Belgium Widens its Restrictions for Online Mobile App Games
Belgium widens its restrictions once again creating yet another blacklist for the industry. The Belgium Gaming Commission has requested all sites offering its players a free social gaming app for mobile devices be added to the extensive blacklist of social gaming.
This proposed directive will help monitor underage gambling. The free play for fun apps for casino games and poker make it difficult for the observation of responsible and underage gambling.
If passed, this will make the second blacklist of the country. There is one in place already for real money sites that has grown rapidly over the last four years to 100 poker and social gaming operators/company’s. Some of the well-known poker rooms are included in this list such as William Hill, Everest, Betfair and 888. If the new proposal gets the okay from legislators, then the names on the first list will be transferred to the second with many more to follow.
Industry representatives are questioning as to why all of a sudden the clampdown? This is due to underage customers being misled with the free to play applications. A good example is a young boy who stole his mother’s credit card while playing a free to online mobile app and spent 37,000 Euros, $46,000 USD, on not any casino style game, but a war game where the player purchases buy packs. Some buy packs sold for 20,000 gold pieces for $100, which amounts to the purchase of 9,200,000 gold pieces.
“This isn’t the first time such an event has occurred. Free-to-play is a common structure with many mobile games that keeps items and virtual currency behind pay walls, only making them available for real-world money.”
Many stories like this have been reported with concerns rising for control over game addictions. Online app store such as Google and Apple have said they are also enforcing tougher rules and even issuing refunds to the parents of the underage gamers. In January, Apple refunded nearly $32.5 million in complaints that the technology company billed U.S. consumers.