The Curacao government revealed in 2021 that it was considering a comprehensive revamp of its online gambling licencing structure, putting many companies in the dark. As we approach 2023, the plans are somewhat delayed, with no indication of when the new system will be operational.
In 2020, the Dutch government informed Curacao that in exchange for COVID-19 assistance, it must implement a set of reforms and improvements. This includes modifications to the regulations governing internet gambling, which are now managed by four commercial firms, each of which holds a master licence given by the state.
Curacao's present gaming environment is regarded as one of the most open in the world, with low fees, few rules, and little oversight or monitoring. The Curaçao government has proposed the following changes:
The Curacao Gaming Authority was established to regulate all licences and gaming operations.
The granting of B2C and B2B licences to operators;
The application charge is EUR 4000, the annual fee is EUR 12,000, and the monthly fee is EUR 250 for each URL.
At least three individuals were employed for crucial roles on the island.
Controls against money laundering and enhanced monitoring.
For a period of 12 months, existing licence holders would be able to convert their existing sub-license into a transition licence. During that time, they would be allowed to either align with the new requirements or discover alternative licencing solutions. The government of Curacao has already begun the process of registering all existing sub-licensed operators.
However, as of January, there is no formal schedule for when the new restrictions will go into effect.
The administration stated towards the end of 2022 that the new gaming bill will be ready for presentation to parliament in February 2024. However, the schedule may be pushed back due to consultations and feedback from important stakeholders. The deadline was then moved in the first quarter of 2023, according to the Q1 government statement, but no more details were offered.
The administration simply stated that the appropriate ministries are "waiting for an amended schedule from the Curacao Ministry of Finance." It goes on to say that a new timeline with steps leading up to the law's implementation is being worked out and will be shared with the Netherlands.
"In accordance with an agreement between the minister of finance of Curaçao and the minister of the legal protection of the Netherlands, official consultations will take place in January about the progress of the [gaming bill]," it said.
So, what's next?
If you already have a Curacao online gambling licence, you should contact your corporate service provider or Fast Offshore right once to find out what steps you need to follow and when. If you are currently considering Curacao for your licencing requirements, you may continue with the procedure. Fast Offshore has been operating in Curacao for decades and can assist and guide you through the procedure, especially during this time of transition. We provide a comprehensive range of iGaming services, from general guidance to licencing applications, company creation, payments, compliance, and continuous maintenance.
By fLEXI tEAM