Current Regulation of the
Netherlands is a country that is renowned for relaxed laws in many areas, the
legislation on internet gambling here isnt yet quite as liberal as in
some other matters.
There has been talk of new laws going through for
some time but for the time being it is technically illegal to gamble on the
internet in this country.
It was estimated recently that close to half a million
Dutch gamble on the internet each year. However, gambling online is still not
legal in the Netherlands until a proposed law change goes through.
analysts expect that a new gaming bill will go through shortly to make the
likes of online casinos and poker sites legal. It has been reported that more
than 200 different gambling companies have expressed an interest in operating
here once the new laws are introduced to make it legal.
Back in 2015,
the regulator (Kansspelautoriteit) stated that the online gaming market has now
grown to a total of 296 in annual income. This was a 7.6% growth over the
previous year. Having said that, online gambling here represents only 13% of
all gambling, which is lower than in most of Europe.
The Tax Situation
One of the most controversial
issues around the Dutch online gaming market is that the proposed legislation
will include a hefty 29% tax rate on the revenue earned by site operators. This
is the same rate that is levied on land-based casino operators in the
Netherland but critics suggest that it will be too high to encourage
international operators to move into the Dutch market.
tax rate was going to be 20% and international site operators had requested
that this figure be lowered to 10%. However, partly due to pressure put on the
Dutch government they raised the proposed online tax rate to match the 29% paid
by land-based casinos instead.
The original thinking of the authorities
appeared to be that the lower 20% rate was necessary so that Dutch registered
sites would be competitive. The feeling is that this level of tax would still
have allowed them to pay out good prizes, rather than having players seek out
international sites with better pay-out rates instead. It now remains to be
seen whether the 29% rate drives customers to illegal international
As for personal taxation on gambling winnings, the law currently
states that no taxes need to be paid when the prize is under 449 or when
the player has paid more to enter than the prize amount. In cases where more
than 449 is won, the player pays 29% on their winnings.
The Current Situation
While online gambling
isnt yet fully legal in the Netherlands, it is something that is
currently tolerated to a degree, as can be seen by the number of Dutch
residents who have played for money on the internet recently.
authorities have attempted to stop their countys residents from gambling
online but it has proved impossible. At the time of writing there are around
450 sites that accept Dutch players. The governments previous attempts to
restrict access to gaming sites is probably one of the reasons why internet
gambling is slightly less popular here than in other European countries,
The current view of the Dutch authorities appears to be one of
letting people play on international sites for the time being. Technically,
someone living in the Netherlands can only play legally on a Dutch registered
site; its just that there arent any sites that are registered yet
or that can be registered until the new law comes into force.
authorities, therefore, tacitly allow internationally registered gaming sites
to provide services for Dutch players currently, providing that they dont
actively target players from the Netherlands.
www.casinotechnieken.nl the new
legislation could be brought into force during 2017, finally giving internet
casino and poker operators the chance to legally register for a license here.
This will then allow them to target Dutch players completely within the
Having said that, the new laws have been getting discussed for a
couple of years now without as much progress as might have been hoped for.
For the moment, Dutch gamblers will need to show a little bit more
patience before being able to gamble completely within the law. And maybe they
will because of the high tax that will be brought into the online gambling
sites. The future will proof.