History gambling 1964 - 2021

Gambling has a long history in the Netherlands. 1964 was an important year for gambling in the Netherlands. Gambling on games of chance became legal. The Law on Gaming was introduced. This legislation was strict, but regulated the market. In 2021, this law was only changed with the rise of the internet

Holland Casino 1975

Until 1974, it was not possible to play the lotto, casinos were also illegal in the Netherlands. Thanks to the change in the law in 1974, it became legal for Dutch people to play the lotto and roulette. This led to the opening of the first Holland Casino in 1976.

In 1975 Holland Casino was granted an absolute monopoly on the provision of gambling in the Netherlands by politicians in The Hague. The Dutch State Lottery, then called the Generality Lottery, was established in 1726.

Around 1900, almost all forms of gambling, except for the State Lottery, were banned in the Netherlands. This remained so until after the Second World War. It was only around 1950 that relaxations were introduced such as the more frequent organisation of the State Lottery.

In 1905, a patent was filed for the first slot machine. It was a machine with three rotating reels. The intention of the inventor was to let the player lose as slowly as possible. The first device returned ninety per cent of the bets. In the 1964 Betting and Gaming Act, slot machines were still banned. This changed in 1969. Then the Supreme Court ruled that this prohibition no longer applied to machines that paid out in free games. The number of slot machines increased enormously as a result of this ruling. The profitability of slot machines ensured that they were increasingly installed in permanent locations such as cafés, restaurants, snack bars, tobacco shops and community centres.

In 1993, the preliminary bill for the prohibition of so-called peak-load vending machines was published. Peak ticket machines were machines that could cause large fluctuations in winnings and losses. The actual ban on vending machines followed on 1 January 1995.

The 1970s

From the early 70s, the Netherlands was inundated with 'illegal' casinos. Illegal in quotes, because legal casinos did not yet exist in Holland at that time. The first legal casino in the Netherlands only opened in 1976, in Zandvoort, in Hotel Bouwes. That is the first gambling branch of Holland Casino, as the state casino Holland Casino was then called.

The illegal casinos are initially left alone by the government and the police. Nobody seems to be very concerned about it. Nobody had ever heard of gambling addiction.

The 1980s

Meanwhile, there are three legal Holland Casinos, one in Zandvoort, one in Valkenburg (in 1977) and one in Scheveningen (1979, in the Kurhaus). In Rotterdam, a new Holland Casino was built in mid-1985.

Remote gambling 2021

On 1 October 2021, the Act on Remote Gambling came into force. Online casinos and bookmakers may then offer their services on the Dutch market as long as they have a Dutch gambling licence. They can apply for this licence from the Dutch Gambling Authority.

From 1 October 2021, Dutch citizens can therefore legally bet online as long as they bet via online gambling providers that have a Dutch gambling licence.

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