Canada and Netherlands: where is sports betting more popular and why?


Canada boasts over 19.3 million active online sports bettors, while the number of sports bettors in the Netherlands is about 1.5 million.

Canada recorded over 15 billion US dollars as annual revenues from online sports betting, while the Netherlands could only generate about 2 billion US dollars annually. 

The huge revenue accrued to Canada from online sports betting makes online gambling the highest earner in the country's entertainment industry. A significant portion of the revenue generated by the Netherlands from online sports betting goes to government funding and charity.

The information above shows that sports betting is more prevalent in Canada than in the Netherlands, but what are those factors responsible for this? Check below for helpful answers to the question.

Year of establishment

Online sports betting started in Canada much earlier than in the Netherlands. The first legal online casino in Canada from the British Columbia Lottery Corporation came to life in 2004, while the first casino in the Netherlands is more recent.

The Netherlands never thought it right to legalize online casino websites until during the COVID-19 pandemic (between 2019 and 2021) because land-based sports betting recorded an unprecedented financial drought during this period. The reverse is the case in Canada, which had legalized online gambling several years earlier, long before the pandemic surfaced.

Following the online casino legalization by the Dutch government, many online gambling sites applied for licenses, hoping to launch in the autumn of 2021.

Country population

Canada is more populated than the Netherlands, yet another factor responsible for the unprecedented growth of online sports betting in the country. Canada records a population of 37.7 million, while the Netherlands has just 17.3 million people. 

About 60% of Canadian residents have active accounts on online casinos, while 80% are men. This is responsible for the huge revenue recorded by the country yearly from gambling.

The Netherlands, on the other hand, only has 1.8 million people involved in sports betting, according to a study in 2018. Therefore, the smaller revenue generated by the Dutch gambling industry is understandable.

With the recent decision of the government to legalize online gambling in the country, industry watchers should expect the number of online gamblers in the Netherlands to increase.

Available gambling sites

Over 100 gambling sites are operating in Canada today, while the number is far less in the Netherlands. So, it is expected that sports betting sites in Canada will be more popular than in the Netherlands. 

As mentioned earlier, Canada legalized online casino sites much earlier than the Netherlands. Consequently, it can boast of more online casino sites, which contribute tremendously to the country's growth of online sports betting. 

Since the number of sports betting sites in Canada is high, it is easier for Canadian residents to access online casinos for entertainment. More gambling sites are expected in both countries in the future. The recent decision of the Dutch government to license online casino sites in the Netherlands will result in many more sports betting sites registering in the country. Still, the number can rarely reach the same level as it is in Canada.

Netherland’s population is far below that of Canada, meaning that the number of gambling sites in the country can rarely be up to what Canada can record.

Casino regulation

Casino regulation in Canada is by each province basing the regulation on its legislative authority. Consequently, your winning is secure on the sites. In the case of the Netherlands, online casino regulation is by the national government itself. 

The kind of regulation available in the country offers better security and tends to be too strict, thereby negatively impacting the entertainment available on sports betting sites. The restriction limits the ability of sports betting sites in the Netherlands to offer specific bonuses and promotions, which could have encouraged more gamblers in the country to take an interest in online casino entertainment.


The Netherlands and Canada are well represented in the online sports betting world. However, Canada stands a head taller than the Netherlands in many areas, as described above. While Canada may be high up, the recent decision of the Dutch government to regulate and license online gambling sites in the country forecasts a brighter future for the Dutch online casino industry.