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Dutch online gambling market set to become Europe's 'biggest'

19th November 2021 Print

The Netherlands had previously forbidden online gambling, but the adoption and eventual enactment of the long-awaited Remote Gambling Act allowed the industry to flourish.

In recent years, it has become clear that merely prohibiting internet gambling is no longer feasible. Consumers are better protected when laws and regulations are in place. 

KSA gave online gambling licenses to ten companies at the launch. Several requests are still pending, and more and more operators are expected to enter the Dutch online gambling market in the subsequent months and years. This means that the list of our recommended betting sites for Dutch players will get broader over time. Follow along to discover more on why the Dutch online betting market might become Europe's biggest. 

The story behind its success

Experts have recognized the commercial potential for the rising Dutch market. The present regulation in the Netherlands for all gambling-related activities was developed and put into force in 1964. 

This was the start of the distinctive Dutch gambling and lottery scene, which has lasted for more than half a century. Because it was written before the internet, the law was hopelessly out of date when the first online casinos appeared.

The establishment of the Netherlands' most recent gambling authority, the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), in 2012 signalled the intention to implement an updated version of the gaming legislation.

This new rule allowed for online gambling laws and consideration of other facets of the evolving playing environment. The Dutch Senate adopted the Remote Gambling Act in February 2019 after years of delays. 

The bill ultimately went into effect in March of 2021, over two years after it was passed. This was the first opportunity for service providers to apply for a license. The additional alterations were executed six months later, in September 2021, and the websites went online.

How unique is the Dutch gambling act?

In the past, the Netherlands has maintained a hard stance on the gaming sector. In the past, the Dutch government has taken a hard stance against the gambling business. The following are instances of the distinctive Dutch approach of placing a high priority on player safety;

a) Marketing and promotional strategies are subject to stringent laws

b) Online casinos and other providers must employ a single database in which all players' social security numbers are automatically recorded. All licensed websites will provide players with the option to self-exclude 

c) IDIN age verification is required 

d) Participation in the KSA's control database, the controledatabank (CBD), is required. This database will track all online casino activities and provide the KSA with a direct mechanism to supervise the casinos.

The growth of the Dutch online gambling market

In 2018, the Dutch gambling sector provided €1.4 billion to the Dutch GDP, increasing 9% over 2015. The gambling market is growing with each passing day. 

This was obvious in the case study, which showed €127.4 million in income from online sports betting alone. Over the previous five years, Holland Casino, the country's sole physical casino business with 14 sites, has seen tremendous revenue growth.

JHV Gaming, the market leader in Dutch gambling halls, does not release yearly statistics, but since 2014, it has established an average of two new sites each year. 

One of its rivals, Fair Play Casinos, is on target to open one new site per year. Novomatic first entered the Dutch market in 2013 and has subsequently invested heavily at 20 locations. 

Furthermore, statistics reveal that the overall number of Dutch persons gambling online increased in the same way from 2015 to 2018, rising from 1.52 million in 2015 to 1.86 million in 2018. Every one of these figures points to the same trend: a rising market eager to embrace online gaming and betting in its entirety.

How the Dutch online gambling market rates across Europe

Even though Dutch players had to turn to illegal routes or adhere to a very restricted state-controlled offer, the market grew from less than 500,000 customers in 2015 to a million in 2020. 

Total gaming income increased dramatically over the same time frame, from €296 million to €3.1 billion. In the EU, only Spain, France, Germany, and Italy are ahead of the Netherlands regarding gross gaming income. 

Based on information from a year before the Remote Gambling Act took effect, Dutch gamblers already spend more than their German counterparts and are on a level with French gamblers.

The most popular online games in The Netherlands

A 2018 research conducted for Holland Casinos has the most credible statistics on all sorts of online betting. Bingo, poker, casinos, and sports betting are the four primary areas identified in this analysis. 

Sports betting, in particular, has grown in popularity in recent years, while poker has declined. Lotteries are noticeably absent from this list, although they are the most common form of betting in the Netherlands. 

Based on players' self-reported purchasing patterns, the total aggregate income for all the above categories was predicted to be €592.7 million.

In the initial report, poker was lowered by 75% to indicate cash flowing to competing players instead of the operator.

By far, the majority of provider efforts are focused on casino and sports betting. This is in line with the popularity and progress shown over the previous few years, as seen above. 

According to the study, lotteries and scratchers are the most common legal games, with 54.4 percent and 9.5 percent of respondents reporting that they had engaged in those activities, respectively. 

Poker1, sports betting, and casino games are clear favorites for gambling activities that will be made available with the impending Remote Gambling Law.


Players didn't have the patience to wait for the Dutch government to put up a bill to authorize online gambling, which took nearly a long time. As a result, the Dutch gambling market grew to hundreds of millions of euros in income. 

Observing patterns in online gambling on the legal TOTO system and physical betting in Holland Casino and gaming halls, suppliers have every reason to expect tremendous development in the future. Dutch gamers have stated that they prefer to play on sites that are legal in their home country. 

Additionally, allowing the market to open helps operators to promote and advertise new game options. The legalization of online gambling in the Netherlands comes amid Dutch players' willingness to spend more than their European counterparts and ready to welcome legal options.