Quoted from BlackCatBone:
Do gambling laws in Belgium allow players to be paid for winnings? Have you seen any old Bally bingos, or are all the games on location the newer electronic versions?
Yes. Only very new models.
Laws change every few years and operators have to invest in new machines that are legal.
I'm not keeping track of the laws in detail. if I remember correct, around 15 years ago laws changed and a lot of machines weren't legal anymore.
Since the last 10 years (or more) they have a huge lcd screen in the backbox, no more lightbulbs. Similar to what JJP has but it was implemented years earlier.
They also have a mobile phone built in. Game operation is transmitted to the state which keeps track of what machines have permits and what they earn.
A yearly license to operate a bingo costs 3500-4000 euro (depending on location) per machine.
I believe (but it can be for another type of gambling machine) legally the losses are limited to 70 euro an hour.
So compared to pinball where you can play a game for 1 euro, bingo machines are big money.
Real big gambling money, pinball is peanuts for them.
I've heard a lot of interesting stories from older operators I know..
Some big operators own dozens of locations. Having one or two machines can pay enought for the mortgage to buy the building..
Being the home owner / renting the bar is a way to make sure their machines stay in a good earning location and a competitor can't persuade the bar owner..
Even heard from an operator which was caught cheating in some way by the bar owner. A few hours later the op came back to the bar, he had just bought the whole building and the bar owner shouldn't complain or get kicked out..