The Netherlands has a long history of gambling that goes all the way back to the Renaissance. The very first state-issued licenses for gambling as well as betting activities dates from the 14th century and since then, all gambling activities have been strictly controlled by the Dutch government.
Even though the Netherlands has a long history of gambling that goes back for centuries, the country's gambling industry as we know it today is fairly young. In 1964, the Betting and Gambling Act was introduced, which saw all gambling activities, from card games to sports betting, legalized and regulated.
Compared to today's standards, the Betting and Gambling Act of 1964 is highly restrictive, because it takes a "prohibited unless licensed" approach. For decades this Act remained unchanged until the late 90s and early 2000s when the secondary legislation was introduced.
In 2012, the Dutch Gaming Authority was established to act as an independent regulator and supervisor of all games of chance in the Netherlands. This authority operates under the Ministry of Justice and Security and has three main objectives, which are, to protect gamblers, to battle gambling addiction, and to prevent illegal gambling activities.
It is very interesting to note that none of the country’s land-based casinos were operated by private owners, as the whole gambling sector was monopolized and controlled by the Dutch government.
All of the Netherlands gambling forms were under a company called Holland Casino, and no other foreign or even local casino brand could obtain a gambling license to operate in the Netherlands.