The concern over excessive gambling and gambling harm, particularly as it relates to easy access to online gambling, has prompted action from the Belgian Association of Gaming Operators (BAGO). Last week, all six BAGO members, including Kindred, Napoleon, Ardent Group, Golden Palace, BetFirst, and Star Casino, signed a new Duty of Care Agreement aimed at preventing problem gambling and quickly identifying risky behavior.

The agreement focuses on four main pillars. Firstly, it seeks to provide players with recommendations and information for the use of voluntary deposit limits, self-exclusion, and other player protection measures. Secondly, it calls for the development of a robust detection system utilizing AI, scientific-based criteria, and algorithms to flag potential risky gambling behaviors. Thirdly, BAGO members have agreed to educate and provide special training for their employees to effectively identify problem gambling. Lastly, the operators have committed to sharing details of their prevention policy with the country’s gambling regulator.

Tom De Clercq, BAGO’s chairman, emphasized the importance of fostering a gaming environment that enables players to participate responsibly. He noted that this duty of care is a valuable addition to existing protective measures.

Damien Thiéry, BAGO’s secretary general, highlighted that around 70% of gamblers in Belgium engage in online gambling activities. He also pointed out that 0.9% of the population in Belgium is susceptible to a gambling addiction, according to Sciensano data. Thiéry stressed that sustainable economic activity cannot be built on addiction and noted the operators’ commitment to offering a safe form of entertainment for their players.

The signing of the Duty of Care Agreement represents a collective effort by BAGO members to address the issue of problem gambling and promote responsible gaming practices in Belgium. Through this agreement, the operators aim to provide a safer and more sustainable gambling environment for their players.

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