The Netherlands is a unique north-western European country. Amongst its many attractions are the canal side mansions and cafés present everywhere, the Dom Tower monument from the 14th century, mudflat walking, the Rijksmuseum, the artistic capital city of Amsterdam, the Anne Frank House dedicated to famous Anne Frank, the modern construction port city of Rotterdam, the education town of Utrecht, the medieval and food-loving city of Maastricht, tulip fields, the many resorts suitable for summer, routes for cycling, and the Van Gogh Museum. With its large-scale gambling market, the Netherlands is one of Europe’s “Las Vegas“.
History of Casinos in the Netherlands
The Netherlands have a long gambling history. As far back as the 14th century, the government received an application to issue the very first gambling license to a company that is unknown today. The company reportedly laid down a plan to construct a gambling house but later failed. However, the first casino in the country – Holland Casino Zandvoort – was constructed in the early 1970s and opened on October 1, 1976, at the boulevard in Zandvoort.
The casino was opened by Holland Casino, the state monopoly operator in the Netherlands (known locally as De Nationale Stichting tot Exploitatie van Casinospelen – the National Foundation for the Exploitation of Casino Games – and officially as Holland Casino N.V.) which was licensed indefinitely on December 17, 1975. Revenues generated from the casinos are transferred directly to the Dutch Treasury so the government restricted the operation of casinos to Holland Casino for a very long time.
Prior the 2010s, there were only 14 casinos throughout the length and breadth of the Netherlands – and they were owned and operated by Holland Casino. Others were simply gaming arcades with a handful of slot machines. But, things have changed and the country now has one of the longest lists of casinos in the whole Europe – as most gaming arcades have expanded and now qualify as casinos.
Meanwhile, the Kansspelautoriteit (or KSA) – created on April 1, 2012 – is the independent administrative Dutch Gaming Authority under the Dutch Government which licenses gambling facilities, regulates games of chance, supervises gambling operators, and fights against illegal gambling and gambling addiction. The KSA was a replacement to the first gambling authority in the country which was called the College van Toezicht op de Kansspelen (literally, College of Games of Chance Supervision) and was created in 1996. The KSA is funded by contributions from gambling operators within the country.
Also, all gambling activities and facilities within the country are legally subjected to Wet op de Kansspelen or WOK (the Betting and Gaming Act) which became effective on 1964. According to the Act, any gambling operator must halve its revenue and use one for charitable deeds. Nonetheless, each municipality in the Netherlands has an individual authority on the supervision and operation of gambling within the municipality. Wet op de Economische Delicten or WED (the Economic Offences Act) is used to secure legal gambling in the Netherlands. Violating the WOK means committing an economic offense, and either the KSA or Public Prosecutor will mandate the corresponding punishment(s).
In 1992, the Stichting Exploitatie Nederlandse Staatsloterij or SENS (Foundation for the Exploitation of Dutch State Lottery) was established to operate the State Lottery and other lottery games. However, lotteries have existed in the country since 1726, when the Dutch Generality Lottery (Generaliteitsloterij) was created to raise funds for the country’s treasury. (The lottery was one of the first lotteries in the whole world.)
The lottery was renamed as the Dutch State Lottery (Staatslotterij) in 1848. In addition to the SENS, Stichting de Nationale Sporttotalisator or De Lotto also offered lottery games until 2016, when they both merged together to form the Nederlandse Loterij.
While Holland Casino was the major casino operator in the Netherlands, Scientific Games Racing B.V. operated pari-mutuel and fixed-odds betting on horseracing and De Lotto operated other sports betting. Before online gambling was approved in 2016, only these three companies could offer gambling services online. De Lotto has Toto.dl (an online sportsbook) and Holland Casino had an online casino that ran from 2006 to 2007.
However, there were hundreds of gambling websites in the Netherlands at the time. They were operating illegally and the government, in 2013, ordered all banks to stop processing such transactions. To everyone’s surprise, the greater percentage of the banks refused. In fact, Dutch people spent about €800 million on illegal online gambling at the time.
In May 2013, the then-Undersecretary Fredrik “Fred” Teeven proposed that the KSA should be permitted to issue online gambling licenses. The proposed legislation was awaiting an approval on January 1, 2015, but the Dutch Parliament and the industry, in general, criticised it – thereby was disapproved. By 2014, gaming specialist Gaming Legal Group had already predicted the disapproval.
