Boards and Bees has reviewed Belfort and has deemed it to be buzzworthy! Like many others, he enjoyed it and identified it not as a gateway game, but a few steps up the complexity ladder. Gateway games are games that are easier to teach and play, with hopes that they’d convert non-gamers into gamers. Carcassonne and Settlers of Catan are probably the two best examples of this – hence why they’re both available at places like Chapters and Toys R Us. I agree that Belfort isn’t a gateway game, but I do think it’s close. One or two games after a gateway game and anyone would be comfortable playing Belfort!
Check out his review here, and while you’re at it, the reviewer also has another blog where he goes by the name The Music Therapy Guy. That blog is a very entertaining collection of videos and thoughts on music as therapy. I spent a good 1-2 hours there when I first discovered it (nothing to do with board game, but worth a call out since it’s so entertaining!).