Holland Casino could be in trouble after closing for more than four months because of coronavirus. The only physical casino in the Netherlands has reported a loss of more than 28 million euros in the past six months.
While the casinos have managed to reopen again, the amount of people inside is heavily limited. One a casino reaches 30% of its usual capacity, no one else is allowed to enter.
“Our figures for the second half of the year will not be good due to all the necessary restrictive measures,” warns director Erwin van Lambaart. “We are therefore currently looking at how we as a company remain financially healthy and future-proof in this difficult period.”
The casino of the Dutch government
Holland Casino’s major shareholder is none other than the Dutch government itself. In 2019, the government waived a profit distribution of up to 68 million euros. It’s unlikely that there will be any profit in 2020.
In the wake of the coronavirus crisis, the state-owned casino also received funds from the NOW scheme, designed to continue paying employees wages during the economic fallout. Holland Casino employs almost 4000 employees and received almost 32 million euros in aid from the NOW scheme.
Why is there only one physical casino brand in the Netherlands?
While most countries have multiple casino companies, Holland Casino holds the only casino licence in the Netherlands — and 14 casinos across the nation. The Dutch government issued the one licence in December 1975 to De Nationale Stichting tot Exploitatie van Casinospelen (the National Foundation for Exploitation of Casino Games), otherwise known as Holland Casino.
The government made the decision to only issue the one licence in an attempt to guarantee that gaming was legal, reliable and verifiable. The profits of Holland Casino go directly to the Dutch treasury.
The Dutch government is slowly also opening up the online gambling market. A 2015 government plan created options for lotteries, poker, sports betting, bingo, and other gaming to be able to be played online as of 2020.
Where can I go if I need gambling help in the Netherlands?
Gambling can start out as easy fun but quickly turn into something that can take over your life. It’s important to know where to stop — and where to get help if you can’t stop yourself. Each casino must appoint an addiction prevention representative who will interfere if there are suspicions a user has a gambling problem. If you think you have a gambling problem and are seeking help in the Netherlands, here are some potential services:
- Jellinek — online, self-help for those who are gambling in a risky way
- Gokken Onder Controle — free, anonymous, online treatment for gambling addiction.
- Gokken de Baas — treatment covered by basic Dutch health insurance (with a referral letter from a GP)
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Feature Image: Longxiang Qian/Pexels