Population July 2013: 16.805.000
GDP 2012: 540,9 Billion EUR
GDP per capita: 32,300 EUR
Taxation for Lotteries: 30,1% on all prizes over 449 Euro
Online Taxation:
29% GGR (proposed)


In the Netherlands it is prohibited by the Act on Games of Chance of 1964 to operate any type of public gaming without a license that is issued by the Gaming Authority. If the total amount of the prize budget does not exceed € 4,500, a license can be requested at the municipality where the game of chance is held.

The State Secretary of the ministry of Security and Justice is responsible for a coherent, balanced and consistent gambling policy. The implementation and enforcement lies with the Gaming Authority. The Gaming Authority can independently impose sanctions up to € 780,000 euro or 10% of the revenues and can withdraw licenses.


The possibility of online gambling is not covered yet by the Act on Games of Chance and is therefore prohibited. Lotteries with an landbased license however can offer e-commerce by supplying their services via the internet. Legislation has been proposed to legalize the online gambling market. The bill is based on liberal principles, which means that the number of operators that can apply for a license is unlimited. The games that will be regulated are poker, casino and sports betting and gambling operators will have to pay a 29% gambling tax on gross gaming revenues (GGR). Gambling operators are also required to pay a 2% GGR tax for the expenses of the Gaming Authority and for an addiction prevention fund. The new gambling law is expected to come into force in 2017.


Incidental licenses can be issued for the organisation of lotteries with the purpose to raise funds for public purposes. By law these lotteries are obliged to contribute a minimum of 50% of their sales to organisations of public benefit. A gaming tax of 29% is imposed on prizes that exceed € 449. At the moment, there are three large charity lotteries active at the Dutch gaming market, and five smaller ones. In addition, there is the possibility for all kinds of charities and associations to obtain a licence for an incidental draw.


Three licenses are issued (in periods of five years) for the organisation of a charity lottery. The principal charity lotteries in the Netherlands are the Nationale Postcode Loterij, the VriendenLoterij and the BankGiro Loterij, together incorporated in the public limited liability company the Nationale Goede Doelen Loterijen NV. These charity lotteries perform 14 drawings each year. A minimum of 50% of the sales is distributed among various national and international civil society organisations and around 30% is destined for prize money.

The allocation and distribution of the funds of the National Charity Lotteries to (new) beneficiaries are annually decided upon by an independent Supervisory Board. Every NGO that fulfils certain criteria can apply to become a beneficiary of one of the lotteries. The National Charity Lotteries have their own distribution fund, DOEN Foundation, which distributes a part of the lotteries’ revenues among smaller organisations and initiatives that are not eligible to become a direct beneficiary of one of the lotteries.

    • The Nationale Postcode Loterij was founded in 1989 and supports beneficiaries in the fields of nature & environment, development cooperation, human rights and social cohesion. Each month, over 2.5 million participants play with some 4 million tickets. In 2013, € 303 million has been distributed among 101 beneficiaries, including Amnesty International, WWF and Unicef. For more information see: www.postcodeloterij.nl

    • The VriendenLoterijbecame part of the National Charity Lottery Holding in 1998 and supports 47 beneficiaries in the fields of health and wellbeing. In addition, participants can choose to play for their own club or association. Every month, over 500,000 participants play with more than 600,000 tickets. The VriendenLoterij contributed € 49 million in 2013 to good causes such as the Aids Foundation and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and to more than 3,000 local (sports) clubs and associations. For more information, visit: www.vriendenloterij.nl

    • The BankGiro Loterij became part of the National Charity Lottery Holding in 2002. In 2013, it supported 70 cultural organisations, that together received € 63 million. Every month, over 800,000 tickets are sold to some 570,000 participants. Beneficiaries of the BankGiro Loterij include the Anne Frank Foundation, the Amsterdam Museum, the Rijksmuseum and the Prince Bernhard Culture Fund. For more information go to: www.bankgiroloterij.nl

        Once a year the Nationale Vereniging de Zonnebloem organises a lottery to raise funds for its own association, dedicated to disabled and sick people and the elderly. In 2012, approximately € 2.6 million was raised as a result of this single drawing. For more information see: www.zonnebloem.nl


        Another incidental license is issued for the Jantje Beton Loterij, organised once a year by Nationaal Jeugdfonds Jantje Beton. This organisation stands up for the chance to play for all children in the Netherlands. The beneficiaries are Dutch schools who receive 50% of total revenues, another 38% is destined for the realisation of goals of Jantje Beton. In 2011, a total amount of € 1.2 million was raised by 100,000 children from 819 participating schools as a result of the lottery. Prize money is completely sponsored. Operating costs constituted 17% of turnover. For more information see: www.jantjebeton.nl


