This post is part of a series about European Poker Regulation
Poker regulation is underway in the Netherlands, with many positive signs pointing towards a near future of legal, unrestricted poker in the best European poker rooms. Unfortunately, today, poker in the Netherlands is in a bit of a funny state. Land based poker is thriving, as are all types of land based gambling in the country. But online poker, which is legal and taxed, is not offered by the state monopoly for online gambling “Holland Casino”. Private local companies that have tried to open shop and so speed up the regulator to grant licenses were smacked with heavy fines and discontinued their service. Those who still play poker online today in the Netherlands do so at their own risk, while the government is actively trying to limit their ability to access poker sites or make financial transactions. In an odd recent court case.
Legal Online Poker in the Netherlands
The main hurdle for positive future regulation in the Netherlands seems to be the high tax imposed currently by the state. Today poker professionals must pay 29% tax on all winnings in addition to fees paid by the operator. Since there are no local rooms there is no one paying these fees, and in a recent court case a poker pro was acquitted from paying fees to the tax authorities for his play in global poker sites, but if this 29% figure does not change with the new regulation that comes into play the high tax would create a real challenge for .com poker brands trying to integrate poker players from Netherlands into their games.
Often these brands try to absorb the losses of taxed none ring fenced markets (meaning countries that allow players to play abroad but tax their winnings in some way), without causing further harm for the player, but the mix of charges on the operator and on the player can stop the Netherlands poker economy from ever starting.
We believe the regulators in these liberal country will come to their senses soon and create a manageable situation for all parties. But in the meantime
Netherlands landbased poker
Land based poker in the Netherlands is booming. As a liberal country with plenty of attractions, we highly recommend going to Netherlands for land based pros looking for a longer term stay where its possible to consistently play in easy games and have lots of fun.