Netherlands casino sites

When it comes to online gambling in the Netherlands, there are many rules and regulations in place to help protect players. This article provides a basic overview of the laws relating to Dutch online casinos and whether it is possible to play real money casino games online.

Real money casino sites for the Netherlands

Not available to residents of United States
Not available to residents of United States
Not available to residents of United States

Dutch gambling laws and casino industry

Holland Casino logoGambling laws in Holland are covered by the Dutch Betting and Gaming Act 1964, with applicable secondary laws including the Games of Chance Decree 1997, Slot Machine Decree 2000, Slot Machine Regulation 2000, Regulation on Games of Chance: Recruitment, Advertising and Addiction 2013 and a few others.

The government of the Netherlands holds a monopoly on all land-based casino activities within the country, with 14 gambling venues licensed under the government owned Holland Casino brand, which hosts a large selection of slot machines and table games. The Holland Casino website boasts, “There’s a fair chance you can visit a Holland Casino venue within a 30-minute drive from where you reside.”

Is it legal to gamble online in the Netherlands?

Technically, playing at an online casino is illegal in the Netherlands unless the casino has licensing from the Dutch Gaming Authority. To date, no vendor has been issued a Dutch casino license – although that is all set to change.

Like many other countries, the Netherlands Betting and Gaming Act has not been adequately updated to reflect the invention of the Internet, therefore the online gambling laws in the country have been full of grey areas and loopholes which the government has been struggling to close. Those loopholes, and the lack of an adequate licensing system within the country, have led many Dutch citizens to gamble for real money at offshore casino sites that are not licensed by the Netherlands government, but as the law doesn’t contain provisions on online gambling, it’s difficult (if not impossible) for the government to stop Dutch players from frequenting international casino sites if they choose.

The possibility of introducing a Remote Gaming Bill was first discussed in 2013, but only passed through the Dutch Lower House mid-2016. The Bill defines remote gaming as “provided at a distance using electronic means of communication and in which a person participates without having any physical contact with the party providing this opportunity or the party which makes space and resources available for participation.” The Remote Gambling Bill is expected to be passed through parliament in 2018, and when passed it will open the Dutch market for international operators to provide gambling services in the Netherlands by allowing them to apply for a local license.

Once passed, local and international casino permit holders will be required to pay multiple Dutch taxes, including a tax on games of chance, contribution to the addiction fund and a contribution to the Netherlands Gaming Authority on the gross results of the games. The legislation will also provide strict requirements for online operators and offer better protection for players. It has also been suggested that in order to obtain a license, the operator must at least have some physical presence within the Netherlands.

The Dutch Gaming Authority (Kansspelautoriteit)

Netherlands Gaming AuthorityThe Netherlands Gaming Authority (‘Kansspelautoriteit’ in Dutch) was established in April 2012 with the mission to “effectively safeguard a safe and fair gambling market in which people can participate and where gambling addiction is combated.” The body is responsible for overseeing all aspects of gambling in the Netherlands, including addiction prevention, prevention of illegal and criminal practices and protecting and informing consumers.

Since establishment of the Authority, the vision has been updated to clearly reflect the changing nature of online gaming technologies, with the rapid development of the online gaming industry driving the importance for Kansspelautoriteit to ensure that the interests of the consumer are properly safeguarded. Due to the massive number of Internet casinos offering services to the Netherlands, the Authority prioritises targeting those who offer services using a .nl website, offer services in Dutch language or target advertisments to Dutch players on the radio, television or in print.

If the Remote Gambling Bill is passed, it will be the responsibility of the Gaming Authority to issue licenses to valid vendors and oversee the operation of the online casino market.

Payment methods for Dutch players

Online casino sites that accept Dutch players typically also accept real money payments using EUR. Deposits and withdrawals can be made using a range of traditional payment methods, online payment systems, web wallets and pre-paid cards, including Visa, MasterCard, Neteller, Skrill, Paysafecard, Bitcoin, Direct Bank Transfer and others. The payment methods available vary between each online casino site, with players from different countries having different options depending on the online gambling laws of their country.

However, the Netherlands Gaming Authority has made it clear they may target payment providers who facilitate payments to unlicensed gambling sites and in 2014 a list of payment providers signed an agreement with the Authority agreeing to refuse to provide their services to any illegal online gambling operators who have previously been fined by the Netherlands Gaming Authority. The Authority regularly provides payment providers with a list of the operators who have been fined and the effectiveness of this agreement is assessed each year.

Online casinos accepting players from the Netherlands

Players from the Netherlands are accepted at the casino sites listed in the casino above, but only time will tell which online casinos apply for official legal licensing once the Remote Gambling Bill is passed.