        Once a year Scouting Nederland, the largest youth organisation in the Netherlands, also arranges a lottery. Scouting Nederland consists of 1,100 groups throughout the country. These groups can sell lottery tickets for € 2.50 each, of which € 1.50 (60%) is destined for the group itself. The remaining 40% goes to the Scouting Nederland, that organises the lottery and distributes the prizes. In 2012, total turnover was over € 160,000. For more information visit: www.scouting.nl


        The next incidental license is issued for the Grote Clubactie. For the Grote Clubactie ticket numbers of € 3 each are sold once a year by 360,000 volunteers and the beneficiaries are small scale clubs and associations. In 2012, the Grote Clubactie resulted in € 9 million for the participating clubs and associations (turnover was € 11.3 million). The Grote Clubactie distributes 80% of the sales to the 7000 beneficiaries, which is about € 1,300 on average per participating club. For more information go to: www.clubactie.nl


        The remaining organisation which arranges lotteries is the Dutch Cancer Society. Drawings are held four times a year. In 2012, € 9.5 million was collected for their fight against cancer. The operational costs for organizing the lottery were € 3.6 million (37%). For more information go to www.kwfkankerbestrijding.nl

In addition to the incidental lotteries described above, there are several local lotteries organised each year, for the benefit of local associations or clubs. No details on turnover are available.

No other lotteries exist in the Netherlands that meet the criteria of a charity lottery. However, part of the revenues of De Lotto (operator of the lotto game, sports betting and instant lottery) is distributed to good causes, and is therefore discussed below. In addition, the Staatsloterij is mentioned, as the only state lottery in the Netherlands. Nevertheless, the Staatsloterij only distributes part of the sales to the treasury and not to charities.


      • DE LOTTO

        Permanent (monopoly) licenses are issued to organise an instant lottery, sports betting and a lotto game. These are all in possession of the De Lotto. Between 47.5% and 65% of the sales of the instant lottery have to be distributed as prizes. For the lotto game and sports betting (toto) a minimum of 47.5% must be destined for prize money. Sales in 2013 were € 307 million of which € 60 million (19%) went to 19 organisations in the fields of sports (73% went to the Dutch Olympic Committee) and organisations in the fields of culture, social welfare and public health (the remaining 27%). For more information go to: www.delotto.nl

        No other lotteries exist in the Netherlands that meet the criteria of a charity lottery. However, part of the revenues of De Lotto (operator of the lotto game, sports betting and instant lottery) is distributed to good causes, and is therefore discussed below. In addition, the Staatsloterij is mentioned, as the only state lottery in the Netherlands. Nevertheless, the Staatsloterij only distributes part of the sales to the treasury and not to charities.

        The Act on Games of Chance specifies that only one license can be granted to organise a state lottery. This license is permanently in possession of the Stichting Exploitatie Nederlandse Staatsloterij (SENS). SENS (or Staatsloterij) was established in 1726, which makes it the oldest continuous lottery in the world. At least 60% of the sales of the Staatsloterij have to be distributed as prize money. The net profits of the Staatsloterij are for the benefit of the state treasury. Sales in 2013 amounted to € 772 million, of which 69% was awarded as prize money whereas 16% was distributed to the state treasury (€123 million). No charity organisations benefit from the Staatsloterij. For more information visit: www.staatsloterij.nl


Because the online gambling law is still in the making, it is unsure which online gambling operators will apply for a license in the Netherlands. The bill proposes a liberalisation of the online gambling market, thereby not restricting the number of licences which may be granted. Some national and international operators or companies have expressed their interest in the Dutch gambling market in the past or present.

The draft law is expected to take effect in 2017, but there are many foreign operators currently targeting the Dutch online gambling market, with websites completely in Dutch and with .nl extensions. Oranje Casino and Kroon Casino are for example operators especially set up for the Dutch market, but operate from abroad. Due to the sheer size of the illegal online market, the Gambling Authority has prioritized its actions against illegal operators according to a list of criteria. These criteria include having a .nl website, a Dutch language website and advertising on radio, TV, or printed media. Forty operators received a letter imploring them to cease offering their services to the Dutch market. Some have, in part, complied. The Ministry of Justice has assured parliament that non-compliant operators who continue to defy the ban on online gambling, will forego their chances of obtaining a licence if the market is legalized.