The gambling business in the Netherlands is allowed and available to all adult citizens. There are 14 land-based gambling houses operating in the country. The laws of the Netherlands have recently allowed online casinos to operate. Since 2017, foreign operators have received the opportunity to license in the country.
Netherlands gambling laws
The Netherlands is known as a state that is loyal to a variety of forms of entertainment that are prohibited in other countries. Oddly enough, gambling has been an exception to this rule for quite some time.
Until 2017, gambling was regulated by the following regulations:
- “On bets and games” (1964);
- The Chance Games Ordinance (1997);
- The Slot Machines Ordinance (2000);
- Gambling Ordinance: Advertising, Addiction and New Player Engagement (2013);
- Lottery Licensing (2016).
Finally, in 2017, a new law came into force, adopted in July 2016, thanks to which online gambling in the country acquired legal status. The following categories of gambling are allowed in the Netherlands:
- sports betting and other sweepstakes;
- casino card and table games;
- slot machines and terminals.
Regulation and licensing
An organization called Kansspelautoriteit is responsible for issuing licenses and supervising the gambling industry in the Netherlands. In addition, the Ministry of Security and Justice (Ministerie van Veiligheid en Justitie) develops laws related to gambling and monitors their observance.
All casinos in the Netherlands are owned by Holland Casino, which received a permanent license in 1996. The law allowing other companies to apply for a license was passed in 2016. Starting in January 2017, operators can obtain a license for 5 years. Only legal entities with an official permanent establishment in the EU can expect to receive it. The cost depends on the amount of prize payments offered by the operator:
- over 500 EUR, but less than 45,000 EUR – 226 EUR;
- over 45,000, EUR, but less than 450,000 EUR – 907 EUR;
- more than 450,000 EUR, but less than 4.5 million EUR – 1,588 EUR;
- over 4.5 million EUR – 2 668 EUR.
Slot machines are a gambling segment in which it is relatively easy to become a license holder in the Netherlands. There is no limit on the number of permits issued in this sector. Slots can be located not only in gambling houses, but also in cafes and restaurants, as well as in specially equipped halls. The company must provide a limit for players under the age of 18. Minors are prohibited from gambling in the Netherlands. The license can be granted for a limited or an indefinite period.
Online gambling in the Netherlands
Online gambling operators can obtain a license in one of two categories:
- casino games;
- sports betting.
In the near future, amendments to the legislation are expected, according to which more subcategories will appear. A limited liability company or a private limited liability company that is registered in the EU or the European Economic Area can apply. The applicant is obliged to prove that the games are played through reliable secure channels in full compliance with applicable law. The operator must ensure that minors are not allowed to play games.
The most popular gambling site in the Netherlands is Staatsloterij.nl. This is the official resource of the state lottery. In second place is a service for sports betting enthusiasts from the major international operator William Hill. Closes the top three of the leaders Want-to-win.com, where there is also an opportunity to bet on the results of various sports events.
Popular slot machines
According to the Onlinecasinoground.nl casino rating, the following slots are currently the most popular among Dutch players:
- Mega Moolah;
- Hall of Gods;
- Simply Wild;
- Jackpot Jester;
- Random Runner;
- Twin Spin;
- Gold Factory.
Gambling software developers
The most famous gambling software developer from the Netherlands is Holland Power Gaming. It was founded in 2011. The headquarters is located in Bergen op Zoom. The manufacturer produces the following products:
- slot machines;
- software for lovers of card entertainment;
- casino table games;
- bingo software;
- platforms for online casinos.
According to the company’s management, the staff employs specialists with more than 25 years of experience, which makes it possible to create a high-quality competitive product. Holland Power Gaming has released over 50 slot machines, including progressive jackpot slots. Here are some of the manufacturer’s popular designs:
- Amsterdam red light;
- Gangster Classics;
- Bella Italia;
- Big Money Cruise;
- Egyptian Dancer;
- Monkeys on Stage;
- Jackpot Runner.
Prospects for the development of the gambling business in the Netherlands
Due to the fact that the law regulating the licensing process came into force quite recently, foreign operators are still cautious about the initiative to enter the Dutch gambling market. The lack of positive precedents for obtaining a license and the activities of foreign companies in the country is still a significant deterrent. However, industry analysts predict an early recovery in this segment. The first licenses have already been issued to local private companies, which could serve as a positive example for other operators.
The authorities of the country have already come to the conclusion that the gambling business is profitable, subject to compliance with all legislative norms and state support. In the Netherlands, events are regularly held to draw attention to this area from investors. An example is the iGaming Super Show. The first exhibition and conference took place in 2016 in Amsterdam and attracted over 4,000 participants.