The Netherlands is one of many European countries (and EU members states) which has legalised online gambling. There are, of course, a few terms and conditions when you gamble online in the Netherlands, and these need to be understood before any players decide to do so. Fortunately, the rules are not complicated or challenging to understand. In fact, in a matter of just a few moments, players will know everything they need to, to wager confidently in the country.
Is Online Gambling Legal in the Netherlands?
Gambling online is legal in the Netherlands in every form. The Dutch gambling authorities have ensured that the Holland Casino group has a monopoly on gambling services in the small European country. There are more than a handful of land-based casinos in the nation, and all of these fall under the jurisdiction of the Holland Casino group. The same group also has a monopoly on online gambling services.
The European Union (of which the Netherlands is a founding member) doesn’t care for monopolies or nationalised companies. As a result of this, there has been talk of the Dutch passing a Modernisation Casinos Regime Act, which would effectively sell off the state monopoly. This has not yet come to pass, though.
For the time being, all online gambling sites which are owned by Holland Casino are entirely legal in the country. Any casino which does not fall under the jurisdiction of this group is technically illegal, but that doesn’t mean that Dutch citizens can’t play at those sites.
Dutch Online Casinos
All online casinos which are considered legal in the Netherlands belong to the Holland Casino group. They are state-approved and feature gameplay in Dutch, and use the euro as their currency option. Many of these sites have payment methods which are tied to popular banking options in the country, and a good number feature software which would be recognisable to any foreign player at international casinos.
Aside from the websites being entirely legal, many of them also have ties to those popular land-based venues in the country. While this is indeed a fine and above board way to play, there are, of course, going to be some things that players in the Netherlands miss out on when playing at domestic internet betting sites. This is where offshore casinos come into the mix.
Offshore Casino Sites for Dutch Players
The gambling authorities of the Netherlands do try to shut out foreign casinos from operating in the Dutch internet gaming market. Like their neighbours to the south (Belgium), the country decides to blacklist notable casinos so that their citizens cannot access them. A VPN (virtual private network) would ordinarily be enough for Dutch players to get around such blocks, though.
In an additional measure to ensure that their nationals cannot do this, the Dutch gaming authorities have also taken to heavily fining any international operators who offer their services to players. Understandably, this has put off a lot of the bigger fish, and as a result, many major offshore casinos tend to stay away from the Dutch market.
However, there are always those who are small enough to go unnoticed and those which consider the lure of Dutch casino players so valuable they are prepared to pay potential fines. These foreign sites continue to operate in the country. Players in the Netherlands are free to access those casinos and even wager at them. There is no punishment in the state for players wagering at offshore sites.
Is Anything Likely to Change in the Future?
There will more than likely be changes to the Netherlands’ gambling market in the near future. As mentioned earlier, the EU doesn’t approve of nationalised monopolies on anything, even gambling. As a result, there is work afoot via the Modernisation Casinos Regime Act to break apart the monopoly.
The ultimate goal with this law change is to give the Netherlands a similar series of gambling laws and infrastructure as other EU member states. This means that a Dutch gambling authority would be created which would hand out licenses to paying operators, and any such operator holding a permit would be legally entitled to offer their services to players in the country. There has already been talk about opening up the market to offshore operators who apply for such a license, just like what has recently happened in Sweden. It is almost certain that these changes will be implemented within a few years, so watch this space.
Top Dutch Casino Sites
Of course, it is always advantageous to play at a Netherlands licensed casino, but since the only ones which are around are state monopolies, you may very well want to try your hand at more recognisable international sites when living in the country.
There are plenty of top Dutch casino sites which are based offshore that you can play without hindrance. Many of these domains come highly recommended and feature on this page.