Various forms of online and offline gambling activities in the Netherlands are legal, but at the time of writing Dutch citizens only have access to an extremely limited number of home-grown gambling websites. The Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) is the regulatory body that’s currently responsible for the oversight of land-based and online casino gambling activities in the country.
Dutch citizens also have access to a lottery, as well as sports betting and horseracing and can gamble at foreign-owned gambling sites that operate from outside of the country’s borders. All forms of gambling, however, are tightly controlled by the Dutch government, and there has been fierce opposition from the Dutch authorities and even stiff fines being imposed on foreign operators who still aim their business towards the Dutch market but do not fully cooperate with the KSA.
Gambling History in Netherlands
The Netherlands is also home to one of the oldest lotteries in the world. The national state lottery is known as the Staatsloterij, and this has been active since as far back as 1726. In more recent times, since the 1970s, all legal casinos have been managed by a monopoly operator known as Holland Casino and, in 1996, a new and independent governing body was first formed to oversee, regulate and control all gambling in the country. Known as the College van Toezicht op Kansspelen, this was eventually replaced in April 2012 with the Dutch Gambling Authority.
The online gambling industry in the Netherlands, along with the associated laws and legislation is, after years of stalling, in the final stages of being realized. The Remote Gambling Bill was initially introduced in 2016 but didn’t end up getting final approval until three years later, as recently as February 2019, and while the new legislation has been adopted, draft legislation regulation is still pending.
Netherlands Gambling & Online Gambling Laws
The exact date that this new legislation will come into effect has yet to be set, but the first licenses are expected to start being issued early next year (in 2020). It was initially thought that any new laws that are introduced in the Netherlands would end up making the market more welcoming and hospitable towards foreign owners. However, this doesn’t seem to be the case.
There has been a recent crackdown by the KSA on foreign operators who aim their trade towards the Dutch market, with huge fines being dished out. The minimum fine imposed on foreign operators was bumped up from €150,000 to €200,000 in January 2018, plus there’s also currently a 30% tax on both retail and online gambling revenues. The revenue that’s generated from the fines goes towards supporting the work that’s carried out by the KSA, and the money is also being used to fund programs that are specifically designed to combat problem gambling in the Netherlands.
As it stands, foreign operators may apply for an online gambling license that would allow them to legally operate from within a fully regulated Dutch market, but at present no licenses have yet been granted to foreign operators. If foreign operators continue to operate within the Dutch market without a license and then eventually attempt to obtain a proper licence from the KSA, it could negatively affect them, and they could end up being frozen out by the KSA for up to two years!
The operators of today’s foreign-owned casinos who do not fall under Dutch jurisdiction still cannot be prosecuted by Dutch authorities for targeting their business towards the tightly controlled Dutch gambling market, so being frozen out and being handed these fines by the KSA are the only real deterrents at the time of writing. There has also been speculation in recent times of the KSA being given more powers, plus attempts have supposedly been made to block foreign operators from aiming their business towards the Dutch market by implementing technology that prevents Dutch players from using VPN’s to access these casinos.
A VPN is a virtual private network that extends a private network across a public network, and basically enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks (as if their computing device was directly connected to the private network). The good news though is that Dutch players are still NOT breaking any laws by using VPN’s to play in the real money mode at foreign-owned gambling sites.
Online Casino Benefits to Players from Netherlands
While players in the Netherlands don’t have access to their own, home-grown online casinos they do still have access to hundreds of foreign-controlled online casinos that are fully licensed by various other trusted licensing authorities around the world. These casinos also happen to be controlled by some of the most trusted names from the online and offline gambling industries, and they are all free to sign up to. Being powered by some of the best online casino software providers in the world means that Dutch players also now have access to some of the very best games.
The great news is that Dutch players aren’t breaking any laws by gambling at these online casinos that are licensed offshore, and they have access to the same great services that other players from around the world also have access to with 24 hour player support that’s usually available at the click of a button. Dutch players can also now benefit from some huge casino bonuses, big daily jackpots and some amazing loyalty rewards programs, plus there are no taxes on their winnings. The other benefits include being able to visit these casinos from multiple devices and across multiple platforms (PC, laptop, smartphone, tablet, Flash, download, HTML5, etc.).
FAQ Useful to Players from Netherlands
Are Dutch online casinos that are controlled by foreign operators secure?
Yes, especially ones that are licensed by renowned authorities in certain major licensing jurisdictions (e.g. the UK, Gibraltar, Malta). The casinos are protected by 256-bit SSL encryption technology, and they are controlled by reputable operators with proven track records.
What kind of banking methods are available for Dutch players?
Players living in the Netherlands generally have access to a wide range popular online payment methods at online casinos including major credit & debit cards, prepaid cards, e-wallets, iDeal, cryptocurrencies and other methods.
How do I get in touch with the casino should an issue arise?
Dutch players generally have easy access to 24-hour, professionally trained player support which is usually contactable via toll-free telephone, email and live chat. It doesn’t just have to be a technical issue. You can also get in touch with the support just to ask them a general question about your account, or a question about the casino or bonuses etc.
Are my personal details and my money safe at online casinos that welcome Dutch players?
Yes. At a fully licensed online casino, your details will never be sold on to the highest bidder, and your funds are always in safe hands.
Am I breaking the law by playing at a foreign-owned online casino?
No. At the time of writing, you are not breaking the law by playing in the real money mode at online casinos that operate from outside of the Dutch government’s jurisdictions.
Online Gambling Highlights in Netherlands
- Players in Holland can now sign up to some of the world’s best online casinos for free and without breaking any laws
- You can enjoy playing at these websites either on desktop or on mobile and either instantly in your web browser or from within a perfectly secure download client
- You can play in your local currency of Euros (although other currencies are accepted) and you can deposit & withdraw at these websites using several popular Dutch online payment options
- You can now enjoy playing on hundreds of game from some of the world’s best online casino software providers with new games arriving almost every week
- Big jackpots to play for daily, often reaching well above €1,000,000, and you can play on many of the games from as little as €0.01 €1.00 per round/spin/hand
- Guaranteed new player welcome bonus upon sign up, plus loads more ongoing bonuses and rewards schemes to benefit from as a fully registered member
Problem Gambling Help in Netherlands
Treatment for problem gambling in the Netherlands is widely available and is covered by health insurance. This is covered in the same way as substance abuse, but only a tiny percentage of problem gamblers in the Netherlands actually seek any kind of support for their condition. There are measures in place to actively promote responsible gambling, and there are online support groups and plenty of other non-profit organizations available for Dutch problem gamblers to get free advice from.
Players can also take advantage of both state-run and charitable problem gambling organizations that are available in other countries, not just from the ones from within their own country. These websites have useful forums where you can chat to and share your experiences with other problem gamblers. You can also find a lot of other useful info, and three of the most notable entities that you can go to for further advice include Gamblers Anonymous, GamCare and Gamble Aware.