Search form

menu menu
  • Daily & Weekly newsletters
  • Buy & download The Bulletin
  • Comment on our articles

Access to gambling easier in poor municipalities, study finds

08:54 24/04/2024

The poorer a municipality is in Brussels, the greater the range of gambling machines and services on offer, according to an analysis of the licences granted by the Gaming Commission to private operators.

This trend can be seen nationwide, although the gambling industry disputes and denies any deliberate strategy to target the most vulnerable residents.

“We're clearly targeting towns rather than villages, and we're looking to set up along busy roads,” said Yannick Bellefroid, chief of Ladbrokes and president of the betting federation, the Union Professionnelle des Agences de Paris.

“We look to see if there are any supporters' clubs in the vicinity, and if any other competitors have set up there.”

But an analysis reveals an over-representation of gambling facilities in poorer municipalities, Le Soir reports.

The study, carried out by data analyst Aurore Paligot, examined 6,600 gambling licences classified by municipality.

While there are 10.5 licences per 10,000 inhabitants in municipalities where the average income is less than €17,000. This figure falls to 3.3 in municipalities where the average income is more than €23,000.

In the Brussels region, the contrast between the most affluent municipalities (Uccle, Woluwe and Boitsfort) and those with the lowest average incomes (Saint-Josse, Saint-Gilles, Schaerbeek) is significant. While there are fewer than four establishments per 10,000 inhabitants in the former, there are more than 15 in the latter.

Written by Helen Lyons