The Netherlands has become largely renowned for its progressiveness, but how does it fare when it comes to online gambling? In this guide, we’ll list the best Dutch betting sites and discuss the legality of online gambling, as well as what you should consider while sports betting in the Netherlands.
- Betting in the Netherlands – The Current Situation
- Best Betting Sites in the Netherlands
- Gambling Regulations in the Netherlands
- 4 Tips on Choosing a Good Betting Site in the Netherlands
- Popular Payment Methods in the Netherlands
- Which Sports Are Popular in the Netherlands?
- Best Netherlands Betting Sites – Ranked
- Other Country Betting Guides - Click Each Flag To Learn More
- Best Netherlands Betting Sites FAQs
- ThePuntersPage Final Say
Betting in the Netherlands – The Current Situation
For a nation praised for its liberal attitudes in many areas, it might come as a surprise that the Netherland’s gambling laws were somewhat complex, restrictive, and outdated up until recently.
Having been pressed for years to get with the times, though, the Dutch government finally listened, and the Remote Gambling Act (KOA) came into force as of 1st April 2021. This new document has brought about big changes for the better, as far as gamblers are concerned.
The most important takeaway from the whole document is that, starting from 1st October 2021, new licences became available for both international and Dutch betting sites. Moreover, the market for online betting in the Netherlands will officially open up.
An initial batch of 10 licences were awarded, with many more pending approval from the authorities in the first weeks. Among the first to get the licence was international betting site bet365, along with local-based Holland Casino N.V. and TOTO.
Is Online Sports Betting Legal in the Netherlands?
Yes. As long as the online sports betting is done with one of the licensed bookmakers as recognised by the Netherlands Gaming Control Board, then it’s perfectly legal.
Up until 2021, the sports betting monopoly in the Netherlands was run by De Lotto and Scientific Games Racing B.V. Punters could only wager on sporting events at their shops and through the TOTO website. It was in fact illegal for any offshore operator to offer any form of online gambling in the Netherlands, since a single licence hadn’t yet been given out.
Despite this, the Dutch government had failed to control the illegal market, and hundreds of offshore operators were still offering their services to Dutch users. However, it is important to note that it was not illegal for Dutch players to play at these sites; the customers themselves wouldn't have faced prosecution, since the Netherlands Gambling Authority didn’t restrict any online gaming. In the worst-case scenario, they could have lost their deposit if the bookie had got blocked.
Nowadays, when deciding to open an account with an online betting site, it is important to find out whether the site is licensed or not to avoid any unnecessary hassle. Doing so also allows you to benefit from the full betting experience and keep up to date whenever the site is offering any free bet bonus or sports betting promotion on big upcoming events.
The Future of Regulated Gambling in the Netherlands
With the Remote Gambling Act introduced in 2021, a lot has changed for many gambling websites. Online gambling is now officially and formally legalised, paving the way for licences to be issued to even more foreign competitors. Big names like bet365, for instance, can now reach and serve Dutch players freely.
Other international bookmakers, such as Unibet and LeoVegas, will all be preparing their applications to enter the newly regulated market. However, there will be strict rules to adhere to:
- It is now mandatory for bettors to set maximum credit limits on their online sports betting accounts, while operators are expected to have a responsible gambling strategy in place.
- All operators working in the Dutch market will have to wipe their pre-existing player databases clean.
- Ads cannot target vulnerable groups.
- Advertising between 6am – 9pm every day is not allowed.
- Customer service agents must be able to communicate in Dutch.
- Dutch players’ identity must be verified before registration can be finalised.
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T&Cs APPLY, 18+ ONLY
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Gambling Regulations in the Netherlands
As an indepedent gambling regulator in the Netherlands, the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) have made efforts to ensure that punters are kept safe when gambling. Bookies are expected to keep an eye out on their customers' behaviour, including overspending or taking excessive losses as well as making large deposits at once.
The KSA also offer the ‘Cruks’, which is a national registry of punters who want to take a break or stop betting entirely. You can register from the official KSA website, which gives you the option to stop gambling for 6 months up to 99 years. Each betting site is required to check this list before accepting a new member.
Recent Breaches in Dutch Gambling Regulations
The KSA has been busy ensuring that gambling remains safe in the country. With many restrictions, though, it’s not surprising that some operators have slipped up and allowed these mistakes to happen. The main breaches are from safer gambling and offering unlicensed betting markets.
Operators are required to monitor the gambling behaviour of customers to ensure that they are kept safe when gambling, including depositing a large amount of funds all at once even if it comes from a punters bank account. Regular check-ups must be carried out.
So far, the KSA has warned two betting agencies for not offering enough safe gambling options and not intervening after a certain limit was passed. Several punters on this site spent over €10,000 in under a month. A few specific cases include a 26-year-old losing €114,000 in November 2021 and a 29-year-old losing €27,000 in just two weeks.
