Gambling, casinos, slot halls and online casinos in Netherlands
The Netherlands, as one of the highly developed EC countries, has a regulated offline gambling market which includes casinos and slot machines. In 2017, legal casinos were visited by 1.1 million people who came 5.8 times a year spending EUR109 a visit averagely. This earned the casinos EUR98 million which contributed to yearly turnover of EUR639 million. In 2018, the Dutch gambling market generated a collective EUR2.05 billion (GBP1.84 billion / USD2.31 billion) in revenue.
Gambling Laws in the Netherlands
In the Netherlands, games of chance are regulated by the Gambling Act 1964. The Netherlands Gambling Authority (NGA) was formed on April 1, 2012 as an independent governance body to supervise and regulate games of chances in the country. The NGA is responsible for regulation and supervision of the European part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Slot machine business is regulated by the Slot Machine Decree 2000 and the Slot Machine Scheme 2000. Local authorities issue a special permit to set up slot machines, too.
Offline Legal Casinos in the Netherlands
According to the Gambling Act, the Gambling Authority may grant a license to one legal entity for 'organizing a gaming casino'. Holland Casino, a state-run company formed in 1975, was granted the license to organize casinos. Currently, there is a casino monopoly with 14 casinos operated by Holland Casino where table games (roulette, poker, blackjack, etc.) can be played under the guidance of a human dealer.
Smoking is allowed only in designated areas. The dress code is business casual. The age limit is 18; showing a valid ID is obligatory. Holland Casino is legally obliged to averagely pay its clients 92% of bets in games and 80% while playing slot machines.
Slot Machines in the Netherlands
Unlike casinos, the slot machine sector is not restricted by the one-license rule. The Netherlands Gambling Authority licenses to install slot machines in cafes, restaurants, and arcades as well as in game halls designated to provide gambling. Apart from model approval and operating license granted by the NGA, an attendance permit from the local municipality where the slot machine will be located is required. Local municipalities are competent to decide if slot machines are allowed under their authority. They also decide on their number, whereabouts as well as introduce other rules, such as opening hours. People who have not yet reached the age of 18 years are not allowed to gamble on slot machines.
In the Netherlands, there are about 200 well-equipped places having the word “casino” as part of their name. A lot of different slot machines are installed there; some of them have an electronic roulette. The Netherlands Gambling Authority does not classify such places as “casinos” because of their lacking classic casino games under the guidance of a dealer.
Installing unlicensed slot machines is illegal and prosecuted by law enforcement agencies. The List of legal game halls with slot machine in the Netherlands is given on our website.
Online Gambling in the Netherlands
Holland Casino has not issued a single license to establish an online casino in the country so far. The Government struggles to prevent citizens from gambling on foreign websites banning banking transactions and blacklisting the sites themselves. Nowadays, online gambling is forbidden in the country, but the situation is gradually changing.
In February 2019, the Dutch Parliament approved the Remote Gambling Bill , and the country’s Gambling Authority is in the process of launching its regulated online gambling market allowing international online gambling companies to operate in the Netherlands although it is not expected until January 1, 2021.