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Online Gambling Regulation in the Netherlands

Online gambling in the Netherlands is a grey area for operators, but for players, it’s a playground of winnings that shows no signs of slowing down.

Holland Casino is a legal gambling monopoly that you’ve probably heard of if you live in the country. Whether you think monopolies shouldn’t exist in any facet of industry or not is only relevant in the voting booths, as right now it’s simply a fact of the matter. Because of this monopoly, there is no competition within the country from land-based casinos, as the fourteen brick-and-mortar gaming houses are all owned by Holland Casino, which profits handsomely as a result. Actually and more specifically, the Dutch treasury profits handsomely.

The main issue here is the regulation when it comes to online gambling. It doesn’t look like independent land-based casinos are going to have a leg to stand on any time soon.

online-casino-holland

Grey area

Online gambling in the Netherlands is one big grey area. Right now, players have access to many online casinos, but the online casinos that are legal to play in are not allowed to actually advertise toward and target the Dutch. So you can play at online casinos, but they may be illegal if you joined them based on an advertisement that targeted your area. The only one who illegality will affect is the operator, not the player. The player is free and clear to play at any online casino they have access to, especially give the current uncertainty of the legislation at this juncture.

2017

There is a good chance that a regulated gaming marketplace will go into effect in 2017, which means that operators can be based in the Netherlands or be located outside of the country and advertise to online bettors in the country if they are regulated by the government. An issue that has come up here is the taxes. Online casino operators and land-based casino operators are butting heads hard over tax concerns and the debate may well cause a delay.

Gambling tax

The gaming bill, which will go into affect in 2017 if all goes according to plan, states that regulated online gambling operators must pay a 29% gross gaming revenue tax, which land-based casinos have to currently pay. Online operators think this is too steep and have requested it be lowered significantly. Their argument is that they will not only have a tougher time gaining a foothold in the currently monopolized Dutch gambling market, they will also have a tough time competing against the unregulated online casinos that are (currently) available to Dutch gamblers. I hope you’re sitting down for this, because this is a real (sarcastic) shocker: Holland Casino is pushing for the 29%.

It does state, however, that in the event that the online gambling market regulated by the Dutch government doubles in size, the tax will be lowered to 25%, but that is an unlikely event, and 25% is still much higher than the online operators are requesting.

Our source and wellknown dutch casino site casinotechnieken.nl said that in the beginning the political party “VVD” was promoting a lower tax rate for online gambling, 20%. Because of the many complaints they received from land-based casinos and small gambling halls the government declined this rule. The reason was a unfair competition from the online companies against the offline ones.

From my perspective, none of this really matters for online casino players. Right now you have access to plenty of online casinos, poker rooms, Bingo rooms, and bookmakers, and this legislation will only increase the number of options. It will be nice to know that the government is in support of an online casino that you are withdrawing from if you are planning on putting those winnings into your bank account, but otherwise, I’m not seeing much of a difference.

The operators

Right now, over 200 operators are applying for jurisdiction in Holland in 2017. While access to online gambling won’t be affected, you will be sure to find casino lobbies that are specifically tailored with the Dutch in mind, from exclusive promotions to being able to bet on more local sporting events to having a more instant way to withdraw your winnings.

It’s an interesting time in terms of the legislative climate and the social implications of online gambling, but what’s more, a recent study has shown that over 80% of Dutch bettors who play online show no signs of gambling addiction, which was one of the biggest arguments against online gambling to begin with. It’s really feeling like they’re running out of excuses, so you’ll be sure to see some local operators in the very near future.

Who knows, maybe you’ll even end up working for one. They probably pay well, and let’s be honest, that industry is about as recession proof as it gets. All it takes is people wanting to gamble and having access to the internet.

That was a digression. The fact of the matter is, you can jump in and take advantage of those unregulated by the Holland Government online casinos now, and when the legislation passes, you can switch over to a regulated if you so choose. For those who like to place bets in the hopes of winning money, it’s a wonderful time to be alive.