The proposal was again pushed by a general agreement on July 7, 2016. For an ending approval or disapproval, it was presented to the Dutch Senate. Because many land-based operators opposed the newly proposed tax rate and parties debated its reduction, the legislation was delayed until an amended version was eventually approved some months after.
While the original legislation proposed a tax rate of 29 percent for land-based operators and 20 percent for online operators, the amended legislation cemented a tax rate of 29 percent for both land-based and online operators. Notwithstanding, the legislation will be fully effective in 2018.
Today, all gambling activities and facilities are subjected to the Betting and Gaming Tax Act, the Betting and Gaming Act, the Amendment to the Betting and Gaming Act, and a number of other acts.
Current Gambling Climate
Yes, casinos are legal in the Netherlands. There is an extensive list of casinos – roughly 214 – but the 14 casinos operated by Holland Casino are the biggest, most equipped, and standardly modern casinos. Other 200 are greatly operated by Fair Play Casino (previously Fair Play Centre), Flamingo Casino, Flash Casino, Funtastic Casino, Hommerson Casino’s, Jack’s Casino, Krijco Casino, Lucky Jack, Toy Toy, Super Game, Play Land, Magic City, and Merkur Casino.
Casinos offer a wide range of gaming machines and table games and have luxe attractions and well-trained employees. As a country, tourists from around the world tour the Netherlands for its many attractions. With an addition of the Dutch gambling scene, the Netherlands is a remarkable destination for gamblers of all levels.
Casinos in the Netherlands by Area
The 214 casinos in the Netherlands are spread throughout over 70 distinct areas in the Netherlands. While most areas have a single casino, Deventer, Alkmaar, Almere, Bergen op Zoom, Amsterdam, Den Helder, Dordrecht, Apeldoorn, Beverwijk, Breda, Den Bosch, Haarlem, Harderwijk, Heerlen, Hoofddorp, Den Haag, Eindhoven, Geleen, Groningen, Ijmuiden, Kerkrade, Zandvoort, Zaandam, Vlissingen, Nijmegen, Maastricht, Roermond, Roosendaal, Rotterdam, Sittard, Tegelen, Uden, Utrecht, Valkenburg, and Venray each have more than one casino.
Nevertheless, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Den Haag are the cities with the most number of casinos. With more than 10 casinos and hundreds of table games and gaming machines, Amsterdam is the Netherlands’ largest gambling destination. Holland Casino Rotterdam is the country’s largest casino, with more than 650 gaming machines, eight poker tables, and over 140 table games.
Types of Casinos in the Netherlands
In addition to 214 casinos, there are many gaming arcades, bingo halls, poker clubs, lottery outlets, sportsbooks, and racetracks throughout the Netherlands. For one, there are four horse racetracks in the country used for both pari-mutuel and fixed-odds betting: Trot Center PSV Forward Alkmaar, Royal Horse Racing Renvereniging Groningen, Duindigt Racetrack, and Victoria Park Wolvega.
In regards to casinos, they are luxe but do not include hotels. In fact, the majority of casinos in the Netherlands have nothing more than gaming machines and table games. Nonetheless, some have many amenities like restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. Fortunately, they are greatly situated near four or five-star hotels that welcome international visitors.
Dutch casinos mostly offer American Roulette, French Roulette, Money Wheel, Caribbean Stud Poker, Blackjack, Sic Bo, Slot Machines, Live Bingo, Bingo, Classic Bingo, Punto Banco Macau, Ultimate Texas Hold’em Poker, Deal Or No Deal, Royal Derby, Casino Barbut, Multi-Roulette, Casino 21, Punto Banco, Midi Punto Banco, Pot Limit Omaha, Video Poker, Electronic Roulette, Multi Blackjack, Multi Caribbean Stud Poker, 3 Card Poker, Money Wheel, 4 Card Poker, Texas Hold’em Poker, Baccarat, Tree of Wealth, Electronic Bingo, Wheel of Fortune, Multi Poker, Squeeze, Straight Punto Banco, and poker tournaments.
Particularly, bingo and poker are popular throughout the nation. Both (especially the latter) are extensively available in the majority of Dutch casinos. Further, sports betting is more than a gambling activity in this part of Europe – it is similar to a tradition.
Saying football (soccer) is the nation’s favorite sport is not an overstatement. In fact, the Netherlands is one of the largest European territories for football events and bets. Other popular sports are field hockey, golf, tennis, and cycling.
