The Netherlands is world-famous for their relaxed attitude towards prostitution and drugs. However, the same thing cannot be said about gambling and online sports betting in the Netherlands. Especially the online gambling component seems to be one of the biggest enemies for the government as only operators that are established in the Netherlands and locally hosted websites are allowed to offer their services to Dutch punters. Naturally, there are not many sports betting site and online casinos out there that were willing to host their websites in the Netherlands in order to gain access to the market and this lead to a massive switch towards ‘illegal’ gambling.
In an attempt to counter this effect, the Dutch relaxed their laws enough to allow some of the world’s biggest names in gambling accessing the market. However, this move is not one without risks since in such an unclear climate you can never know when a big fine comes your way.
Most Popular Sports for Betting in the Netherlands
Despite the unclear legislation over online gambling, punters from the Netherlands spend between€500 and €800 million every year on online esports betting. If you are wondering why the gap between the two numbers is so big, that is only because nobody can come with accurate statistics due to all the players gambling on unauthorized sites.
Just like in the rest of Europe, the most popular sport for betting is football with a huge chunk of 70% out of the entire betting volume. It is easy to understand why football is so prevalent in Holland with so many high-quality football players and a National Team that was among the best in the world until a few years ago. Most of the football wagers are placed on the domestic league, Eredivisie. However soccer fans bet just as much on other European leagues such as La Liga or the Premier League.
Hockey takes the second place in this popularity podium with volleyball following close by. Even though you may not expect hockey to be a big sport in the Netherlands, after they won the 2014 World Cup, much attention was directed towards this sport.
The fourth place is held by cycling and, just like with football, it is easy to figure out why Dutch punters like to bet on cycling races. In case you did not figure out that one yet, it is because the bicycle is a very popular mean of transportation in Holland, making most of the riders big fans of the Tour de France, Il Giro or other big competitions. Online sports betting in Netherlands is a very diverse environment and any punter will be happy to have so many options available.
Online Sports Betting Netherlands – The Numbers
The €800 million estimated figure made by online sports betting sites every year in Holland shows potential considering that we are talking about a market that was not yet regulated. It could easily take the third spot in Europe regarding gambling revenue, after the United Kingdom and Italy.
The lack of a standard law to regulate the activity of operators makes it also difficult to collect accurate demographics. However, most of the punters that place sports bets online are aged 25 – 50 and over 82% of them are men. Ladies prefer the online casino games while other products such as bingo or keno are not relevant to even be taken into consideration.
It is interesting to observe that, despite the state monopoly over the domestic casino and betting industry, the number of punters choosing to bet at these institutions is quite low. This lead to considerable losses for Casino Holland and the situation is critical. However, even so, the authorities do not seem to be in a rush to bring relaxation on the market through clear and supportive laws.
Best Sportsbooks in the Netherlands
One of the biggest online sports betting operators that took a gamble with the Dutch market, Betway, speculated the lack of high-quality betting services and enjoys a perfect run in the Netherlands. With their extensive betting markets, competitive odds and consistent bonuses, they appeal to Dutch punters that are happy to be able to have a healthy alternative for the odds offered by domestic bookmakers. Since the market is not regulated, Betway does not need a license to operate in the Netherlands, however, in case there are some significant issues with any players, they risk being drastically fined by the government. Moreover, this is the main reason why some of the operators chose to stay away until the authorities pass a clear Gambling Act. Until then, the ones that dare can make a nice profit as backed by Betway quarterly reports in Holland.
An UK-based bookmaker, William Hill also accepts players from the Netherlands, and they are the bookmaker where most of the Dutch players place their football bets. With tens of years of experience and a massive amount of tradition behind their name, William Hill is probably the safest bookmaker in the industry that Dutch players can use right now. Top-notch services, great offers, appealing bonuses and a spot-on customer support team is what you will find here.
Part of the Swedish giant Betsson, Betsafe is a cool betting site that probably appeals to most of the young punters in the Netherlands. They have incredibly appealing marketing campaigns, coupled with very advantageous odds and a broad portfolio of sports and eSports as well. No matter if you are planning to bet on football, hockey, volleyball or cycling, joining Betsafe will offer you a safe and professional environment to do so.