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Curaçao Gambling Regulation Bill Presented to Parliament

In a significant development, Curaçao has introduced a comprehensive bill aimed at regulating the operations of the gambling industry within its jurisdiction. The proposed legislation, known as the National Ordinance for Games of Chance (LOK), is currently under consideration by the country's parliament for approval.

Curaçao Gambling Regulation Bill Presented to Parliament

The Ministry of Finance has taken proactive steps to facilitate a smooth transition to the new regulatory framework. Under the existing law (NOOGH), license holders have been notified of key milestones, emphasizing the need for a seamless adaptation to the impending changes.

One of the primary objectives of the new legislation is to bring about fundamental alterations to the current regulatory landscape. This includes modifications to license types and associated fees for operators, signifying a paradigm shift in how gambling activities are overseen in the region.

The ministry has outlined specific milestones for compliance with the new regulatory framework. Notably, the registration of sub-licenses on the Curaçao Gaming Control Board (GCB) portal, along with subsequent applications for direct licenses under the current legislation, will be prohibited after March 31, 2024. The GCB portal, operational since September 1, officially initiated the application process on November 1, encompassing account registrations for both applicants and sub-license holders.

After the stipulated deadline, any sub-licensee not registered on the GCB portal, along with their listed domains, will lose the authorization to operate. A pivotal aspect of the transition involves the provision of provisional licenses, or "grandfathering," exclusively to direct license holders under the NOOGH as of March 31. Applications already in progress will continue without disruption.

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For operators intending to persist in Curaçao but have not secured a direct license before March 31, they may only continue operations under their sub-license until the master license expires or the LOK comes into effect—whichever occurs earlier. Subsequently, these sub-licensees must apply for a new license under the LOK.

In parallel, the GCB has initiated the renewal of all gambling licenses in Curaçao. The renewal process will commence in January 2024, allowing license holders to display a Digital Seal on their websites. Issued by the GCB, this Digital Seal aims to signify compliance with the regulatory framework. Furthermore, registered applicants awaiting approval may also be granted permission to display the Digital Seal on their sites.

Reflecting on the journey that led to this regulatory overhaul, Curaçao's commitment to reshaping its gambling landscape was first announced in July 2022. Subsequently, in January of the following year, the Dutch government acknowledged Curaçao's dedication to implementing a "new schedule" for comprehensive reform in the gambling sector.

As these pivotal regulatory changes unfold, Curaçao is poised to redefine its gambling landscape, setting the stage for a more transparent and accountable gaming industry within its borders.


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