Gambling in the Netherlands: Growing Popularity, New Restrictions, and Future Opportunities


Gambling in the Netherlands has a long history and starting from 2013 there were attempts to create a regulated gambling market in the country. Only in October 2021, Dutch players received the possibility to take advantage of all the benefits of protected and legal gaming, as the Dutch national regulator De Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) began the immediate implementation of restrictions and penalties for illegal gaming destinations. All the efforts of KSA toward the creation of a safe gambling environment had their benefits, and the gambling industry in the country began to grow steadily. Continue reading our research to discover more about the current state of the Dutch gambling market, recent changes, and predictions for the future!


As it is with most newly launched gambling markets, the biggest increase in online gambling in the country was noticed during the first months after the Dutch market opening, as players were actively migrating from offshore to onshore gambling sites.

Still, the way gambling licenses were given to online operators allowed KSA to report the constant growth in the number of players. In October 2021, there were only nine online operators licensed, while others had to wait for around 6 months to be approved by the gambling regulator in the country. Thus, those popular online operators that offered gambling services to players from Netherlands before the official market launch had to give their customers a cool-down period while they were undergoing licensing procedures. As the number of popular online casinos with gambling permits in the Netherlands increased, more players migrated from illegal websites to legal ones. However, the percentage of Dutch players who visit illegal gambling destinations is still significant. 

To estimate the current popularity of gambling in the Netherlands, let’s look into the report titled ‘Insight into players of online games of chance’ released by The Dutch regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) in May 2023. It states that there were 762K active players in licensed online operators in 2022. This number equals 5.3% of the population in the country. However, it does not necessarily mean that slightly over 5% of the population in the Netherlands are active gamblers. If we look at monthly figures, they differ from the annual ones. Thus, the estimated number of active players in January 2023 was 370K. 

An interesting fact about the preferences of Dutch players is that they opt for having more than one account. Thus, 43% of all active players in the Netherlands have 2 or more accounts in different gambling destinations. According to the KSA report, 100% of players are registered at legal casinos, while 8% among them also have accounts in illegal online operators. Therefore, a significant part of the revenue in 2022 (20%) went to offshore gambling destinations. However, the analysis of H2GC shows that the proportion between legal and illegal casinos is changing in 2023, as more players decide to stick to casinos licensed in the Netherlands. Thus, the revenue of illegal websites from Dutch players is estimated to decrease to 15% by the end of 2023. 

Given the recent changes in the gambling regulations that were made by KSA, an already significant percentage of players who use licensed operators only (92%) might increase even further due to the stricter player protection policies that make onshore gambling safer than offshore one. 


Despite being a relatively new gambling market, the Netherlands already follows the world's tendency in curbing gambling addiction and takes action to decrease the percentage of players with harmful gambling behaviors. 

Advertising Ban

Thus, a controversial law about advertisement ban that has triggered a lot of conversations and discussions is working in the market. According to this law, since July 1st any untargeted advertising of casino and betting services is banned. Thus, no broadcast television, radio, and billboards can display gambling ads. Still, advertising online and on-demand television is permitted. However, certain conditions should be met. Thus, online gaming destinations should place advertisements only in places that are not targeted at young people (under 24 years). In order not to be fined, the operator should prove that 95% of the reached audience is 24 years or older. 

Those new rules were implemented as a response to the recent gambling advertisement boom in the Netherlands. Soon after the launch of the regulated markets, ads for casino entertainment and betting started to appear everywhere. The first attempt to control this advertising outbreak was when celebrities, including retired football players, were not allowed to participate in ads about casino and betting services.

Even though the law took effect on July 1st, sports teams have a 2-year period to find a replacement for the gambling ads, as a big sum of money is involved here. Thus, penalties on this category of advertising spots will be postponed until 2025. However, ads from TV, radio, and the majority of public places should already disappear by the time this article is published.

Self-Exclusion Scheme Updates

Aside from advertising, the Dutch authorities have also updated the self-exclusion scheme to improve to decrease gambling addiction issues and allow players who suffer from harmful gambling behaviors to have a simpler way to stop playing. 

The national self-exclusion scheme called Central Register Exclusion of Games of Chance (Cruks) allows players to exclude themselves from gambling for six months or longer. All operators licensed in the Netherlands should check whether a player has subscribed to this scheme and should ban them from playing for the self-exclusion period. The recent changes to the Cruks include a possibility to make self-exclusion longer than six months and give players a chance to unsubscribe at any moment after the initial six months period has passed. Moreover, a reflection period of 8 days was added to prevent impulsive unsubscribing.


The already implemented restrictions for gambling in the Netherlands are not the last ones, and the authorities will continue to introduce new rules and restrictions for players' protection. One of the reasons for that is the intent of the government to create such gambling circumstances for players in which they spend only the money that they can afford. 

At the same time, online operators will continue to popularize their services via available methods (e.g., targeted advertising, emails, promotions, special bonuses). The number of active players will continue to grow, but at a slower pace than it was in the first year after the launch of the regulated market.