On the other hand, lotteries are quite popular in the Netherlands with a number of operators. For one, the Nederlandse Loterij offers a wide range of lottery games which include the State Lottery, Eurojackpot, Lucky Day, Lotto, scratch cards, Miljoenenspel, Toto, and Toto Extra.
Lastly, online gambling is popular in the country despite the fact that there are no licensees as of February 2018. Most gambling activities on the Internet are carried out on offshore gambling websites – which have recently become legal.
List of Casinos in the Netherlands
Below is a list of all casinos currently operating in the regions of the Netherlands.
Amusino Groningen – Groningen
Amusino Groningen – Zwolle
Black Pearls (Jackpot Casino)
Casino Admiral Hoofddorp
Casino Be-One Rotterdam
Casino Number One
De Pier Casino
Diamond Palace Rotterdam
DooWorld (DooLounge Casino)
Fair Play Casino – Almere Haven
Fair Play Casino – Amsterdam
Fair Play Casino – Asten
Fair Play Casino – Atlantic
Fair Play Casino – Atlantis
Fair Play Casino – Bergen op Zoom
Fair Play Casino – Brunssum
Fair Play Casino – Castricum
Fair Play Casino – Cheops Palace
Fair Play Casino – Colosseum
Fair Play Casino – Dordrecht
Fair Play Casino – Eindhoven Kerkstraat
Fair Play Casino – Eindhoven Nieuwstraat
Fair Play Casino – Emmeloord
Fair Play Casino – Forum Romanum
Fair Play Casino – Geldrop
Fair Play Casino – Geleen
Fair Play Casino – Groningen
Fair Play Casino – Gronsveld
Fair Play Casino – Harderwijk
Fair Play Casino – Heerlen Bautscherweg
Fair Play Casino – Heerlen Klompstraat
Fair Play Casino – IJmuiden
Fair Play Casino – Ijmuiden
Fair Play Casino – Kerkrade Hoofdstraat
Fair Play Casino – Kerkrade Stadion
Fair Play Casino – Lelystad
Fair Play Casino – Maarssen
Fair Play Casino – Maastricht Gubbelstraat
Fair Play Casino – Maastricht Stationsstraat
Fair Play Casino – Meppel
Fair Play Casino – Pantheon
Fair Play Casino – Parkstad Limburg Station
Fair Play Casino – Place de Triomphe
Fair Play Casino – Poseidon Palace
Fair Play Casino – Prinsenhof
Fair Play Casino – Roermond
Fair Play Casino – Roosendaal
Fair Play Casino – Rotterdam
Fair Play Casino – Rozenburg
Fair Play Casino – Scheidam I
Fair Play Casino – Schiedam II
Fair Play Casino – Sittard I
Fair Play Casino – Sittard II
Fair Play Casino – Sphinx Palace
Fair Play Casino – Taj Mahal
Fair Play Casino – Tegelen
Fair Play Casino – Ter Apel
Fair Play Casino – Uden Lieve Vrouweplein
Fair Play Casino – Uden Markt
Fair Play Casino – Utrecht
Fair Play Casino – Valkenburg I
Fair Play Casino – Valkenburg II
Fair Play Casino – Venray
Fair Play Casino – Weert
Fair Play Casino – Winterswijk
Flamingo Casino Alkmaar
Flamingo Casino Bergen
Flamingo Casino Beverwijk
Flamingo Casino Den Helder
Flamingo Casino Egmond aan Zee
Flamingo Casino Emmen
Flamingo Casino Haarlem
Flamingo Casino Heemstede
Flamingo Casino Hoorn
Flamingo Casino Horst
Flamingo Casino Ijmuiden
Flamingo Casino Noordwijkerhout
Flamingo Casino Purmerend
Flamingo Casino Tegelen
Flamingo Casino Zaandam
Flash Casino Alkmaar
Flash Casino Amsterdam
Flash Casino Apeldoorn Beekpark
Flash Casino Arnhem
Flash Casino Cuijk
Flash Casino Haarlem
Flash Casino Helmond
Flash Casino Hilvarenbeek
Flash Casino Hoogezand
Flash Casino Joure
Flash Casino Lemmer
Flash Casino Nijmegen
Flash Casino Rhenen
Flash Casino Rotterdam
Flash Casino Sassenheim
Flash Casino Steenwijk
Flash Casino Veendam
Flash Casino Veghel
Flash Casino Velsen
Funtastic Casino Appelscha
Funtastic Casino Den Helder
Funtastic Casino Goes
