Online Casino Gaming in the Netherlands
The Netherlands is a region known for its unique Dutch culture, as well as its relaxed laws and freedom for its citizens on many fronts. However, despite certain relaxed policies for those on Netherlands soil, the country has strict laws and policies regarding online casino gaming for Dutch players.
According to the Netherlands’ local laws, Dutch players may only play online casino games at casinos that are hosted in the Netherlands itself. Although technically a legal industry, no online casinos have yet been granted a license to operate from the Netherlands.
Netherlands Casino Gaming Laws and Legislation
The gambling and online casino industry in the Netherlands is at this point governed completely by the state. All of the land-based casinos in the Netherlands are controlled by Holland Casino, a government-run initiative that guards the casino industry throughout Holland.
There are 14 Holland Casino land-based casinos throughout the Netherlands, and many of these casinos have applied for a license to operate online as well. However, no licenses have been granted to these casinos yet as laws still restrict the formation of Dutch online casinos.
Sports Betting in the Netherlands
While the online casino gaming laws in the Netherlands may be restrictive, sports betting in Holland is considerably less so. All of the sportsbooks and online betting sites in the region are controlled and monopolised by two entities: De Lotto and Scientific Games Racing B.V.
De Lotto specialises in all sports betting streams, including football, rugby, golf, tennis and hockey, while Scientific Games Racing B.V. controls the horse racing markets in Holland. De Lotto also operates the only legal online sportsbook site for Dutch bettors, who have access to a limited range of online sports betting markets.
Continued Growth for Sports Betting Markets
In the Netherlands, the online sports betting industry continues to grow in popularity with Dutch players despite a lack of legal Dutch online sportsbooks and casinos. Some of the most popular betting markets across Holland include field hockey, golf, tennis and cycling.
European football has also been proven to be preferred among Dutch bettors, with the English Premier League being particularly favoured.
Current Netherlands Casino Gaming Legislations
In May of 2013, the Netherlands government announced possible plans to legalise online casino gaming for Dutch players and allow foreign online casino operators into the country. It was expected that the laws regarding online gaming would be relaxed by the beginning of 2015, but to date, the Netherlands continues to restrict the casinos at which its residents can play.
Regardless, the Dutch casino gaming regulator Kansspelautoriteit, also known as the KSA, released an overview report in August of 2015 that showed a significant growth in the Dutch online gaming market, despite the lack of regulation for local casino sites.
Significant Growth for the Dutch Casino Industry
The KSA estimated that the online gaming industry in the Netherlands would reach as much as €296 million in gross income over the course of 2015, indicating a 7.6% growth over the previous year.
The KSA also stated that an estimated 437,000 Dutch citizens out of Holland’s population of 17 million would gamble online in 2015, even though legislation for the regulation of online gaming in the Netherlands is still being awaited.