A Guide to Netherlands Online Casinos, Bonuses and More
The Netherlands is known for many things. Its windmills, canals and tulip fields, its rich cultural and political history, and its lax attitude to most modern vices. While drugs and prostitution seem to fair quite low on the socially acceptable scale, when it comes to one particular vice – gambling – the Dutch authorities take an unusually hard stance.
The history of gambling laws in the Netherlands is complex, with many twists and turns. Today, the legal situation is still not exactly crystal clear. That hasn’t seemed to deter Dutch online gamblers though. The Dutch market is estimated to be the 17th largest iGaming market in the European Union, with some 700,000 players contributing somewhere between €130 million and €250 million a year.
On this page, we will layout the timeline of the Dutch gambling laws and urge readers to keep in mind the fact that the situation remains fluid.
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Is Online Gambling Legal in the Netherlands?
The short answer to this question is ‘Yes’, but there is a big warning attached to that statement. The longer answer is that it is legal for Dutch gamblers to play online as long as the Dutch state licenses the operator. There are precisely zero brands licensed by the Dutch state.
Of course, that doesn’t do much to stop players accessing gambling products online. That is simply the nature of the web – everything is within reach, no matter where you are. So far, the Dutch government seems to have turned a blind eye to individual players logging on to offshore brands to gamble. Operators that specifically target Dutch players, however, have not received the same kind of leniency.
In 2018, a least three brands were slapped with fines in the millions for marketing to Dutch players by offering their sites in Dutch translation, creating marketing material in Dutch and for offering Dutch as a support language. So while players themselves fly under the radar, for the most part, operators are wary of being too overtly welcoming to players based in the Netherlands, lest they incur the wrath of the authorities.
This is the current situation as we write this, in mid-2019. However, it’s promising to note that during February 2019, the Dutch Senate passed the Remote Gaming Act, which is set to regulate the Dutch gambling market finally.
We don’t know when this law will be enacted officially, and indeed, the government itself has not committed to a date yet. It does offer hope for Dutch players though, who do not like the idea of having to enjoy their activity outside the law.
How we Review the Top Netherlands Casinos
To ensure that all our readers get a quality gambling experience, Gambling Metropolis goes the extra mile to scope out and review casino brands of all sorts. We’ve consolidated several reviews that are easy to understand and compare to one another. When examining any brand, the team adheres to a strict set of criteria to make sure that our readers get the information they need to make the right decision.
Safety & Security
Safety and security are always at the top of our priority list. When you are sharing your data with an operator, you want to know that everything is being handled securely and above board. The same goes for depositing at an online casino. Gambling Metropolis will only recommend casinos that prioritise player safety at all times.
The welcome bonus is an essential factor when it comes to players choosing one casino over another as it sets the tone for the entire casino experience. We always want our readers to have the best possible online gambling experience every time. Only fair and reasonable welcome bonuses are included here.
We make sure that the casinos we recommend all handle transactions through only reliable and recognised payment methods. We understand that players want to be completely confident when it comes to your hard-earned cash.
Only casinos that offer speedy, secure payouts are included in our toplist pages. All players want is to have their winnings in hand as quickly as possible, and we only promote casinos that understand this important factor.
It is unusual for a casino not to have a mobile platform nowadays. For that reason, we test every casino’s mobile offering and include an appraisal of its range of games, availability of features and performance in our reviews.
We always check what help channels a casino brand provides, when these channels are available and in what languages, and more. This is because we know that players want to rest assured that someone will be on hand to help if they need it. We include all of our findings in each casino’s review page.
Established Game Providers
The mark of a good casino is the quality of its games. To have good games, you need top-quality licensed game developers. These studios make sure that all their titles are entirely fair and random, which is something we all want from the games we choose to play.
We will never recommend brands that use unlicensed providers. Software produced by these developers put players at risk, and we always want to protect our readers from that kind of trouble.
Licence and regulations
A licensed operator has to abide by strict operating standards set by the licensing authority. These include essential considerations for player protection, responsible gambling, fairness standards, crime prevention and more. By playing at licensed casinos, you are making sure that you, your data, your funds and your winnings are always handled professionally and fairly.
Gambling Metropolis will only display casino brands that hold reputable and legitimate operating licenses from a handful of proper regulators. Not all online casinos are licensed, and we always recommend that players keep well away from these shady brands.
