• Online gambling and cash games again exempt from VAT

Online gambling and cash games again exempt from VAT

Pascal Dauw, Partner |

01 June 2018

(Update of the newsflash published on 23 March 2018)

From 1 August 2016 online gambling and cash games (other than lotteries) are again subject to VAT in Belgium. As a result only lotteries and gambling and cash games not conducted by electronic means (e.g. a gambling machine in a casino)  are exempt from VAT. This will now change due to a recent judgement from the Constitutional Court.


Petition for annulment with the Constitutional Court

Several operators of gambling websites and the Walloon Region have submitted a petition for annulment to the Constitutional Court against this amendment. The online operators of games and cash games because they felt discriminated against the (off-line) casinos where gamblers physically play and against the (on- and off-line) lotteries which are exempt from VAT. The second because they saw Regional income evaporate at the expense of the Federal level and feared a proliferation of illegal gambling sites.

Pursuant to the filed applications of annulment the Constitutional Court annulled articles 29 to 34 of the Program Act of 1 July 2016, which abolished the VAT exemption for online gambling and cash games (other than lottery games) in tis judgement no. 38/2018. Consequently the gambling and cash games conducted by electronic means are once again exempt from VAT.

Note: according to Minister of Finance, Van overtveldt, the VAT remains due between 22 March 2018 (date ruling of the Constitutional Court) and 22 May 2018 (publication date of this judgement). Even after 22 May 2018, the VAT authorities will be able to claim the VAT due until that date. In relation to online gambling and cash games performed after 22 May 2018, the VAT authorities will no longer be able to claim VAT.



Questions regarding this subject can be addressed to one of our VAT specialists, or you can send an e-mail to [email protected]: