The Netherlands may have one of the most relaxed attitudes towards drugs and prostitution in the world, but it’s a different story when it comes to gambling. We explain more about the online gambling laws in the Netherlands and whether it is safe for Dutch players to play real money games at the best online casino sites.
Best online casino sites for Dutch players
Is online gambling legal in the Netherlands?
In the Netherlands, the government owns the only licensed gambling provider, the Holland Casino, of which there are 14 venues located around the country. As the government holds the monopoly on all casino activity, the move to privatise the industry and regulate online gambling has been a long and tedious process.
Online gambling at offshore casinos is illegal in the Netherlands, but like many other countries, the laws are hazy, outdated and have been the subject of parliamentary and public debate for years. The current gambling laws set out by the Dutch Betting and Gaming Act are over 50 years old and do not adequately address modern technology, leaving plenty of loopholes in the current legislation.
Technically, gambling at an online casino in the Netherlands is legally allowed, provided the casino has licensing and approval from the Dutch government. Of course, the problem here is that the Dutch government does not allow the issuing of online casino licenses, so there are no casinos licensed to operate within the Netherlands. The result? Thousands of Dutch players are turning to offshore casino sites instead, with Dutch citizens estimated to be spending around €800 million at offshore casino sites licensed in foreign jurisdictions each year – revenue the Netherlands economy is missing out on.
The government has attempted to sway players away from offshore casinos by creating a casino blacklist, but the widespread use of VPNs (virtual private networks) has made the blacklist ineffective and the online gambling industry continues to thrive.
The Netherlands Gaming Authority
Established in 2012, the Netherlands Gaming Authority is the body responsible for overseeing online gambling activity in the country. The aim of the Authority is to prevent gambling addiction, prevent illegal and criminal practices and protect and inform players.
In 2014, the Netherlands Gaming Authority signed an agreement with a number of payment service providers to tackle illegal online gambling by blocking all payments made to unlicensed casino sites. The Netherlands Gaming Authority continues to focus its attention on online casinos with URL’s ending in .nl, vendors offering services in Dutch and any advertisements aimed at the Dutch market on radio, television or in print.
With draft laws underway to regulate the remote gambling sector, the Netherlands Gaming Authority is taking steps to prepare for the likely future implementation of online gambling licenses. The Authority has visited the UK Gambling Commission, the Alderney Gambling Control Commission, the French regulator ARJEL and the Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego in Spain to see how these jurisdictions adapted to the legalisation of online gambling.
Changes to the Netherlands online gambling laws
In 2016, the House of Representatives agreed to the plan of State Secretary Dijkhoff (Security and Justice) to modernise the country’s gaming policy. If the Senate agrees to the Draft Bill on Remote Gambling, it will be possible for vendors to obtain online casino licenses in the Netherlands in the second half of 2017.
If passed, casino permit holders in the Netherlands will pay 29% tax on games of chance, a 0.25% contribution to the addiction fund and a 1.5% contribution to the Netherlands Gaming Authority on the gross results of the games. The new legislation will provide strict requirements for online operators and offer better protection for players.
Until laws change, Dutch players can continue to gamble online at offshore casino sites with no chance of prosecution.
Best casino sites for Dutch players
Many of the world’s best online casinos cater to the Netherlands, so Dutch players have plenty of choices when it comes to choosing a safe online casino to play slots, blackjack, poker, roulette, scratch cards and a range of other casino games for the chance to win real money. Stick with casino sites that are licensed in reputable gambling jurisdictions like the United Kingdom, Malta, Gibraltar, Alderney, Curacao, Isle of Man or Kahnawake, and look for venues offering games from leading software providers like NetEnt, BetSoft, Microgaming, Playtech, NYX Gaming, Play’n Go, Quickspin, Evolution Gaming and Ezugi.
Some of the top-rated casino sites for Dutch players include:
Please note that due to differing jurisdictional laws and regulations, not all online casinos accept players from the Netherlands. For a full list of the casinos catering to the Dutch market, refer to our casino table above. This table has been geo-targeted to recognise your location and only recommend top-rated casinos that accept players from the Netherlands.
EUR deposit options at online casinos
The Euro is widely accepted at leading online casinos, so Dutch players will have no problems finding a trusted EUR payment method to make a real money deposit. The deposit options on offer vary from casino to casino, with the most commonly accepted options being Visa, MasterCard, Neteller, Skrill, Paysafecard, ecoPayz, Entropay and direct bank transfers.
Due to attempts by the Netherlands government to stop banks from processing transactions to online gambling sites, it may be advisable for Dutch players to steer clear from depositing via credit card, debit card or bank transfer to avoid the possibility of having your payment blocked. Consider using a web wallet like Skrill or Neteller, or pre-paid card like Paysafecard instead. A majority of EUR deposits are processed on the spot, so you transfer cash to your chosen casino site and start playing for the chance to win real money straight away.
Our recommended casinos are all protected by a minimum of 128 Bit SSL (Secure Socket Layer) digital encryption to ensure player safety, but if you’re concerned about your privacy when gambling online we recommend the use of a trusted VPN (virtual private network) service for an added layer of security.