Games of chance

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

Do you want to organise a betting game or a lottery? Or do you plan to organise a Like&Win promotion to promote your business or product? There are rules to observe, you may need a permit and you may have to pay betting and lottery tax.

What is a game of chance?

Some examples of games of chance:

  • gaming machines
  • lotteries
  • games of bingo
  • betting (in Dutch)
  • games of poker (in Dutch)
  • online games of chance, also known as remote gambling (the computer determines the outcome of the game. Currently, it is illegal to organise remote gambling in the Netherlands)
  • like&win promotions

There are 2 types of games of chance:

  • The player has no influence on the outcome of the game. Coincidence decides who the winner is. For instance, a lottery or a game of bingo.
  • Competition, where the player has influence on the outcome. For instance, solving a puzzle or participating in a quiz.

Paying betting and lottery tax

Do you organise games of chance and are you established in the Netherlands? You will have to pay betting and lottery tax.

Permit

You need a permit to operate gaming machines or an amusement arcade. Many games of chance are illegal, or can only be organised by a few selected permit holders, like Holland Casino, the Staatsloterij and the Lotto. It is still illegal to offer online games of chance.

Games of chance advertising regulations

The promotion and advertising activities for your games of chance are subjected to strict rules, laid down in the Advertising Code for Games of Chance (see online pdf The Dutch Advertising Code). For instance, you are not allowed to create the impression that people can win just by entering the competition.

Permit for organising a shopping week promotion

You need a permit if you want to organise a shopping week promotion in the Netherlands. A shopping week promotion is a lottery in which you and at least 9 other SME retailers issue free tickets to customers. You can obtain a permit for organising a shopping week promotion by contacting the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce (KVK).

Occasional lottery permit

To organise an occasional lottery, you must apply for a permit. You have to spend at least 40% of the proceeds from the lottery on a cause of general interest. If the value of the total prize package is below €4,500, you apply to the municipality where the draw takes place. If the value of the prize package exceeds €4,500 you apply for a permit to the Netherlands Gaming Authority (Kansspelautoriteit, Ksa).

Bingo

Only Dutch associations are allowed to organise a game of bingo. To do so, they do not need a permit, but they do have to meet several conditions. For instance, they must report their plans at least 14 days in advance to the municipality where the bingo will be held. There is a fixed maximum total amount of prizes per event. As organiser of promotional games of chance, you must comply with the conditions of the Code of Conduct for Promotional Games of Chance. If you organise a game of bingo for a private group, you do not have to report this.

Like&Win promotion

Do you want to organise a promotional game of chance to promote your business, product or service, for instance a like&win promotion? You do not need a permit, but you must comply with the conditions of the Code of Conduct for Promotional Games of Chance (pdf, in Dutch).

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO