Online Gambling Regulations in the Netherlands

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Posted: October 13, 2021

Updated: October 13, 2021

  • The gambling business in the Netherlands is legal and available to all adult citizens
  • The laws of the country have recently allowed online casinos to operate
  • In this article, we will discuss online gambling regulations in the Netherlands

Nowadays, the gambling business in the Netherlands is legal and available to all adult citizens. 14 land-based gambling houses are operating in the country. The laws of the Netherlands have recently allowed online casinos to operate. Besides, since 2017, foreign operators have received the opportunity to license in the country. In this article, we will discuss online gambling regulations in the Netherlands. Let’s get started!

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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 a long time. Until 2017, the following regulations took control over gambling:

  • “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 it, online gambling sites in the Netherlands acquired legal status. Thus, the following categories of gambling are allowed in the country: sports betting, poker, casino card, and table games, lotteries, bingo, slot machines, and terminals.

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) is responsible for drafting and enforcing laws related to gambling. Besides, all casinos in the Netherlands are owned by Holland Casino, which received a permanent license in 1996. The law opening up the opportunity for other companies to apply for a license was passed in 2016. Starting in January 2017, operators can obtain a license for 5 years. However, only legal entities with an official permanent establishment in the EU can expect to receive it. The cost depends on the number of prize payments offered by the operator:

  1. Firstly, over 500 EUR, but less than 45,000 EUR – 226 EUR;
  2. Secondly, over 45,000, EUR, but less than 450,000 EUR – 907 EUR;
  3. Thirdly, over 450,000 EUR, but less than 4.5 million EUR – 1,588 EUR;
  4. Finally, over 4.5 million EUR – 2 668 EUR.

New Online Gambling Regulations In The Netherlands

The beginning of October 2021 became a new era for the gambling business in the Netherlands. Now virtual casinos are 100% legal in the country. Thus, the first operators lined up for a license, ready to legally meet Dutch gamblers.

online gambling regulations in the Netherlands
Are you aware of these new regulations? Picture Source: Pixabay

For example, Kansspelautoriteit, the agency that regulates the gambling business in the Netherlands, has revealed the names of the first ten operators that will receive a license to do business in the online casino business. Here they are:

  • Limited;
  • LiveScore Malta Limited; Holland Casino NV;
  • TOTO Online BV;
  • NSUS Malta Limited;
  • Hillside (New Media Malta) Plc; Bingoal Netherlands BV;
  • Play North Ltd;
  • Betent BV;
  • FPO Netherlands BV.

KSA also noted that a guide to licensed sites will be released soon. Indeed, it will allow players to be convinced of the legality of the activities of a particular site. Besides, the department urged players to use the services of only licensed operators. Since they are located in a safe zone and allow the gambler to be confident in a fair game, and for the operators to monitor that the player follows the instructions related to the restrictions and regulations of gambling established by the KSA.

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According to iGaming Business, major British operator Entain is going to block access to all Dutch customers in connection to send a licensing application to legally enter the market at the end of 2021. Moreover, the bookmaker estimates that blocking will cost approximately £ 5 million a month. Despite the attractiveness of the market, the number of applications for participation in the gambling business submitted to the regulator turned out to be less than expected. Indeed, KSA planned to receive 40 applications and accept 35 of them but received only 28.

Internet Operators

According to online gambling regulations in the Netherlands, operators can obtain a license in one of two categories: casino games and sports betting. Shortly, amendments to the legislation are expected, according to which more subcategories will appear. Besides, a limited liability company or a private limited liability company that is registered in the EU or the European Economic Area can apply. Indeed, the applicant must prove that the games are played through reliable secure channels in full compliance with applicable law. In addition, the operator should ensure that minors are not allowed to play games.

online gambling regulations in the Netherlands, online gambling
Picture Source: Pixabay

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 22Bet. Closes the top three of the leaders Want-to-win.com, where there is also an opportunity to bet on the results of a variety of sports events. Indeed, slot machines are a segment of gambling in which it is relatively easy to become a license holder in the Netherlands. 

There is no limit on the number of permits 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. However, the company must provide a limit for players under the age of 18. Of course, minors cannot gamble in the Netherlands. According to the online casino rating, the following slots are currently the most popular among Dutch players:

  • Starburst;
  • Mega Moolah;
  • Hall of Gods;
  • Simply Wild;
  • Jackpot Jester;
  • Random Runner;
  • Twin Spin;
  • Gold Factory.

Online Gambling Regulations In The Netherlands: Software Developers

Holland Power Gaming is one of the most famous gambling software developers from the Netherlands. They founded it in 2011. The headquarters is 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.
online gambling regulations in the Netherlands
Picture Source: Pixabay

According to the company’s management, the staff employs specialists with more than 25 years of experience. Indeed, this 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.

Future Of The Gambling Business in The Netherlands

Since the law regulating the licensing process came into force quite recently, foreign operators are still wary of 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 to local private companies have already gone, which could serve as a positive example for other operators. Read more about How to Find Illegal Casinos in the Netherlands.

The authorities of the country have already concluded the profitability of the gambling business, subject to compliance with all legislative norms and state support. In the Netherlands, events are regularly appearing to draw attention to this area from investors. An example is the iGaming Super Show. The first exhibition conference took place in 2016 in Amsterdam and attracted over 4,000 participants. Since then, many online casinos in the Netherlands have taken part in such events.

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Markus Antl, Head of Sales and Key Account Management at Greentube, noted that the gambling market will be of great importance to the country. Indeed, the state will be able to receive taxes from gambling activities. The expert also emphasized that the Netherlands acted softly and did not impose unnecessary restrictions on the gambling rules, as, for example, neighboring Germany. Nevertheless, now the gambling tax exceeds a critical threshold. Unfortunately, it puts the legal business at a disadvantage in comparison with its shady counterpart. Antl added that most of the licensees know the Dutch market very well, as they have been working in it for years. Therefore, the Dutch player will receive exactly the entertainment that he expects, especially in the 22Bet Casino.

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