Youíd assume that gambling in the Netherlands is pretty simple. They are very relaxed about other activities that have previously been seen as taboo. We all know about the red light district and coffee houses in Amsterdam. When it comes to gambling, things are a little more complex. They seem to be struggling to keep up with the new developments like online and mobile casinos. People can win big payouts just from playing a game on their phone.
First failed casino
The Netherlands doesnít have too much of a difficult history when it comes to gambling. There isnít the same back and forth legally as you find in the history of many countries. The first time casinos were mentioned was in the 14th century. There was an application for a casino to be built. This was granted but for some unknown reason it never happened. The first successful appearance didnít happen until the 1970s. It was opened by Holland Casino who have the monopoly in the industry today. No serious backlash was felt in the country by this appearance.
One of the first lotteries
What has been popular in the Netherlands for a very long time is the national lottery. It can be traced back to 1726. The original Dutch Lottery is still the biggest one today. It was first introduced by the state because of the amount of illegal lotteries happening in the country and of course to raise money for the treasury. It is private today and its popularity comes from the high chance of winning. The odds are 1 to 2 as it is drawn sixteen times a year. Even better, you donít have to pay tax on your payout.
Local restrictionsWhen it comes to the recent regulation of gambling, things are unusually a bit stricter. The government only gives licences to locals. Also there is a complete ban on advertising casinos or any type of betting which contrasts strongly with other countries like Britain. This favoritism toward tight regulations doesnít adapt well to the rise of online gambling and the globalisation of all parts of culture. Many people arenít used to something as universal as gambling having such different applications in different countries. Especially tourists who could see the Netherlands as a carefree country. It definitely isnít in character for the Dutch stereotype.
Games of chance act
The Netherlands focuses its regulation around the Games of Chance Act. So what games does this cover? Games of chance include lotteries, bingo, betting, poker and gaming machines. This also applies to the online versions. When talking about games of chance, they can be split into two categories. The first is when players have no influence over the outcome of the game. The results are based on pure luck. The second category is games that have an element of competition and skill. These guidelines clearly cover different gambling games from betting to poker.
If you are a tourist, donít worry you can still enjoy gambling in the Netherlands. Most of the restrictions apply to those who own casinos instead of those who enjoy them. Except of course for the taxes when winning big. The rate of casinos has grown over the past ten years so there are a couple of hundred gambling spaces for you to enjoy along with the other relaxing luxuries of the Netherlands of course. If you prefer gambling from home, HEXCasino is one site to explore.
Possible changes in the future
There does seem to be an idea that things could change soon. There is talk of regulation being different. This is probably to adapt to developments in technology. Laws often struggle to keep up with how fast things can change in the online world. It's not easy to keep up with something that expands so quickly. They could also soften the restrictions on Dutch only licenses. This is quite an unusual restriction. But in terms of what will actually materialise only time can tell. Many countries, even the ones with big gambling cities like the US, can have gone back and forth with how they want to deal with gambling.It's always interesting to see how the simple game of gambling has changed throughout the years and in different countries. It has been around for a very long time and many elements continue to thrive today.