For a country that has progressive laws concerning many activities that have, in the past, been deemed ‘inappropriate’, the gambling laws in the Netherlands may seem a little regressive. However, changes that were introduced in 2021 have seen the legalisation of online gambling in the Netherlands, much to the delight of many residents.
Until recently, the Dutch government had been actively trying to prevent its citizens from gambling, particularly online. They restricted online gambling activity to sites hosted in the Netherlands, expending significant energy on blocking sites based elsewhere.
They even went so far as to blacklist specific sites operated by offshore companies and they tried to persuade banks not to accept transactions from sites on their list. The banks refused to comply, but that didn’t stop the government’s actions preventing the growth of the gambling industry, particularly online poker.
The government were under considerable pressure from the EU due to their effective monopoly on online gambling. Even their sports betting industry was limited to just two Dutch companies which limited the growth of that industry as well.
However, 2021 saw a big change for the gambling industry in the Netherlands with the introduction of new legislation that opened up the online gambling market. Although it had been subject to several delays, ten new operators have now been issued with licenses from the Dutch gaming regulator, Kansspelautoriteit (KSA).
Changes for Dutch Gamers
Not only have the newly introduced gaming laws allowed Dutch players to engage with a wider variety of online games, but the regulatory systems in place also make it more secure for Dutch players that want to gamble online. Operators that do not have a Dutch gaming license have had to suspend their activity in the country or face the threat of significant fines.
The Dutch regulations are strict, designed to protect its citizens from unfair gaming practices with a thorough process that is designed to limit the number of approved sites. This, in turn, will allow the Dutch government to maximise the tax take from the gambling industry and ensure that the revenue generated will be used to benefit those that live in the Netherlands.
The Most Popular Games Among Online Gamblers
Although the people of the Netherlands haven’t had unfettered access to online gaming sites, that hasn’t prevented them from developing an enthusiasm for the new wave of digital gaming and all it entails. Trends in Dutch gaming follow global ones pretty closely and, like most of the rest of the world, slots are one of the most popular games among Dutch players.
Perennial favourites blackjack and poker are both very much in the mix as well, but the majority of players have celebrated the relaxation in regulations by seeking out the best online slots to make the most of being able to play online at last. Slots have long been a popular choice, from the very earliest days after their invention, through their digitisation, and retaining the top spot to the present day.
How Slot Machines Travelled the Globe
In 1894, when Bavarian-born inventor Charles Fey was living in San Francisco and tinkering with ideas on how to make it profitable, he could never have imagined how popular slot machines would become. He built his earliest prototype, known as the ‘Card Bell’, in his basement but it was immediately successful, prompting him to open a factory to mass-produce the machines.
By 1898, he had designed a three-reel slot machine that offered automatic cash pay-outs when the cards inside lined up with a winning poker hand. He continued to work on the machines, eventually coming up with a design that used horseshoes and bells instead of playing cards, the look of which has endured to this day.
The design hasn’t changed that much over the years, but slot machines have proliferated throughout the world in various forms, notably their transition to the digital sphere. Online operators have translated the fun of slot machines directly into a fun and recognisable online game that offers a lot more than their traditional counterparts.
By adding themes, bonus spins, and mini games, online slots have much more variety than was possible on the original machines, making the gameplay even more exciting and engaging. Players can use free spins and special offers to maximise their chances of winning and experienced players will often find a game that appeals to them and learn how to beat the odds and increase their chances of winning.
Those who play online slots regularly will gain an understanding of how they work and the best way to beat the odds and improve their win rate. Although players in the Netherlands have had their access to online games restricted, there will be players that are rejoicing in their ability to use their skills to bag the big prizes on the new gaming sites available to them.
Players that are new to online slots can often use sign-up bonuses and offers to play games for free and find the ones that they enjoy most. This is ideal for those that want to learn more about how to win against the slot machines without risking their deposit.