Funtastic Casino Hoofddorp
Funtastic Casino Hulst
Funtastic Casino Middelburg
Funtastic Casino Ouddorp
Funtastic Casino Renesse
Funtastic Casino Sluis
Funtastic Casino Vlissingen
Funtastic Casino Vlissingen 2
Game Palace Castricum
Holland Casino Amsterdam
Holland Casino Breda
Holland Casino Eindhoven
Holland Casino Enschede
Holland Casino Groningen
Holland Casino Leeuwarden
Holland Casino Nijmegen
Holland Casino Rotterdam
Holland Casino Scheveningen
Holland Casino Schiphol Airport
Holland Casino Utrecht
Holland Casino Valkenburg
Holland Casino Venlo
Holland Casino Zandvoort
Hommerson Casino’s Den Haag
Hommerson Casino’s Gouda
Hommerson Casino’s Scheveningen – Boulevard
Hommerson Casino’s Scheveningen – Palace Promenade
Hommerson Casino’s Scheveningen – Palacestraat
Hommerson Casino’s Spuimarkt Den Haag
Hommerson Casino’s Zaandam
Hommerson Casino’s Zoetermeer
Jack’s Casino Alexandrium
Jack’s Casino Deventer
Jack’s Casino Dordrecht
Jack’s Casino Gilze-Rijen
Jack’s Casino Groningen
Jack’s Casino Heerenveen
Jack’s Casino Joure
Jack’s Casino Oss
Jack’s Casino Roosendaal
Jack’s Casino Rotterdam Centrum
Jack’s Casino Rotterdam Zuid
Jack’s Casino Sluis / Hotel Dikke van Dale
Jack’s Casino Sneek
Jack’s Casino Veendam
Jack’s Casino Venray
Jack’s Casino Zeist
Jacks Casino Assen
Jacks Casino Nijmegen
Kings & Queens (Jackpot Casino)
Krijco Casino Amersfoort
Krijco Casino Amsterdam
Krijco Casino Bussum
Krijco Casino Den Bosch
Krijco Casino Deventer
Krijco Casino Fortuna
Krijco Casino Harderwijk
Krijco Casino Hertogenbosch
Krijco Casino Ijmuiden
Krijco Casino Noordwijk
Krijco Casino Roermond
Krijco Casino Rotterdam
Krijco Casino Sint Jan
Krijco Casino Utrecht – Steenweg
Krijco Casino Zeist
Lucky Jack – Beverwijk
Lucky Jack – Heemskerk
Lucky Jack Amsterdam – Buikslotermeerplein
Lucky Jack Amsterdam – Reguliersbreestraat
Lucky Jack Amsterdam – Rozengracht
Lucky Jack Amsterdam – Utrechtsestraat
Luckybird (Jackpot Casino)
Magic City Amsterdam
Magic City Assen
Magic City Groningen
Magic City Hoogezand
Merkur Casino Almere
Merkur Casino Amsterdam
Merkur Casino Hoofddrop
Merkur Casino Rotterdam (Merkur Casino City Hall)
Palace (Jackpot Casino)
Play Land Axel
Play Land Coevorden
Play Land Hoogezand
Play Land Joure
Play Land Rhenen
Play Land Sneek
Players Casino Breda
Pleasure & Play (Jackpot Casino)
Queensland Casino (Jackpot Casino)
Roman Palace Rotterdam
Super Game Beek
Super Game Geleen
Super Game Hoensbroek
Super Game Roermond
Super Game Vaals
Super Game Valkenburg
Swiss Leisure Casino – The Hague (Den Haag)
Toy Toy Apeldoorn
Toy Toy Arnhem
Toy Toy Den Bosch
Toy Toy Eindhoven
Toy Toy Hilvarenbeek
Toy Toy Kaatsheuvel
Toy Toy Nijmegen
Toy Toy Tilburg
Toy Toy Venray
Facts About Casinos in Netherlands
– Just like the majority of countries, Dutch casinos are open to people 18 years or older. Before entering a casino, players must tender a valid passport, driver’s license, or ID card and an entrance fee of €5.
– Nederlands Metrologisch Instituut or NMI (the Dutch Metrological Institute) tests every gaming machine in the Netherlands to assure they comply with the laws and are technically fit.
– The Kansspelautoriteit (or KSA) is entrusted to the Dutch Staatssecretaris (Undersecretary) of the Ministry of Security and Justice. The Ministry was initially called the Department of Justice, then the Ministry of Justice, and eventually joined forces with the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations to become the Ministry of Security and Justice.
