one: https://www.casinosbelgie.be/reclame...2019-verboden/

    There is nowhere literally stated that gambling affiliate websites are banned from the summer of 2019 in Belgium, but no advertising outside on their own website is of course more or less the same.

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    I do not understand Dutch but, if Google Translate, translated correctly, you're absolutely right.


    But this change of law seems to me enormous and absurd.

    P.S. I also just read this which explained a year ago the intentions of the government:

    Bien qu’il pense protéger le consommateur en interdisant la publicité pour les jeux de hasard légaux qu’ila lui-même agréés, le gouvernement empêchera le joueur lambda de savoir quels sites sont légaux et donc éthiques, sûrs et responsables

    http://bago.be/wp-content/uploads/20...nsommateur.pdf
    Last edited by Mario The Gambler; 15 October 2018 at 3:21 pm.
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    What is personalized advertising and what is enveloping advertisements?
    We are all bloodsucking ticks, hungry, devious
    each one latched on to the ass of the previous
    when the last and the first latch on it can be shown
    ass-blood sucked by the first from the last is his own

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    Chapitre Ier – Les modalités relatives à la publicité


    Article 1er. Les titulaires de licence de classe A+ ou B+ peuvent faire la promotion des jeux de hasard qu’ils exploitent au moyen des instruments de la société de l’information uniquement sur le site Internet sur lequel l’exploitation de ces jeux est autorisée ou par le biais de publicités personnalisées au sens du Livre VI ou du Livre XII du Code de droit économique. Les titulaires d’une licence de classe A+ ou B+ doivent veiller à n’adresser aucune publicité personnalisée aux personnes auxquelles l’accès aux jeux de hasard est interdit ou refusé en vertu de l’article 54 de la loi du 7 mai 1999 sur les jeux de hasard, les paris, les établissements de jeux de hasard et la protection des joueurs.


    Les titulaires de licences de classe A+, B+ ou F1+ sont tenus de faire respecter les dispositions contenues dans la présent arrêté.

    This was the original text in the 1st proposal. Theoretically, it could have been changed meanwhile, but I don't think so.

    Shortly: operators are not allowed to organize any form of publicity outside of their own licensed website. For example Unibet.be is allowed to make publicity on their own website, but not on the website of a newspaper, tv station, affiliate, etc.

    I do not think the journalist misunderstood. Likely he has the exact proposal as it's leaked more than one time. Politicians in Belgium are having no clue what is an affiliate, but the law will be written in such a way that affiliates technically will be outlawed. It will not be forbidden to run an affiliate website, but it's not allowed to place links to illegal casinos and legal operators are not allowed to organize ads outside of their own website. Hence, you can not place links, which makes it impossible to run an affiliate website.

    Personalized advertising is sending emails with ads to players that are having an account at your (licensed) casino.

    The law seems to be written by the state-owned National Lottery. Gambling addiction organizations, (socialist, Christian and green) politicians, etc were their useful idiots.

    Big question is how the law will be enforced. Even now, I see people running a .be website with links to illegal casinos and even blacklisted casinos. A problem might be that legal operators do not want to risk their license and suspend/close affiliate accounts or stop their program.

    It sounds like a big problem for Belgian affiliates. If you're having an English .com website, I would just change the links into links to illegal brands. .be is to be seen.

    I've spoken with both affiliates and programs about it. Most of them were not informed (didn't inform themselves) and not interested in taking any action. This is the result.

    I will await what programs will do. If legal programs continue, I will continue with their links. if not, I will look for another business model for my website. Which might include placing links to trustable illegal programs, but in no way links to untrustable brands like 1xBet/GameTech/etc.
    Last edited by Triple7; 16 October 2018 at 5:33 am.

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  11. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sherlock View Post
    ..... what is enveloping advertisements?

    This is the first time I hear this expression, so I do not really know what that means.

    But since the quote is about pop-ups and then "enveloping ads", it may mean that "enveloping advertisements" are pop-unders? Pop-unders are very popular with porn sites, for example.


    _____________

    I have just read these two articles (here some excerpts) which confirm Belgium's intention to prevent gambling affiliation:



    New Belgian law will ‘kill’ affiliate websites



    The new gambling laws in Belgium which will effectively outlaw the affiliate model in the gambling sector are likely to be implemented within a year, according to Tatiana Klaeser of Klaeser Avocat.

    ......

