Although there have been casinos in Europe for over two centuries, most of them were historically situated in resorts and spa towns in countries like France and Germany, as well as Monte Carlo. Netherlands casinos are, by this timescale, a more recent innovation; although discussion about setting up casinos began in earnest after the Second World War, the first casino was not set up until the mid-1970’s. Nowadays, though, there are thirteen Netherlands casinos, with plans for a further six, and they are increasingly becoming attractive destinations for foreign visitors to the country.
The first Netherlands casino was built at Zandvoort, on the Dutch coast, in 1976, and was followed by similar venues at Valkenburg and then the coastal resort of Scheveningen. This casino was the largest such facility on the West coast of Europe in its time, although it has since moved to a new building nearby. Aside from these trailblazers, casinos were built throughout Holland during the 1980’s at Breda, Nijmegen, and Groningen, and established in the Netherlands’ two main cities, Amsterdam and Rotterdam, in 1991 and 1993, respectively.
This trend has continued in recent years, bringing casino facilities to all corners of this small and picturesque country. Although it is now commonplace, it was not until 1995, that Schiphol Airport became the first in the world to house a casino, and the completion of a new venue in Venlo brings to 13 the number of Netherlands casinos, with more expected to follow in the next few years. The largest of these is Holland Casino Utrecht, which has 83 tables and over 1,000 slot machines and video games of various kinds.
All Netherlands casinos are owned and operated by Holland Casino, which holds sole rights to run legal casinos in the country. Although Holland Casino runs extremely professional gambling facilities, there is speculation that this monopoly will soon be relaxed, in order to open up the Dutch casino market to competition, with all the benefits to customers that it brings. Additionally, online casinos are now increasingly popular among Dutch citizens, and it is anticipated that this sector will continue to grow in coming years.
All told, Netherlands casinos welcome some 5 million visitors per year through their doors and are fast becoming an essential part of the tourist experience for all travelers to Holland, offering professional service and pleasant ambience in comfortable surroundings, whether you are in Holland for a long stay or just passing the time in Amsterdam’s busy Schiphol Airport.