The current legal framework for lotteries stems from the Law on Lotteries of 1851 and the National Lottery Act 2002. Since 1851, lotteries are prohibited in Belgium unless they have the public benefit as their principal aim. In addition, the exclusive right to organise lotteries for public benefit in Belgium is in possession of the Nationale Loterij (National Lottery) since 1991. Other small-scale lotteries are allowed at the local level as long as they are carried out under the control of the provinces or the municipalities. The Nationale Lottery also holds the exclusive right to organise the instant lottery and the lotto.
Belgian law makes a distinction between games of chance and lotteries. Consequently, the Belgian Gaming Commission, established in 1999, supervises all sorts of games of chance, but not the National Lottery. The Nationale Loterij falls under the direct control of the Belgian government, which in turn is controlled by parliament. The minister of Finance, for example, reports annually to the parliament on the operations of the Nationale Loterij and all playing rules have to be approved by the minister, which are put into effect by a royal decree. This way, the minister of Finance decides if new games can be offered and under what conditions.
There are other strict requirements as well, which are all laid out in a five-year management contract with the Belgian state. The Nationale Loterij must also submit a business plan every year to the Minister of Finance. Additionally, decisions with budgetary or financial implications are controlled by the minister of Budget. The supervision by the ministers is exercised by a government commissioner, who can visit every meeting of the governing bodies of the Nationale Loterij. Although the Gambling Commission is not qualified to control the games offered by the Nationale Loterij, they can monitor if the royal decrees are carried out or not.