Early Gambling History in the Netherlands
The early NL gambling history is still shrouded in mystery. While there was definitely some kind of gambling activity going on, historical records have few details worth sharing. What is known is that the Dutch state has issued some types of gambling licences as far back as the 14th century. This undoubtedly proves that there was organised gambling even in the early Renaissance. Furthermore, the Dutch East India Company also had a lottery scheme going to raise additional revenues.
In 1726, the Dutch State Lottery was established, making it one of the oldest lotteries in Europe and the world. It was relatively tame compared to today’s draws, but for its time, it was something novel and exciting. The government created it to capitalise on the revenue potential and to offset the business of smaller gambling operations at the time.
The History of Gambling in the Netherlands – The Modern Age
While there was undoubtedly some form of gambling available in the Netherlands, the modern NL gambling history traces its roots directly after the end of World War 2. In the post-war period, there was a lot of work to be done, and the government needed an additional stream of revenue. Therefore, 1950 saw the reestablishment of the state lottery. This allowed the government to finance many different projects, which were much needed following the chaotic and destructive war years.
It wouldn’t be until 1964 that the first general gambling laws would be introduced. The Betting and Gambling Act of 1964 brought some much-needed regulation for card and table games. It standardised the industry and introduced a regulatory framework for gambling operations. The Act covered everything from casino games to sports gambling and more. This Act would serve as foundational in the Netherlands’ gambling history and would be the basis for the current Netherlands gambling laws.
Holland Casino and the History of Casino Gambling in NL
The 1970s would bring additional changes to the NL gambling landscape. The Holland Casino state-owned company would be established on 1 October 1976 and would maintain a state monopoly over the casino gambling industry. The Zandvoort casino would be the first venue opened by the Holland Casino company, which marks a milestone in the history of casino gambling in the Netherlands.
Over the years, the NL government would maintain its monopoly on casino gambling and establish new gaming venues all over the country. In 2022, Holland Casino operates twelve different casinos in different cities of the country. Here is a list of NL cities with venues by Holland Casino:
It’s important to note that these are full-fledged casinos rather than simple gaming halls. They feature the full range of casino games that one may expect from such venues. Specifically, you will have the opportunity to play a wide variety of slot machines. Additionally, each casino has some mix of roulette, blackjack, casino poker, bingo, sic bo, punto banco, and poker.
History of Online Gambling in NL
At the turn of the 21st century, online gambling sites became broadly available on the Internet. Players could now freely visit gambling platforms from the comfort of their homes and play any game type. It wasn’t long before this drew the attention of regulators in many European countries.
In 2011, the Dutch government announced a planned change in the country’s gambling laws. It included a regulatory framework to manage and vet online gambling sites available in the Netherlands. Under the new regulations, the Dutch government would pro-actively make illegal sites inaccessible while also allowing gambling companies to apply for a Dutch online gambling licence.
The Dutch Gaming Authority, Kansspelautoritet in Dutch, was established in 2012. This would be a pivotal moment in the Dutch history of online gambling. Its purpose was to create a gambling environment where players are looked after. Specifically, the new regulator would enforce the law, audit the games for fairness, and ensure that operators follow the Dutch responsible gambling practices. The plan was for new legal gambling sites to launch in 2015, adhering to the new regulations.
Remote Gambling Act of 2021
Despite initial forecasts, the legalisation of the online gambling scene in NL would be delayed from its first stated goals. The Dutch Remote Gambling Act came into force in 2021. It made it legal to offer gambling games over the Internet and serves as a significant piece of legislation in the Dutch history of online gambling. Here is the current state of online gambling products in the Netherlands following the Remote Gambling Act:
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As you can see, all major forms of gambling are readily available to Dutch players. The best online casinos in the Netherlands have already made head waves on the Internet for their quality and adherence to customer protections.
Other gambling types are also readily available. Dutch bettors can freely place wagers on a wide range of sports and leagues, marking a significant development in the history of sports gambling in the Netherlands. Of course, other gambling products also receive good representation.
Future of Netherlands Gambling
All in all, the future of NL gambling looks bright. The country has become a primary European market for operators, and many major companies have applied for licences. Naturally, we expect further developments in due time. After all, the industry is rather young at this point in time. This means that it will take some time for it to settle and for us to get a better idea of where things stand.
Now that we have covered the most significant points of the history of gambling in the Netherlands, we have prepared a short FAQ section detailing the most common questions on the subject. We provide quick and easy answers to clear up some things.