The Netherlands houses one of the continent’s most vibrant and regulated gambling industries. The Netherlands gives its players one of the most diverse markets in Europe, offering a wide range of gambling products from casinos to sports betting, but it was rather late in opening up the online gaming market to its consumers.
Only on the 1st of April 2021, the Netherlands formalised its status as one of the European Union’s biggest online gambling markets with the formal adoption of the Dutch Remote Gambling Act. The market opened on the 1st of October 2021 giving both Dutch based companies and foreign operators a stage to offer their online gaming products.
The gambling industry in the Netherlands
For decades, the most popular forms of gambling in the Netherlands have been lotteries, sports betting, and land based slot machines. All of these gaming products were regulated under the Betting and Gambling Act of 1964 (Wet op de kansspelen) until the new Gaming Act of 2021 took into place. Most of the former laws were drafted at a time when the Internet didn’t exist and online gambling wasn’t known yet. The Remote Gambling Act of 2021 is the latest gambling law to come into effect. Since the introduction of the first law in 1964 there have been new laws and adaptations for specific types of gaming:
- The 1964 Gaming Act (Wet op de Kansspelen, December 10, 1964).
- Games of Chance Decree (Kansspelenbesluit, December 1, 1997).
- Slot Machine Decree (Speelautomatenbesluit 2000, May 23, 2000).
- Slot Machine Regulation (Speelautomatenregeling 2000, May 25, 2000)
- Decree recruitment advertising and addiction prevention (Besluit werving, Reclame en Verslavingspreventie kansspelen, May 7, 2013 (DRAAP).
- Decree recruitment advertising and addiction prevention (Regeling werving, reclame en verslavingspreventie kansspelen, June 24, 2013) (RRAAP).
- Dutch Remote Gambling Act (RGA, Kansspelautoriteit, April 1, 2021).
The New Remote Gabling Act (April 2021)
On April 1, 2021, the Dutch Remote Gambling Act (RGA) took effect with the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) as the government’s regulator. With the new Gambling Act in effect, there are three important changes in the rules governing the games of chance. By implementing the new gambling act, the KSA addresses three main challenges:
- Regulate online casinos: all interested operators must first apply for a licence before they can offer games of chance to Dutch players. In their applications, they must demonstrate their commitment to offer responsible gaming and provide a safe and secure platform to their users. On the 1st of Octobre 10 of the 28 applicants were granted a licence for the Dutch market including four Dutch companies and six foreign operators. There are more licences expected to be granted.
- Responsible gaming: the Act requires operators to ramp up their efforts to address gambling addictions among high-risk players in the Netherlands. As such, online casinos should only accept players who are at least 18 years of age. Informing players about the risks and provided with intervention when necessary is another task of all regulated operators. In order to prevent high-risk players from gambling all casinos have to integrate a CRUKS-register which is an online register that works like a black list. Players need their social security number (BSN-nummer) when they visit a casino — either online or a land based gaming venue. With this BSN number verification takes place.
- Regulate advertising: one of the main bottlenecks of the legalisation of online gaming in the Netherlands is the internal political division in terms of advertising. While some political parties are fierce opponents of gaming related advertising, others see it as one of the main tools to notify players about the existence of legal gaming options. One of the main goals of advertising is that players are informed about the legal offer guided from illegal casinos to licenced operators — also referred to as the “canalisation of players”. There are various limitations for advertisers which include a ban on gambling related advertising between 06:00 and 21:00.
Online casinos with a Dutch licence
|Online casinos with a Dutch licence|
|Operator||Gaming products||Country of origin|
|Holland Casino||Online casino, live casino, sportsbook||The Netherlands|
|TOTO||Online casino, live casino, sportsbook||The Netherlands|
|Fair Play Casino||Online casino, live casino||The Netherlands|
|BetCity.nl||Online casino, live casino||The Netherlands|
|Bet365||Online casino, live casino, sportsbook||United Kingdom|
|GGPoker||Online casino, live casino (focus on poker)||United Kingdom|
|Tombola||Online casino, live casino (focus on bingo)||United Kingdom|
|Batavia Casino||Online casino, live casino||Malta|
|Bingoal||Online casino, live casino, sportsbook (focus on bingo)||Belgium|
Gambling tax (kansspelbelasting)
In the Netherlands, land-based gambling is taxed at 30,1% and this tax applies to the gross gaming revenues from (a) land based games of chance and (b) remote gambling provided by any entity based in the Netherlands. Taxation only applies to prizes above €449 and are due by operators, exempting players from paying the taxes as laws prohibit taxes to be paid more than once. We want to point out here that profits made at non-EU casinos, and thus non-licenced casinos, do require the consumer to pay the tax of 30,1%.
More info? Read our guide on Dutch gambling taxes (Dutch).
Holland Casino: the most traditional Dutch casino
Holland Casino is the only legal provider of land based casino games in the Netherlands. The first casino opened its doors in Zandvoort in 1976 and is part of the Dutch state having the State Secretary for Finance acts as its main shareholder. Fully licenced and regulated in the Netherlands, this typically Dutch casino brand offers an exciting combination of premium games and top-notch entertainment that’s available in all of its 14 locations across the Netherlands. As a fully-regulated casino, Holland Casino adheres to the state requirements in terms of participation in games, responsible gambling, and the protection of the most vulnerable players. On the 1st of October 2021, Holland Casino launched its online casino giving it a significant advantage over its competitors thanks to the nation wide brand awareness and favourable reputation among Dutch consumers.
Legal age of gambling
Players who are at least 18 years of age are welcome to enter and play at a casino, both in a brick and mortar venue and online. Land based players and guests should bring valid identification, such a valid passport, after which access is only granted if the player isn’t listed on the CRUKS-register, a blacklist for players who are exempted for gambling and are considered high-risk players. Punters can be included in the register on their own request or at the request of someone else such as a friend, family member or creditor. The same register applies to online visitors signing up to any Duth online casino.
More about CRUKS? Read everything about the CRUKS-register (Dutch).
Most popular online casino games
The Netherlands is home to a wide range of casino games which ranges from slot machines to table games. Both land based gaming venues and online casinos offer bingo, blackjack, baccarat, and roulette games, but the lotto remains the most popular game of chance among Dutch players. This holds for online casino games as well as we can see below.The following information is based on a market research from 2016 that was carried out by Bonamy Finch on behalf of a major casino that targeted the Dutch gaming market:
|Most popular online casino games in the Netherlands|
|Live sports betting||14%|
|Data used from Bonamy Finch (2016)|
FAQ Online Gambling in the Netherlands
Yes, the Dutch Remote Gambling Act took into effect on the 1st of April 2021, making online gaming legal in the Netherlands. The first regulated online casinos entered the Dutch market on the 1st of October 2021.
Yes, online casinos in the Netherlands are licensed by the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), the governmental body responsible for the regulation of the Dutch gambling market.
Yes, foreign casinos are allowed to enter the Dutch gaming market as long as they obtain a licence from the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA).
If a user plays at a licenced Dutch operator, he or she is exempted to pay the gambling tax as this responsibility is shifted to the operator. Dutch players do need to pay the 30,1% gambing tax if they play at a foreign casino that is not located in the European Union (EU).