Most people are aware of the Netherlands’ relaxed position on drug and prostitution laws, but does it extend to gambling as well?
The government went to considerable efforts to prevent even the most reputable internet casinos from taking bets from Dutch citizens because gambling online was prohibited until very recently. However, the legal system is different now. What follows is up-to-date information on the legal status of gambling in the Netherlands.
Casino Games and Their Regulatory Status
The Betting and Gaming Act provides the legal framework for gambling in the Netherlands, defining games of chance as “an opportunity to compete for prizes or premiums if the winners are designated by means of any calculation of probability over which the participants are generally unable to exercise a dominant influence.” Take note that no stakes of any kind are mentioned.
The laws governing gambling in the Netherlands, like those in other countries, are not uniform across the board. To begin, for a very long time, it was perfectly legal in the country to visit a casino or a sports book and gamble. In contrast, online gambling was banned until 2021, when new regulations legalizing the practice were enacted.
Let’s check out what the law in the Netherlands has to say about all the many kinds of gambling that are.
Gambling The state-owned Holland Casino has operated exclusively as a land-based casino since its inception in the 1970s. Fourteen locations around the country are open for business right now. In the Netherlands, anybody above the age of 18 can visit one of many slot machine arcades, which range from dedicated gaming establishments to cafes and restaurants.
The Netherlands has a checkered past when it comes to online casino gambling, having taken active measures to block foreign gambling sites from taking bets from locals while failing to develop any domestic offerings to satisfy demand. This was the situation until April 2021, when the Act was ultimately revised to permit remote gambling company license, which would allow for internet casino games.
In light of this development, the Netherlands Gaming Authority has issued a license permitting the operation of online casinos offering RNG-based and live table games and online casino slots to residents of the Netherlands.
Since poker involves an element of chance, it must comply with the Netherlands’ licensing regulations for gambling establishments under the Betting and Gaming Act.
Previously, Dutch players had easy access to online poker games through the various offshore betting organizations. With the new legislation, however, Dutch players can only play poker games at regulated sites.
Gambling Laws in the Netherlands: A Brief History
Until March 2011, when the government proposed legislation to establish an online gambling market in the country, online gambling remained illegal in the Netherlands. The goal was to safeguard Dutch citizens while they participated in online gambling, the vast majority of which took place on unregulated foreign sites.
However, it wasn’t until April 2021 that the Netherlands Gaming Authority was established and could begin accepting license applications under the new laws and procedures. This prepared the path for the legalization of gambling on sports and horse races through online casinos.
There have been 18 licenses awarded by the Netherlands Gaming Authority so far, with more on the way.
The essentials of Dutch internet gambling are summarized below.
Licensed operators can provide many types of sports betting to customers. These include traditional “fixed odds,” “pari mutuel,” “pre-match,” “live,” “exchange,” “virtual,” and “fantasy” wager
Licensed operators are permitted to offer a range of casino games including traditional table games, slot machines, and live dealer casinos.
Only authorized businesses can provide horse racing betting.
Licensed operators may legally offer eSports betting (under certain conditions).
It is still illegal to wager on things like lotteries, bingo with huge payouts, point spreads, and anything that aren’t sports.