Games of chance: rules and supervision

People who gamble can be vulnerable to addition or fraud. The government aims to protect them, whether they gamble in casinos or online, bet on sports or play the lottery. It also seeks to fight money laundering by preventing illegal gambling. For this reason gaming providers require a licence.

The vast majority of gamblers in the Netherlands are people who from time to time enjoy going to a casino or buying a lottery ticket. Or maybe they like to bet on the occasional football match. But sometimes gambling can get out of hand: people spend too much time on it or bet large amounts of money. This can lead to debt problems or even a gambling addiction.

Help with gambling problems

People with a gambling problem can get help 24/7 by phone or online from the Gambling Help Centre. Staff at the Gambling Help Centre can provide information about treatment for problematic gambling. Family members and friends of gamblers can go here for information as well.

Reducing the risks of games of chance

The government wants to protect people who play games of chance from addiction and fraud. It does this by:

  • only issuing licences to gaming providers under strict conditions. These conditions deal with the provider’s trustworthiness, the steps they take to prevent addiction and how they advertise their services;
  • making sure that providers continue to fulfil the licensing conditions once the licence has been issued;
  • supervising compliance with other rules laid down in the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Prevention) Act, the Sanctions Act and the Betting and Gaming Tax Act.

Supervision of games of chance by the Gaming Authority

The Gaming Authority is the supervisory body for the Dutch gambling sector. The Gaming Authority seeks to protect consumers and prevent people from becoming addicted to gambling. They also deal with illegal and criminal gaming providers. Their goal is to ensure a range of games of chance which are reliable and can be played safely. The Gaming Authority does this by:

  • supervising gaming providers with a licence (for example, checking if they follow the rules aimed at preventing gambling addiction);
  • enforcing rules against illegal games of chance (for example, by issuing fines);
  • reviewing licence applications;
  • providing information to players, municipalities and organisations (for example, a football club that would like to hold a lottery).

Supervision of games of chance by municipalities

Municipalities also have a supervisory role. They issue licences for slot machines and ensure that the conditions of those licences are met. Municipalities also issue licences for lotteries with prizes worth less than € 4,500. People and companies that wish to organise a small-scale game of chance, such as bingo, have to report it to the municipality.