– On January 21, 2008, Holland Casino received the International Gaming Award for the casino mostly concerned by social responsibility.
– According to Dutch law, games of chance can be native to the land or transferred from a foreign country. This means both local and foreign games are subjected to the same laws and tax rates.
– There are many firms for regulated gambling operators in the Netherlands with VAN Gambling as a prime example.
– In 2015, Holland Casino had more than one million visitors collaboratively, with each spending €100 on average. In 2016, Holland Casino reported a gross revenue of €608.3 million (€253 million from table games, €305.5 million from slot machines, and other revenues), 1.1 million visitors, 5.9 million visits, an average of €107 expense per visit, 6,185 slot machines, and 420 table games. Currently, Holland Casino offers more than 6,500 gaming machines and over 450 table games throughout the Netherlands.
– According to Dutch law, the minimum payout rate of any casino is 80 percent.
– To fight gambling addiction, Holland Casino follows three steps: registration of customers in a national database, supervision of gambling habits, and intercession if any problem is noticed. All the staffs are extensively trained so they can recognise problem gambling and intervene by referring the affected player to the addiction care department and giving the player a HANDS (Human Assistance Network for Daily Support), AGOG, Riagg, or Jellinek card which he/she will find the agency’s phone number on.
– In 2010, more than 7,000 people were either banned or restricted from entering any of the Holland Casino casinos.
– In 2009, the SENS generated €889.7 million.
– De Nederlandsche Bank has approved and audited the anti-fraud policy of Holland Casino. The policy ensures that money is properly exchanged and re-exchanged to casino chips.
– In 2012, a German placed a €7.5 wager on an outcome of a slot machine in Holland Casino Enschede and won a mouth-watering amount of €1.6 million. Surprisingly, he gave approximately €100,000 to a number of the casino employees. Two years later on March 22, a 30-year-old Dutchman won the highest jackpot ever in the Netherlands: €3 million.
– This is the timeline of the opening of Holland Casino casinos: Zandvoort (October 1, 1976), Valkenburg (May 6, 1977), Scheveningen (October 4, 1979), Rotterdam (November 29, 1985), Amsterdam (December 1, 1986), Breda (October 1, 1987), Groningen (November 4, 1988), Nijmegen (August 10, 1989), Eindhoven (June 13, 1993), Schiphol Airport (April 1, 1995), Utrecht (September 30, 2000), Enschede (June 28, 2002), Venlo (March 8, 2006), and Leeuwarden (December 1, 2006).
– Technically, Holland Casino is still the only gambling operator with an actual casino license.
– Seven authorities control Holland Casino: the Gaming Authority, the Dutch Bank, NMi Certin, Verispect BV, the Advertising Code Committee, the Ministry of Security and Justice, and the Ministry of Finance.
– Reportedly, 96 percent of the whole Dutch population have access to the Internet and about 700,000 Dutch people regularly gamble online. As the 17th largest European online gambling industry, nine percent of the Netherlands’ total €2.3 billion net worth comes from online gambling.
– Gaming Legal Group frequently criticises the effectiveness and purpose of the WOK.
– According to the KSA, there are four permits in the Netherlands: one-time license, multi-year permit, exploitation permit, and slot machines model permit.
– According to the WOK, these games of chance are limited to state monopolies: the State Lottery, Lotto, sports betting, instant lottery, and Tote.
– There are five charity lotteries in the Netherlands: the Sponsor Bingo Lottery, De VriendenLoterij, BankGiro Loterij, De Nationale Postcode Loterij, and the Novamedia Loterij (collaboratively operated by five charity bodies).
– There are more than 249 gambling websites accepting players from the Netherlands.
– In 2005, foreign gambling websites such as Ladbrokes were banned by a Dutch Supreme Court ruling.
– In 2007, Compagnie Financiere Regionale – a French casino company – reached out to the government to receive a casino license in the Netherlands but was declined.
– As expected, the European Union and the European Commission have pressured the Netherlands a number of times to loosen its strict gambling laws, put an end to its state monopoly, and legalize online gambling to the fullest extent.
– In September 2016, three players individually won €1 million, €80,000, and €54,000 (in approximation) while playing on PokerStars’ Casino.eu. Respectively, they are from Lithuania, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.
– In 2014, the KSA partnered with the Malta Gaming Authority for a better online gambling market.
– The government’s stance on Bitcoin gambling is still unknown. But since it is legal to gamble online and the use of virtual currency is not a bit specified in Dutch laws, Bitcoin gambling could be available here.