The Netherlands is one of the biggest gambling markets in Europe; there are 14 legal land casinos in different cities of the Netherlands. A state-owned company, Holland Casinos, owns all the land casinos, and the government has direct control over them. With the legalization of the Dutch Remote Gambling Act of 2021, the government will also legalize online gambling in the Netherlands. Rotterdam, Nijmegen, and Amsterdams casinos online and land were on their way to becoming the world’s most excellent casinos with the new law. But Covid-19 had different plans; read more to learn about the pandemic changes brought to Dutch Casinos.
Dutch land casinos and pandemic
From the very beginning of 2020, the Netherlands was preparing itself against the fatal virus. The first intelligent lockdown came to effect at the beginning of March; from then, every business institution, including land casinos, had to close. Apart from the 14 casinos, small local casinos only had slot games; they also faced closure. This closure affected the income of revenue, and on the 14th of April 2020, Holland Casinos informed the state that they couldn’t share profit. And finally, in July, after extended negotiations with the state, the government permitted the re-opening of Casinos. But the government imposed a night curfew on gambling venues in September and a second lockdown came in November. The third closing down of Casinos was in December 2020 due to the alarming rate of covid cases increase that month. It lasted till February 2021 and made a significant impact on the casinos as well as the gamblers. The pandemic has caused a loss of 58% of revenue to Holland Casinos and the state eventually.
Gambling is considered a source of income by many gamblers, and the consecutive lockdowns became an obstruction to that. Gambling was also a mind-relaxing game for many people; Dutch players used it to socialize with people and have fun. But the pandemic disrupted that; several gamblers suffered from mental disorders such as anxiety, stress, and depression.
The emergence of Online Casinos during Pandemic
The pandemic is a time when online gambling witnessed the highest growth in the world. But this was not the case for Dutch Online casinos; Dutch Remote Gambling Act was still under formation when the pandemic hit the Netherlands. The previous gambling law of the Netherlands didn’t mention anything about online gambling, and hence it was illegal to have online casinos in the Netherlands. With the growth in technologies and increased demand for gambling Netherlands government planned to license online casinos. The act aimed to legalize and decentralize online gambling and allow new companies to start casinos. But this doesn’t mean that people didn’t play gambling games online; the Netherlands ‘ government was liberal towards online gambling. Dutch citizens have permission to gamble in any online casino in the Netherlands, but anything outside the country was considered illegal.
Thus online casinos became a source of relaxation during the widespread lockdown, and more people shifted to online gambling during this period. Studies prove that a significant number of gamblers now prefer online gambling more than land casinos after the lockdown. It is due to the comfort and eases online casinos provide to their customers and the safety from Covid-19.
Covid-19 might be with us for a few more years, and the government understood that staying inside is not the right solution. There should be alternatives to tackle social issues created by this virus; we should support digital platforms for a healthy future. So if you are a land casino fan, switch to online gambling today to keep yourself and your family safe.