Nowadays, Curaçao is one of the most popular licensing jurisdictions among gambling operators. This is due to the relatively low cost of a Сuraçao gambling license, a simple application procedure, and pretty liberal industry legislation in the island state. Nonetheless, some changes are coming in the near future. Let’s consider what to expect from the new rules for licensees and whether obtaining a local permit will remain profitable and efficient.
Curaçao’s Gambling Industry Faces Major Changes: What it Means for Licensees and New Operators
The first mention of possible changes in the gambling legislation in Curaçao appeared in 2020. Then the Netherlands, in exchange for help in the fight against COVID-19, asked the authorities of Curaçao to carry out some reforms. Among the requested changes were gaming industry laws, and in particular the licensing of new operators.
In early February, the exact dates for the entry into force of the new rules became known. They were voiced at the ICE conference in London by the Minister of Finance of Curacao, Javier Silvania. According to her statement, “seismic reforms” await the jurisdiction, and the long-awaited new gambling and licensing law “will be adopted before the end of the second quarter.” We are talking about May-June of this year.
Currently, issuing sub-licenses for gaming operators in Curaçao is a responsibility of 4 holders of master permits. They are private entities and each has its own rules and requirements for the applicants. The problem with such a system is the lack of general licensing conditions, as well as any control over the activities of licensees. Liberal rules, coupled with a low cost of a license, often cause different violations of the law and, as a result, worsen the reputation of the jurisdiction.
Significant Changes Announced in Curaçao Gambling Licensing Laws
In connection with the described situation as well as pressure from the Netherlands, in the year 2021, Curaçao government announced significant changes in the licensing of gambling operators. Among them are:
- The establishment of a Curaçao Gambling Body, which will regulate the operation of all gaming enterprises and issue both B2C and B2B licenses for operators/software providers
- Strengthening control over compliance with AML principles by gambling platforms
- Increasing permit costs. Exact numbers have not yet been announced, but it is expected that the cost of licensing will be slightly lower than in Malta
- Introduction of a mandatory condition for hiring at least three key employees and placing them on the island
As for the holders of current licenses, after the implementation of the new rules, they will be given the opportunity to replace the sublicense with a transitional one for a period of one year. During this time, operators will have to bring their business in line with the new requirements, or move to another jurisdiction and change their permit. Today the Curaçao government is registering all current licensees.
Will Curaçao licenses remain convenient, profitable and efficient after the changes are applied? Our answer is unquestionable yes. It is beneficial for the government of the island state to remain a popular center for issuing permits, and therefore the new rules are primarily introduced to strengthen the authority of the local gambling license. Curaçao expects a long process of transition and adaptation to the new rules of the game, but the result should be worth it.
If you are a current holder of a Curaçao permit and need advice, or you are a new operator, intending to obtain an island license, don’t hesitate to contact LicensingAid experts. Our specialists have the most up-to-date information on licensing issues in all the best jurisdictions and are ready to help with obtaining or renewing a permit from any country.