The VAD, a prominent organization in Belgium that specializes in alcohol, medication, gambling, gaming, and illegal drugs, is urging for a change in gambling laws. In their 2024 memorandum, the VAD proposes raising the minimum age for online gambling from 18 to 21.Currently, individuals must be 21 or older to participate in gambling at physical casinos, and this same age restriction applies to online casinos as well.

However, other online games of chance, like sports betting and lotteries, can be played by individuals who are 18 years old. The VAD highlights sports betting as a potential gateway for younger individuals to develop gambling addictions.

Using the example of the 2022 World Cup, the VAD reveals that over 43,000 new gamblers under the age of 30 registered on a licensed gambling site in Belgium.The VAD’s proposed change to increase the age for online sports betting aims to prevent the development of addictive gambling behavior in young adults.

Additionally, the VAD is advocating for revisions to healthcare policies to include coverage for addiction treatment. Belgium has taken previous actions to combat gambling addiction, including a ban on gambling advertisements since July 1, 2023. Recently, the Gaming Commission in Belgium announced the license fees for 2024, ranging from €22,085 ($24,193) to €123 for licensees.

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