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Dutch and American sports betting

sports betting
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Sports betting is on the rise in America. After the Supreme Court of the United States ruling in May of 2018, states have rapidly caught up and introduced legal forms of sports betting. Historically, sports betting has been a profitable yet illegal form of gambling in most of the United States, but in the last few years, a majority of states have legalized it in hopes of reaping the tax rewards. After a promising start nation-wide, July 2021 showed a significant dip in bets placed. Virginia, one of the most recent states to offer sports betting, even reported a 30% drop in revenue.

This trend doesn’t just defy expectations – NBA finals, an ongoing baseball season, and the Olympics did nothing to curb the decline – it also went against worldwide trends, such as the Dutch sports betting market. Where the Dutch and American markets show many similarities, the dip in bets is only visible in the New World.

Similarities between the Dutch and American sports betting market

At first sight, the Dutch and American sports betting markets are very different. The Dutch market is dominated by the soccer season, has had one legal avenue since the 1950s, and has no tradition of fantasy leagues. The American history of sports betting is dominated in large part by Fantasy Football and baseball statistics.

However, the two countries have plenty of similarities that are worth looking into. Although there’s little to tell about the legal history in sports betting in both countries, Americans and Dutch punters alike have been finding other avenues to scratch their sports betting itches. In The Netherlands and the United States, this meant resorting to illegal off-shore venues.

Dutch sports betting market primed to erupt

With the pending change in the Dutch sports betting market, this illegal offshore offering is expected to be exchanged for legitimate options. The exact numbers won’t be clear until the 1st october 2021, when the Dutch betting market will open. But a recent enough case study has bookies salivating over the possibilities.

Many online casinos and gambling websites like, are preparing for the opening of the highly competitive Dutch gambling market.

Since 1964, the Dutch have had a state monopoly on lotteries and sports betting. Toto, the bookmaker for The Netherlands, wanted to capitalize on this monopoly in the period leading up to the open market. A marketing agency threw a campaign together to build loyalty and attract new players. And the results were impressive.

After running the campaign, online revenue almost doubled over the span of a year, going from € 64.4 million to € 127.4 million. The player base grew 45%, and these players spent about three times as much on the FIFA World Cup as they had done on the Euro 2016 tournament.

Even in a rapidly growing gambling market, those numbers are impressive. What makes them even more impressive is that Toto didn’t change anything about their services and was up against competitors who did offer live betting, deposit promotions, and different features that Toto wasn’t allowed to offer.

Imagine that market with a flood of competitors who can unleash their full potential on players already warmed up to the prospect. Nobody has to convince Dutch players to start betting – they’ve convincingly done so since 1964 and have been exploiting the legal loopholes for the last decades.

American bookies hope to bounce

Those results are something American bookmakers can only dream of. After July’s disappointing figures, the tail end of the Olympics, the unraveling of the baseball season, and especially the start of the football season are supposed to turn the fortunes of bookies around. For their own fortunes, players on both sides of the ocean have plenty of choices.

Story by Michael Wilson