Netherlands: Government supports casinos with 41 million euros

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Netherlands: Government supports casinos with 41 million euros

The Dutch casinos receive a financial injection of 41.7 million euros. The Dutch government has announced this. Just like in Germany and most other countries in the world, the casinos in the Netherlands had to close completely at times. Unlike the online casinos, the land-based casinos had to cope with considerable losses during the crisis.

Netherlands supports troubled casinos

The need for gambling in the Netherlands is similar to that in Germany. But at the height of the current health crisis, the casinos had to close completely. From March 16 to July 1, it was not possible to visit a casino in the Netherlands. It is obvious that significant financial problems have arisen during this period. The Dutch casinos have employees who have to be paid and various other running costs. However, the Netherlands reacted early and provided help through the national employment agency. The Dutch government has announced that the casinos in the Netherlands received a total of 41.7 million euros from the state during the crisis. This special help was not a special help for casinos. Rather, all companies that are based in the Netherlands can apply for financial aid under certain conditions. The main concern of the state is to prevent layoffs. The distribution of the 41.7 million euros was therefore dependent on the number of employees. It should therefore come as no surprise that the state-owned Holland Casino was able to fetch a total of 31.9 million euros. But many private casino operators were also able to look forward to a financial injection, which in the best case scenario was enough to bridge the time until the reopening.

In the Netherlands the casinos are open again, but just like in Germany there is a significant decrease in turnover compared to the previous year. The reason is simple: the new hygiene regulations would not even ideally make it possible to fill the casinos completely. In addition, many casual gamers stay at home. The die-hard casino fans are currently playing regularly again, but the normally well-filled casinos in the Netherlands are currently well positioned if it is possible to cover the costs. This also applies to the state provider Holland Casino. This year, in the Netherlands, too, it will only be about getting through somehow. In the best case scenario, the crisis will dissolve completely in the course of the next year and then it will be possible again in the Dutch casinos to go back to the old normal. Until then, the casinos in the Netherlands will have to generate significantly lower sales than originally calculated. The Dutch social system is just as good as in Germany and therefore there have been hardly any layoffs so far. But if it turns out that the crisis will last significantly longer than currently forecast, the Dutch casinos may well have to lay off staff. When fewer customers come and less sales are made, it is simply unavoidable to reduce the number of employees in the long term. Some small casinos in particular may be forced to close completely if sales in the next few months are insufficient to cover costs.

More financial aid for casinos is coming

The Dutch state has already granted further financial aid to troubled companies. Since July 1st it is possible to submit applications. Exact figures about the sums called are not yet available. It is likely that the grants will be somewhat lower than in the main phase of the crisis. But there are still many casinos that rely on government support. There are also online casinos in the Netherlands, but not with a Dutch license. As in Germany, there are numerous providers with EU licenses. The Netherlands has been planning complete regulation of online gambling for some time. Therefore it will soon be possible to operate online casinos in the Netherlands. In view of the current experience, one or the other classic casino operator in the Netherlands could feel compelled to offer online gambling too. The current health crisis has shown that online casinos are much more crisis-proof. This is mainly due to the fact that online casinos hardly need more than an internet connection. In general, it has been shown that all providers who are active in the digital world have a considerable advantage. However, the Netherlands is currently not benefiting from the attractive online gaming market, as the providers do not pay any taxes in the Netherlands. But that could also change soon.

In terms of the overall economy, the casino market in the Netherlands is quite small. There are many other industries that have also been hit similarly hard, but have a much larger volume. Airlines and tourism companies are currently struggling to survive. The number of employees is much higher than in the gambling industry. That is why the financial aid in these sectors has been significantly higher. But that doesn’t mean that it would be a good idea to forego the casino grants. In the Netherlands, too, many people work in the gambling industry. Not only the casino operators and their employees are affected by the current crisis. The companies that provide services and products for arcades and casinos would also be significantly affected if many casinos were to close. In the Netherlands the situation is quite comfortable in that a large part of the market is covered by the state-owned Holland Casino. This company has a significant market share, so the overall market would not be affected by one or the other small bust. But in the current situation, the Dutch government is trying to keep the number of layoffs and bankruptcies at the lowest possible level. If the crisis lasts longer, one or the other bankruptcy in the casino industry will probably also occur in the Netherlands at some point. But unlike many other industries, the gambling industry can likely recover very quickly if the situation normalizes.

The gaming industry is future-proof

It is not only in the Netherlands that the demand for gambling is growing rather than falling. For example, there are currently numerous lottery providers in Europe who are looking forward to record sales in the first half of the year. Numerous online casinos also achieved positive results in the first half of the year. This makes it clear that even in the greatest crisis there are many people who enjoy gambling. The special situation in recent months has made it impossible or difficult to use classic gambling halls and casinos. But if that changes again, sales will probably be back at the old level very quickly. If the overall economic situation turns bad, it may well take a little longer to get back to the old numbers. But that is then due to the lack of financial possibilities of the potential casino customers. However, the trend towards online gaming also increased in the first half of the year. Many gambling fans have probably visited online casinos for the first time in their lives in the Netherlands.

The online casinos have experienced a big boost and it will be exciting to see whether sales in online gambling will remain at the current level or even increase after the normalization of the overall situation. In the long term, most gambling experts see online casinos ahead, even if the market is currently still dominated by classic concrete casinos. But the digital natives are getting older and that is why there will be more and more gambling fans in the future who will naturally experience slot machines and table games on a smartphone. It remains to be seen whether this trend will be accelerated by the new gaming regulation in Germany. But the fact is that the federal states in Germany are planning to license online casinos from mid-2021. The final steps on the way to the new gaming regulation remain exciting, because at least 13 federal states have to ratify the compromise negotiated on the State Treaty on gaming. The Netherlands are a little further ahead and will definitely experience online casinos with a Dutch license. It will be exciting to see how online gambling will develop in comparison to the classic concrete casinos due to the new gambling regulation in both countries.

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