Playing With Real Money – Can You Deposit Euro at Dutch Online Casinos?
Alongside USD and GBP, the Euro is one of the most widely accepted currencies so that Dutch players will have no trouble with transactions in this currency. Very convenient!
There is a range of payment methods available to Netherlands players. The standard credit and debit cards are available at most casino brands. Online services such as Skrill and Neteller are open to Dutch customers, as are Paypal, Sofort and the reliable bank transfer.
Dutch players can also make use of iDEAL, a Dutch online payment processing service linked to around ten banks in the country. Users with accounts at any of those banks can use iDEAL. That said, this method can only be used to deposit so players would need to have a second method to process withdrawals.
Which Casino Games are Available in the Netherland
Players based in the Netherlands can enjoy the full range of casino games out there. These include slots and jackpots, table games, keno, bingo, lotteries, live casino games and sports betting.
Popular Casinos Accepting Netherlands Players
Although the Dutch government takes a hard stance against brands which directly and overtly market to Dutch players, many brands accept players from the region. They don’t state as such openly. As long as the Netherlands is not listed as a restricted country in a casino’s terms and conditions, players from there should be able to play without any issue.
A small example of online casinos that accepts Dutch players would include LeoVegas, Play Sunny and Mr Green. This small selection presents players with heaps of gambling opportunities in a variety of different categories.
Playing Online Casino Games With a Real Live Dealer
It’s no surprise that live dealer games are so popular and that they continue to draw many players, years after their first appearance on the scene. Live casino games aim to bridge the gap between the convenience of the online gambling experience and the unbeatable atmosphere of a land-based casino.
Live streaming technology beams real-time video footage of a dealer and their actions at the table, with multiple players able to log in and participate in the game. Any players with an internet-enabled device can join in.
The majority of live casino games are variations on casino classics like blackjack, baccarat and roulette. However, in recent years, this category has grown to include innovative new titles that are unique and not based on any other games. We look forward to seeing more of these new and exciting games soon as this genre continues to evolve.
Casino Bonuses and Free Spins
Most casinos offer exclusive bonuses in some shape or form, but not all are created equal. At Gambling Metropolis, we check the casino bonuses of every brand we review in detail so that readers have all the information they need to make a decision. A player must always know what a bonus entails before they claim it.
What a bonus includes and the terms and conditions a player must abide by are just as important as the bonus goodies themselves and players should be aware of all of them. The biggest bonus is not necessarily the best one, after all.
What is a Bonus Wagering Requirement?
A bonus wagering requirement is like a special restriction that a casino puts in place to make sure that players are not abusing any promotions and bonuses. A growing number of casinos offer wager-free bonuses, but those are a different matter.
A wagering requirement ensures that a player has wagered a certain amount before their winnings from bonus play are paid out. This prevents users from simply cashing out bonus funds, which is not profitable for the operator.
On average, wagering requirements sit somewhere between x20 and x50, though casinos are free to set them lower or higher as they see fit. A high wagering requirement will usually mean that a large proportion of winnings, will go towards meeting those requirements, leaving less to withdraw.
Our advice is always to read the T&Cs carefully, and never assume that a bonus is wager-free just because you haven’t spotted the wagering requirements. Read those T&Cs thoroughly and never consider a bonus to be wager-free until you see it written in black and white.
The Casino Market in the Netherlands
There are 14 Dutch land-based casinos at the moment, with the larger cities in the country hosting the majority. Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Nijmegen and Eindhoven are a few of these. All casinos are owned and operated by Holland Casinos, a state-owned entity that holds the monopoly on all gambling activities in the country.
All venues operated by Holland Casinos offer a range of gambling opportunities including table games like roulette, blackjack, baccarat and poker as well as more unusual options like Sic Bo and Wheel of Fortune. The legal gambling age in the Netherlands is 18 years old.
Online Casinos and Gambling Rules and Regulations in the Netherlands
Holland Casino is the company that operates legal gambling activities in the Netherlands, but the Kansspelautoriteit or KPA enforce the rules, also called the Netherlands Gambling Authority in English.
This organisation handles enforcement, communications and governance, the legal developments related to the industry and is also in charge of consumer protection, and the prevention of gambling addiction and crimes associated with the industry.