Unlicensed Betting Markets
Two operators have been warned for offering bets on yellow and red cards, which goes against the laws prohibiting match-fixing sensitive markets from being offered.
Another betting agency was warned for offering a game of chance with a massive €2.5 million top prize – such games are not included within a sports betting licence. The operator has since changed the game to fall under their respective credentials.
Yet another instance involved an operator warned against displaying a ‘role model’ alongside their brand, which betting companies are not allowed to do. These ‘role model's include individuals who have achieved some sort of game and hold significant popularity among the public, such as football players, influencers, or even models. The advert has since been withdrawn.
4 Tips on Choosing a Good Betting Site in the Netherlands
With all the options available, choosing which online betting site to open an account with might be overwhelming for some. To help you out with this, we’ve listed some advice for you to keep in mind:
While it’s always vital to register with an operator you can trust, this is especially important in the Netherlands. Since the Remote Gambling Act already puts operators under scrutiny, though, Dutch punters won't find it hard to find a licensed bookmaker.
Find an online betting site which allows Dutch customers to place bets in euros to avoid paying hefty exchange rates.
You won’t get good value on your bets if your sportsbook isn’t offering you good prices. Use our odds overround calculator to find out a bet's profit margin and determine whether you’re getting your money’s worth.
4. Welcome Bonus
It is customary for the best betting sites to offer new customers a welcome bonus or a sign-up offer. This normally comes in the form of free bet credits, risk-free bets, or other similar promotions. We recommend taking the time to look into what’s being offered by the most reputable betting sites.
Popular Payment Methods in the Netherlands
In an attempt to control the market, the Dutch government tried to block transactions with online bookmakers in the past. However, the online gambling market, banks and payment service providers weren’t having it, and the government’s efforts were unsuccessful.
iDeal – a Netherlands-based payment method popularly used for online transactions – is accepted by a variety of bookmakers, as well as international names like PayPal, Skrill, and NETELLER. The traditional methods such as Visa and Mastercard are also found available as a viable options.
Which Sports Are Popular in the Netherlands?
Football is the most popular sport in the Netherlands, which is unsurprising given the countless players that have mesmerised in the trademark orange national team shirt. The Eredivisie is the top league in the country, featuring storied clubs such as Ajax, Feyenoord, and PSV. Of course, the English Premier League is the most followed league worldwide, and is therefore home to loads of popular betting markets.
Another very popular competition is the UEFA Champions League, which features many big matches throughout the season. The Dutch Eredivisie champions make it through to the competition group stage automatically, while the second-placed team has to go through the qualification stages.
The 2022 World Cup in Qatar is another competition which is huge for betting, even more so as, at the time of writing, the Dutch national team is flying high and have even reached the quarter-finals.
Hockey is another popular sport, with the Netherlands having proudly organised the 2014 Hockey World Cup in the Hague – a cup the Dutch team has won three times.
Other sports the Dutch are enthusiastic about are volleyball, cycling, horse racing, tennis, golf, MMA, UFC, and gymnastics.
Best Netherlands Betting Sites – Ranked
As of 1st October 2021, 10 casinos and betting sites have received a licence to operate in the Netherlands. The list contains a mix of Dutch betting sites along with other online bookmakers.
- Fair Play Online
- Batavia Casino
- Holland Casino
- LiveScore Bet
Some other betting agencies have followed suit, including the likes of Unibet which is an international brand, much like bet365. The number of bookies will continue to increase over time.
Other Country Betting Guides - Click Each Flag To Learn More
Planning on taking a holiday, or relocating for good to one of these countries? These articles will keep you up to date on all you need to know about betting in a specific country. Looking for a general overview of betting abroad? Check out our extensive International betting guide.
Best Netherlands Betting Sites FAQs
Yes, it is. The Netherlands Gambling Authority doesn’t restrict any online gaming, meaning that a player engaging in the activity cannot be prosecuted. Dutch bettors don’t need to worry about this.
Since the recent Remote Gambling Act, both the online sports betting market as well as the online casino market have become legal. Licensed bookmakers can now offer betting odds and bettors can place legal sports bets in a safe and regulated market.
The majority of sports bets in the Netherlands are placed on football. The Dutch are also into hockey and horse racing in particular.
If it’s sports betting you are after, we highly recommend bet365. Their great online sportsbook is second to none in the list of licensed betting sites.
ThePuntersPage Final Say
Whether you’re betting while on holiday or you’ve made the Netherlands your home, it’s always important to know the legality surrounding online betting. We’ve listed the best sports betting sites in the Netherlands to ensure you know which ones are deemed safe by the Dutch authorities. Other top bookmakers and online operators are still an option; however, part of the betting experience may be different.
Looking to bet somewhere new? Check out our detailed regulations guide to betting in different countries.