    One of the provisions will see operators only able to advertise on their own website or via email marketing, severely curtailing any marketing potential. Klaeser said: “The restrictions in Belgium would kill affiliate websites. It is terrible for the industry if operators can't advertise properly as it puts them at the same level as grey operators, who are less regulated.

    https://totallygaming.com/news/onlin...liate-websites


    Belgium’s restrictive new online gambling rules close to reality


    Last October, Belgian legislators approved plans to impose significant new curbs on online gambling operators, including a near-total ban on gambling advertising and a virtual prohibition of affiliate marketing activity.


    https://calvinayre.com/2018/01/16/bu...g-regulations/

    I want to sing Louis Amstrong's song "What a Wonderful World" because everything is wonderful, isn't?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWzrABouyeE
    Last edited by Mario The Gambler; 16 October 2018 at 10:32 pm.
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    "Enveloping ads" is a translation of an interpretation (written in an article).

    The law says just online advertising is not allowed, only if it's on the own licensed website of an operator or by mail (by a licensed operator to somebody that has an account at their property).

    All other forms are not allowed, no matter if it's a pop-up at the website of the local newspaper, a pop-under at the website of a football club, a link on an affiliate site or a button with a link on a porn site.

    To be precise, affiliates are allowed to advertise legal brands, but legal brands are not allowed to organize any advertising. If an affiliate promotes, for example, Unibet.be, the affiliate won't get a fine, but Unibet.be will risk their license.

    Even if they are not able to enforce it completely, affiliates will be done because programs will likely stop allowing you to promote them in Belgium.

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    Dark gray markets are the best

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    Quote Originally Posted by eenzoo View Post
    Dark gray markets are the best
    True.

    When a market is fully regulated, operators do not need us. They prefer to spend their promotional budget in television commercials or sponsorship of sports teams.

    But... when a market becomes illegal or halfway between legal and illegal, the best operators leave the market. We can not offer our visitors very good casinos or sportsbooks and these operators who do not respect the laws do not respect their affiliates: they rob us with impunity and change the rules of our affiliation agreement when it pleases them.

    Then everything depends as the laws are applied. Authorities may block internet access to affiliate sites as they may block access to gambling sites.

    They can also sue the affiliates: I seem to have read that this happened in Italy and once in France.
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    When a market is fully regulated, operators do not need us. They prefer to spend their promotional budget in television commercials or sponsorship of sports teams.
    yes
    But... when a market becomes illegal or halfway between legal and illegal, the best operators leave the market.
    yes
    We can not offer our visitors very good casinos or sportsbooks and these operators who do not respect the laws do not respect their affiliates: they rob us with impunity and change the rules of our affiliation agreement when it pleases them.
    We can offer whatever we want. You just have to protect yourself against punishment.

    The grey/black operators respect affiliates much more than legal ones. They keep my business afloat still. I am testing the books now as a player, I do not think that either legal or non-legal ones are better or worse. Yes 1xbet is very bad for players. But Bovada is much better for player than common Uk brands for example.
    they rob us with impunity and change the rules of our affiliation agreement when it pleases them
    This statement fits much more to the legal operators who wants to get rid of us.
    Last edited by Sherlock; 19 October 2018 at 4:35 pm. Reason: I wrote nonsense: "The grey/black operators respect affiliates much more than illegal ones"
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    In Belgium, affiliate sites can just be sued if they're providing links to illegal brands. So far that didn't happen and so far no affiliate websites are blocked.

    But I agree with the point that dark gray markets are the best. Besides what Mario the Gambler says, you also have no or less competition from super affiliates.

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    I believe in Iran you can be executed for running a gambling business (I may be wrong, but jail it will be for sure). Yet I know a book that is doing well there.

    I do not mean that legality is irrelevant. But being illegal is not the same as the end of business. You just go illegal, no big deal. Or someone else will go.

    How do you know that no sites were blocked in Belgium yet? My sites are shadowbanned in half of countries of the world. The only honest were in Turkey few years ago, they kept sending notices. Now even they do not bother. The only country where I am 100% sure I am not blocked is USA. Europe as a whole is a master of shadowbanning with mouth full of freedoms.

    Like if you do not use .be, your domain registrar is out of Belgium and ideally you use fake name (for paranoid people pay with btc)&if you have no hosting in Belgium (ideally bitcoin hosting), then you know that even if they want, they can not catch you. Doing those things is work for maybe few minutes to few hours (for noobs who have to google it). Using an argument "they will sue you if you are a lazy guy" is like "you can kill yourself in the car if you do not go to service checks". It is true and irrelevant.

    That said I believe gambling is going to nowhere. But not directly because they can go after you. This problem can be simply avoided. The decision of affiliate programs - to no more need us - can not be avoided.
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    each one latched on to the ass of the previous
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    "How do you know that no sites were blocked in Belgium yet?"

