Every European country has its own regulations regarding gambling. If you happen to be from the Netherlands or traveling there, you must familiarize yourself with the Dutch gambling market. Read this article to learn about the gambling dos and don’ts according to the Dutch government.
Gambling in the Netherlands
This member of the Lowlands has always been strict when it comes to gambling. The reasons for such an attitude are protecting the Dutch residents and preventing gambling addiction. Nevertheless, their national state lottery dates back to the early 18th century and represents one of the oldest lotteries in the world. Moreover, Dutch gambling has always been monitored by operators such as the Staatsloterij, Postcode Loterij, Lotto, and Holland Casino.
Holland Casino is a national company that has established a sole legal proprietorship over gambling within the borders of the Netherlands. Given the fact, all the profit goes to the Dutch treasury. The casino operations of the company comprise fourteen gambling venues throughout the country.
Holland Casino was established in 1976, and the largest branch is located in Amsterdam. The casinos monitored by the company provide a wide range of games. Variations of roulette, poker, blackjack, and bingo, as well as some other games are available.
However, as the laws of the country have changed, the focus of the Dutch market has switched from land-based casinos to their virtual counterparts. Holland Casino will become a private business due to the fact that Dutch online gambling has been partially legalized.
The reason for such a step is obvious — the modern age and the expansion of the Internet have set the pace for online gaming. Therefore, the only logical conclusion was implementing certain laws and regulations that would address the subject.
The Dutch Gaming Authority
This governing body appeared in 2012 due to the expansion of gambling. Its purpose is to shield citizens from the harmful effects of gambling. Therefore, the Dutch Gaming Authority provides protection against illegal forms of gambling, false advertisements, and misleading gambling sites, foreign and domestic. The main reason for it is the existence of compulsive gambling and the damage such an addiction can cause a person.
The Dutch gambling scene didn’t tax casino winnings, whereas lottery winnings required some taxing. According to the law, lottery winnings of over €454 are to be taxed with 29%. That rate is rather high and would drive the online gambling winnings out of the Netherlands instead of contributing to the funds of the country. However, the purpose of such a high tax rate is sparing brick-and-mortar casinos from having to compete with online casinos. Nevertheless, the government is allegedly planning to reduce that rate by 3% within the next three years.
High Tax Rates, Low Success Rates
The Dutch online gambling market is likely to fail before it even establishes itself due to the outrageous tax rates. If the taxes remain high, online casinos will tend to make up for what they have to pay by lowering the bonuses and increasing the prices. Therefore, the ones who’ll receive the blow will be the players. Given the circumstances, they are unlikely to trust such casinos with their funds in the first place. And according to this turn of events, the final outcome will not be favorable for the country that imposed such high tax rates.
The Legalization of Online Gambling
Even though the new Online Gambling Bill was passed over two years ago, the future of online gambling is still uncertain. It remains to be seen whether the virtual form of gambling will be completely legal in the Netherlands or not.
As we have already stated, online gambling is not completely legal in the Netherlands at the moment. People are allowed to access online casinos, but only under the condition that they are hosted in the Netherlands. Nevertheless, the government has become less strict towards Dutch players visiting virtual casinos hosted elsewhere.
However, this change did not happen overnight. The authorities have attempted to prevent their citizens from accessing foreign gambling websites. They’ve blacklisted a number of websites and tried to persuade the banks of Netherlands to avoid dealing with them. Apparently, the banks refused to comply, which does not come as a surprise.
Online sports betting, on the other hand, does not imply the same restrictions as online gambling in general. This is due to the fact that it is not controlled by Holland Casino. Nevertheless, even Dutch sports betting is toned down in comparison to the same form of gambling in other European countries.
When someone mentions the Netherlands, the first thing that comes to mind is the liberal attitude this country’s government has towards many issues. We are all aware that the laws of the Netherlands are rather loose when it comes to drug consummation and prostitution, for instance. Therefore, it is only logical to believe that gambling would not be a severe issue there. However, that is precisely the branch of industry Dutch authorities frown upon, to say the least.
Gambling in the Netherlands is owned exclusively by Holland Casino due to the fact that the country reaps the benefits. That is the reason for imposing the aforementioned tax rates. However, the solution is not permanent and can easily backfire, as we have already discussed. The Information Age dictates new standards to everyone, and the Netherlands is no exception. Therefore, the laws that address the matter are likely to be in accordance with the new standards. Nevertheless, whether it will really happen or not is beyond us, at least for now.