The online gambling scene in the Netherlands has seen an increase in participation from residents, rising by 20% over the past two years. This is all despite efforts from the country’s government to deny citizens with the opportunity to legally enjoy gambling.
Yet, even with this being the case, new figures have been released by Motivaction International – and independent research and consultancy agency – which show that in 2018, around 1.86m residents of the Netherlands have engaged in a form of unauthorised online betting. The country has a populace of 17 million, meaning that a good portion of citizens have indulged in online gambling.
The 1.86m figure shows an increase of 300,000 since the last time Motivaction did a survey on the market back in 2016. Last year, the online gambling market in the Netherlands was worth an estimated €592 million, but with residents participating in this via offshore platforms, the government of the country doesn’t gain any revenue from the industry. A survey querying over 15,000 respondents of legal gambling age and done last November, was actually set up by the state’s own land-based monopoly, Holland Casino. About 38% of people taking the survey admitted to gambling in general, while 18% flat out stated that they had accessed online gambling.
The Results Show…
Residents in the Netherlands seem to have more of an interest in sports betting and bingo than anything else, with each of these sectors tying as the most popular online gambling activities. Around 9% of people stated their participation in both areas. Online betting on the whole though, which also stood at 9% of respondents, was a greater share of those who admitted participating in any type of betting (12%).
Online casino gambling wasn’t far behind though, with 8% of people stating that they had accessed such, and 7% replying that they had taken the time to access online poker.
Yet, if the online gambling sector did become a legal entity in the Netherlands, would players accept and play at such sites? For the time being, laws don’t allow online gambling to take place within the country, but in response to the survey, the majority of gamblers said that they would go for a Dutch-approved casino, sportsbook or other platform. A total of 66% of respondents said that they would choose a sports betting platform licensed within the country, with 60% saying the same about a bingo site.
It may not be that far away from becoming legal, though. The Dutch senate is scheduled to debate the Remote Gambling Bill of the country on February 5. That Bill has been waiting for a period of three years to be brought up for discussion and, assuming that there aren’t any senators who require amendments to be made to it, it could face a vote one week after that date.
Things do look favourable for the industry at the moment, although it’s better not to count your chickens before they’ve hatched. Regardless of the outcome of a potential Senate vote though, the government of the country still aims to combat those unauthorised online gambling operators in whatever way it can.