Browse topics

  • Governing law
    NameLaw or Code?
    The Dutch Games of Chance Act (Wet op de Kansspelen) Law
    Code of Conduct for Promotional Games of Chance. (Gedragscode Promotionele Kansspelen) ('Code of Conduct') Code
    Advertising Code for Games of Chance, offered by Licensees, by virtue of the Games of Chance Act (Reclamecode voor kansspelen die worden aangeboden door vergunninghouders ingevolge de Wet op de Kansspelen) ('Advertising Code for Games of Chance') Code
    Dutch Personal Data Protection Act (Wet bescherming persoonsgegevens) Law
    Telecommunications Act (Telecommunicatiewet) Law

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Extra-territoriality

    The Code of Conduct can be seen as an exception to the Games of Chance Act. As a general rule, games of chance are prohibited in the Netherlands and prize promotions are allowed only when certain criteria have been met.. If the criteria have not been met, the Dutch regulator enforces rules, including against entities operating abroad where such entities target the Dutch market. Relevant factors for assessing whether or not the Dutch market is targeted are: using a .nl website, use of Dutch language and the use of specific Dutch payment systems (eg iDeal).

    In addition, if the prize promotion violates the Advertising Code for Games of Chance, the Advertising Code Committee (ACC) may ask for assistance from other advertising committees abroad to act against the infringer (the ACC is a member of the European Advertising Standards Alliance and considers most EU countries to operate suitable systems).

    Finally, in instances where privacy/direct marketing rules are violated, it is unlikely that the applicable regulators will start legal action against foreign entities based outside of The Netherlands.

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Skills competitions

    Yes, purely skill based competitions are allowed, but ensure the winner is picked on the basis of skill and not chance.

    Examples of what constitutes an element of skill include: drawing a picture, answering a riddle or answering certain types of question.

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Prize draws

    Subject to compliance with other requirements (see Other local requirements section), advertisers are allowed to organize a promotional game of chance where the entrant wins a free gift(s) (eg prize draw, sweepstake).

    In instances where the total value of prizes (or a prize if there is only one prize) to be won is equal to or exceeds € 4,500 but does not exceed € 100,000, a prize draw may be organized once per year per product, service, brands or company, provided that:

    • Participants do not pay to enter

    • That terms and conditions are in accordance with the Code of Conduct, and

    • The marketing and terms and conditions are not misleading, incomplete or give rise to false expectations.

    Also, rules apply regarding the amount of actual draws for each promotion ie the number of occasions per year when winners can be selected.

    In instances where the total value of prizes (or a prize if there is only one prize) to be won is below € 4,500 per year, there is no limit to the amount of prize draws that may be organized (although rules apply regarding the organization and marketing of the prize draw).

    Prize draws where the total value of prizes (or a prize if there is only one prize) exceed € 100,000 are not allowed.

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Selection of winners

    Selection of the winners(s) of prizes or free gifts from participants shall take place in an impartial manner. This can take place in several manners, for example through a notary, bailiff, independent person or through a computer process.

    The results of the drawing have to be communicated within 3 months of the closing date of the promotion.

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Judges

    The conditions for awarding the prizes must be transparent for participants and the award of such prizes must be conducted in an impartial manner.

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Prizes

    For prize draws, the total maximum value of prizes to be won (or a prize if there is only one prize awarded) should not exceed the amount of €100,000 per year.

    There is no maximum amount for skill-based games.

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Registration requirements and fees

    Registration Requirements

    No registration requirements apply.

    Fees/Taxes payable

    No registration fees apply.

    Gaming tax is 29% and can be paid by either the promotor or the prize winner.

    For prizes under €449, no taxes have to be paid by the promoter or the prize winner.

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Other local requirements

    For prize draws:

    • The prize value (whether for one prize or several prizes combined) must not exceed €100,000 in value per year 

    • Maximum of one game of chance in relation to any product, service or organization per year, with a maximum of 20 drawings, ie a maximum of 20 occasions per year when winners can be selected which means that a maximum of 20 winners can be picked for the one game of chance.
      Note: Small games of chance with a maximum value of prize(s) of €4,500 can be organized as often as the promoter wishes.
    • The provider shall impose on minors that parental consent should be obtained, and

    • The provider shall ensure there is a complaints procedure and shall provide the address or phone number where complaints can be lodged

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Timing

    No.

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Translations

    Not required (but recommended in Dutch).

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Penalties for non-compliance

    The Gaming Authority (Kansspelautoriteit, 'KSA') may impose administrative fines of up to €820,000 or 10% of the annual turnover of the year preceding the year in which the violation was committed for offering illegal games of chance.

    In instances where the violation is considered an economic offence (ie if it is established that the violation was wilfully committed), the violation may be punished by imprisonment not exceeding two years.

    In practice, fines between € 100,000 and € 500,000 on gambling providers, their directors and gambling software suppliers have been imposed by the KSA.

    Furthermore, the Advertising Code Committee may issue a 'recommendation' for violations of the Advertising Code for Games of Chance, which means that the violator is recommended to discontinue the promotion in the form in which it is currently being or has been advertised.

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Restrictiveness of regulations

    Prize promotions are generally accepted in the Netherlands, provided that they are in compliance with the Code of Conduct. The steps necessary to avoid not falling into the category of 'promotional game of chance' under the Code of Conduct are (while important) not very restrictive.

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Regularity of sanctions

    Fines and prison sentences are rarely imposed (unless not compliant with the Games of Chance Act or Code of Conduct).

    If promotions are not compliant, for example the total value of prizes to be won exceeds the amount of €100,000, the KSA might step, in but this relatively rare.

    Last modified 10 Feb 2017

  • Key contacts
    Richard van Schaik
    Richard van Schaik
    Partner DLA Piper Nederland N.V. [email protected] T +31 20 541 9828 View bio
    Róbin de Wit
    Róbin de Wit
    Associate DLA Piper Nederland N.V. [email protected] T +31 20 541 9674 View bio
    Kimberley Deutz
    Kimberley Deutz
    Associate DLA Piper Nederland N.V. [email protected] T +31 20 541 9283 View bio

Governing law

What are the applicable governing laws or codes for prize promotions?

Netherlands

Netherlands

NameLaw or Code?
The Dutch Games of Chance Act (Wet op de Kansspelen) Law
Code of Conduct for Promotional Games of Chance. (Gedragscode Promotionele Kansspelen) ('Code of Conduct') Code
Advertising Code for Games of Chance, offered by Licensees, by virtue of the Games of Chance Act (Reclamecode voor kansspelen die worden aangeboden door vergunninghouders ingevolge de Wet op de Kansspelen) ('Advertising Code for Games of Chance') Code
Dutch Personal Data Protection Act (Wet bescherming persoonsgegevens) Law
Telecommunications Act (Telecommunicatiewet) Law