Two New Casinos to be Opened in BelgiumPublished October 22, 2014 by Brett C
Belgium plans to open two new casinos, thereby increasing the number of land-based casinos to 11. This is music to the ears of online casino fans too.
The newly-formed government in Belgium has announced that 2 new land-based casinos will be built, increasing the number of casinos in the country from 9 to 11. This measure is designed to help boost the economy which has been struggling amid the ongoing European recession.
Impact on Online Gaming
Even though these are land-based casinos which will be opening, it could be good news for online casino players as well. Currently, Belgium mandates that online casinos can only operate and apply for licensing if they partner with land-based casinos. Some online casinos that have a Belgian license include PokerStars online poker room, Ladbrokes, bwin.party and Unibet. Belgium is different to Spain, Italy and France since players can play casino games in a global pool at these online casinos. This will likely continue as the country sports a population of just 11.2 million people.
Possible Changes to Tax Laws
As it stands, Belgium does not tax the winnings that residents receive from gambling but this may be changing as Belgium wants to bring in additional tax revenues. The financial sector of Belgium believes that professional players should have their winnings taxed. According to the administration of Belgium, a player that regularly plays poker and puts time and effort into making it a profession should declare the winnings as income just as every other working person does.
The new tax proposals could pose a burden for professional poker players in Belgium, depending on how large their earnings are. Michel Maus, a Belgian fiscal expert says that professional poker players generating enough earnings from poker such that they are in the top bracket should be taxed at 75%. It still remains to be seen if any tax changes will be implemented but it appears that the government is moving in that direction.