    Gambling Commission is having a blacklist which is used by internet providers to block the website. There's no affiliate website on it, just unlicensed casinos and some social gaming crap. Theoretically, another authority could have blocked the website, but that's just theory. It's not Italy or Romania where they block 1000's of websites.

    I am quite sure there won't be any problem if you're having a .com website outside Belgium. Eventually add privacy protect and put it on a private person (stronger protection than for companies).

    Also now I see some .be websites promoting illegal casinos. They can sue them, but so far it seems they didn't do that. And if they do, the result is a fine and a website block. That block is not the end of the world if you redirect it and a fine, it's the question if they can collect it somehow.

    The question is a bit what will be their priorities after the new law. For sure, legal brands will put more pressure to take action against illegal brands. Also, they will be perhaps the first to provide the details of their former business partners to authorities. It's to see what will happen. I guess within a year market share of illegal brands will increase from 20% to 25, 30 or even more

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    Thanks for the response about the list. Yes, they will be probably not shadowbanning atm. Like in Czechia the lists are also public.

    - If there are still some people who promote the illegal brands from .be, then for the not-lazy affiliates it is good. If things go worse, they will go first after .be and with publicity, so it is an additional layer of protection.

    - The block is not the end absolutely, redirects mostly work fine. I am not assuming to give up, but they will certainly improve. In the end China will be the ideological leader or protecting the citizens against anything bad online.

    If you look at the UK, they have also secret lists of blocks + they ban also IP addresses and redirects withing hours. So this way it goes...

    Also, they will be perhaps the first to provide the details of their former business partners to authorities.
    Yes those things happened when grey becomes white. Uber and Airbnb snitched on their drivers/property owners without hesitation. This is the only real threat. If I were from Belgium I would never give to the recent affiliate partners my address in Belgium.
    We are all bloodsucking ticks, hungry, devious
    each one latched on to the ass of the previous
    when the last and the first latch on it can be shown
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    - The block is not the end absolutely, redirects mostly work fine. I am not assuming to give up, but they will certainly improve. In the end China will be the ideological leader or protecting the citizens against anything bad online.

    If you look at the UK, they have also secret lists of blocks + they ban also IP addresses and redirects within hours. So this way it goes...


    At the moment it takes them some time to block a website, at least a month, likely even more. In terms of internet, Belgium is far behind UK and especially Scandinavia and compared with for example Italy and Romania there's another attitude about blocking websites. It's seen as an ultimate enforcement, not something they take lightly.

    I would not break rules of the country you're living in. In many cases that's like you said the main threat. Most Costarican casinos do not accept residents from Costa Rica, the same thing goes on for Curacao, etc and many offshore casinos block the country where the owners are effectively living.

    In the Netherlands some guys didn't do that and they're facing now years of prison. If they would have moved to Malta or Curacao, there wouldn't have been any problem.

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    Ads for online bookmakers will still be allowed. Likely because the National Lottery is also a bookmaker and had scratch cards. Ads for online casinos (A and B licenses) will be forbidden.

    I wonder how this will be enforced. People complaining about the number of gambling ads they're seeing at websites of newspapers, etc will still be complaining as they will still see a shitload of ads. All casinos also have a F (bookmaker) license.

    Affiliates could just call it bookmakers instead of casinos in the tables and it will be fine. Operators can advertise as long as they do not have casino games and stuff in the banners. Also, bonuses will be outlawed.

    Or affiliates will see it just like a perfect moment to get rid of Kindred's quota, Ladbrokes' migration issues, the scams of Betway and Bwin or that bunch of clowns at Gaming1 (worst program and casino ever) and switch to brands that do not have a license, but have proven not to screw affiliates.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Triple7 View Post
    ... switch to brands that do not have a license, but have proven not to screw affiliates.
    And what are these brands?
    " Money won is twice as sweet as money earned"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario The Gambler View Post
    I found this (in French) exposing the bill (and nothing in this text talks about banning gambling affiliation):

    https://www.koengeens.be/fr/news/201...d-et-les-paris


    And here is the latest news (in English) on the website of the Belgian Gaming Commission. This news is recent (September 19, 2018 ) and does not speak to prohibit the affiliation. They are simply saying that it is forbidden to advertise illegal sites.

    https://www.gamingcommission.be/open...mmission/news/

    If a new law as drastic as implied by the quoted sentence was to be put in place, the Gaming Commission website would talk about it. But I can not find anything on their site.

    So in my opinion, the journalist misunderstood.
    hello

    i just check at https://www.gamingcommission.be/open...mmission/news/ but i don't see it, i just sent them an email to have more informations about this...

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