There’s no shortage of things to do in Amsterdam, and one of the choices that isn’t an obvious one is to visit a fancy casino for a bit of gambling. The good news here is that Amsterdam does have one excellent casino and it’s conveniently located for most visitors, even though it might be difficult to actually find the first time you look for it. But there are also dozens of small “casinos” that are probably better off avoided, depending on what you are really after.
Slot machine rooms vs. real casinos
If your main goal is to “gamble” for a bit, and your standards for everything else are strangely low, then Amsterdam has got you covered too. You could call them “casinos” and some of them use that word in their names, but really these other places are just dark (and often depressing) rooms filled with slot machines/fruit machines plus other mechanized games that are basically the same thing in a different wrapper.
These slot machine casinos are all over the city center, with the greatest concentration being in the main Amsterdam Red Light District, but you’ll also find them near the glamorous Rembrandtplein and even along the pedestrian only shopping streets behind Damrak. These places can be good fun if you are on an Amsterdam stag or hen party or if you’ve eaten a space cake and you want to admire the pretty colors and delightful sounds.
The downside of slot machine casinos
Not only are these ubiquitous places usually on the run down side, but the games tend to be rubbish as well. They are always free to enter, which isn’t true of the real casino discussed below, but along with that you get low limits and terrible odds so there’s virtually no chance of winning much of anything, much less a big score that will help you pay for your trip. The places can also look quite shady and it is likely that some of them in the Red Light District will be closing down due to their possible ties to organized crime and whatnot.
You’ll typically find these places filled with bored immigrants who are looking to turn their small amount of money into a larger one, plus local compulsive gamblers who live paycheck to paycheck, thanks largely to this hobby of theirs. Still, these places can be fun in the right situation, so no judgment here.
Holland Casino – The real deal
There’s exactly one casino in Amsterdam that really matters, and it’s part of a national chain called Holland Casino, which has locations in most big cities plus resort areas. The location in Amsterdam is quite large, and it’ll remind you of a fancy casino in Las Vegas or Atlantic City if you know what those are like.
Finding Holland Casino
If you take one of the highly recommended Canal Tours, then you’ll be sailing right by the front of the casino about 40 minutes into your 1-hour journey, but if you are just walking around you could walk for hours and hours and never find the place. There is a map below, which should help a lot, but the trick is to find Max Euweplein (Max Euwe Square) and walk through toward the canal and head to your right. Or just ask anyone when you are near Leidseplein and you’ll find it one way or another.
Visiting Holland Casino
When you find the entrance along the canal side, you’ll enter in to the main reception area where you’ll be asked to check any coats or large bags if you have them with you. You’ll be asked for ID, no matter your age, and you’ll have to pay for admission. It’s €5 per person, though there is a voucher included if you get the iAmsterdam Card.
Once inside you’ll be in the typical maze of a casino. They don’t allow photography inside, so I’m not able to share any photos, but things look like a fancy casino most anywhere else in the world. Downstairs you’ll (eventually) find the poker room, where there are always games in progress and frequently they hold tournaments, including some major European tournaments once per year.
There are bars and restaurants and a couple of different nightclubs inside, but most of the place is dominated by their 750 slot machines, plus quite a few live table games like blackjack and roulette.
Minimum age: 18, and you must show a valid ID
Address: Max Euweplein 62, 1017 MB Amsterdam
Hours: Noon to 3am, every day
Closed December 31
Admission: €5, but it’s free once if you get an iAmsterdam Card
Official Holland Casino website (mostly in Dutch and hard to navigate)
- 750 slot machines
- American Roulette
- Caribbean Stud
- Sic Bo
- Punto Banco
- Big Six Wheel
- Live poker: Texas Hold ‘Em, Omaha, Seven Card Stud (including regular tournaments)
Clubs and restaurants inside Holland Casino Amsterdam
This is a big facility, spread out over 3 confusing levels, and mixed in among all the gambling opportunities you’ll find several restaurants and clubs. Fridays and Saturday nights the place brings in an upscale party crowd to a place called The Club (formerly the Lido Club) starting at 8pm and going until 2am those nights.
Map of Holland Casino