Gambling license is the primary document for each gaming company. License is a key to running a legitimate business, attracting audiences from different locations, building partnerships with other gaming companies, and growing revenues. In some jurisdictions it’s enough to obtain just one full permit, which allows operators to offer all online gaming services. In others, several licenses are required for different types of games and also permits for key persons in the corporate structure.
While there are several renowned jurisdictions that offer gambling licenses, there’s no simple answer which one is the best to apply at. You always need to make a choice depending on your particular case. Nonetheless, many gambling operators turn their attention to the Curaçao gambling license, and there are a lot of reasons why they do it. Let’s consider the requirements and advantages of obtaining a permit on this island state in detail.
How and why to get a license of Curaçao
Curaçao is a self-governing island state which is also part of the Netherlands. Curaçao has positive business conditions and a low taxation rate, which encourages the development of numerous spheres and attracts investors. The virtual gaming sphere is no exception.
It is difficult to overestimate how important it is for gaming businesses with corporate structure to get a gambling permit. There are numerous reasons why running a platform with a permit is the best decision and here are the most crucial ones:
- Operating an unlicensed gaming company is ILLEGAL and can lead to fines
- A license gives gaming operators an opportunity to use popular payment systems and to buy official IT products, including software and games (usually developers don’t want to collaborate with illegal internet casinos)
- Licensed platforms that follow the rules of responsible gaming are much more trusted by the audience
The Curaçao gambling license is valuable and respectable. The licensing procedure in this country is transparent and simple, and the license fees are not high, which makes the jurisdiction very popular among gaming operators. In addition, the local license covers many countries, which means that the geography of potential players is very wide. Nonetheless, applicants still have to face the bureaucratic process of preparing mandatory documentation and confirming their business corresponds to the local laws. However, overall, it’s widely considered to be worth the effort.
Types of Curaçao online gambling license
Curaçao offers the following types of permits:
This permit is issued by Curaçao’s Minister of Justice and is valid for five years. There are only 4 master licenses in Curaçao, since this document is not for ordinary gaming business owners. All operators who want to launch an online gaming platform can only apply for a sub-license which is issued by master license holders.
This permit is issued not by the gaming regulators, but by the master licensees. The number of issued documents is unlimited. The duration of this type of gambling license is the same as the duration of the main license.
Both sub- and master licenses allow license holders to provide all kinds ofll gaming services. Thus, license holders don’t need to waste their time and funds to get several permits for different online games.
Let’s take a closer look at the Curaçao egaming licensing and the license application algorithm.
Who issues Curaçao online gambling licenses?
Curaçao permits became available to operators in 1996. Currently, the island is the largest offshore area where an impressive number of licenses are issued annually. But who issues the permits?
The Ministry of Justice of Curaçao acts as a gaming regulator and only the Minister of Justice is authorized to issue master licenses. Owners of master licenses, for their part, issue sub-licenses to gaming companies.
In 2019 the Curaçao Gaming Control Board was established. Its employees act as AML CFT supervisors, but do not impact licensing processes.
Keep reading to learn about all the pros and cons, expenses, and peculiarities of acquiring a Curaçao gambling license.
Requirements of getting a permit for gaming companies
To obtain a Curaçao gaming license, operators must meet certain requirements. Compliance with these rules is mandatory and will be checked by the owner of the major permit that licenses you.
It should be mentioned that the set of requirements will be slightly different in each case. The list below contains the basic and common conditions.
- Registering a Curaçao company
- Providing information about the corporate structure of the enterprise
- Employing of at least one local representative
- Providing information about the games and their rules to the commission
- The rules of responsible gaming and information about the online gaming addiction must be available for everyone on the website
- At least one server should be located on the territory of licensing jurisdiction
- Ensuring compliance with the AML and KYC policy (the platform must be ready for strict checks by AML CFT supervisors)
- Identification and registration of each natural person whose knowledge and experience is necessary for the proper operation of the site. This is about the ultimate beneficial owner and other Key individuals
- Technical audit of each used system (including software) is needed
- Gaming operators must have an RNG Certificate
- Applicants can’t be the minors or the citizens of the US or the Netherlands Antilles
- Payment of license fees prior to submitting an application
What documents do you need to collect before applying for a Curaçao license?
- Proof of clear criminal record (for the ultimate beneficial owner, all key individuals, stakeholders)
- Confirmation of the Curaçao company registration
- Confirmation of payment of utility bills for the last three months
- Letter of recommendation from the bank
- Confirmation of residential address
- Information about corporate structure and key employees
- Confirmation of payment of license fees
Unlike the main licenses issued by the Minister of Justice acting as a gaming control board, sub-licenses are issued by different operators, and because of that, the required documentation packs can differ. Yet in any case, even a small inaccuracy in documentation or lack of some important data can become a fatal mistake for the applicant. That’s why thousands of gaming operators prefer to start their professional journey with the help of professionals. Contact LicensingAid to get detailed information about the Curaçao license application procedure and a step-by-step guidance on legalizing your gaming company. We also can help you to prepare your platform (including software) for the technical audit.
How much does the Curaçao gaming license cost?
Costs of getting a Curaçao license are significantly lower than in other locations. Moreover, license holders are not obliged to buy permits for different gaming services and worry about a separate casino or betting license Curaçao cost; they can pay for the all-in-one permit and offer any variety of virtual gambling types.
There is no fixed amount of the licensing fee in Curaçao. The cost of getting a sub-license always depends on the holder of the main permit, issued by the Minister of Justice. This operator is able to independently register Curaçao license costs for his sub-licensees.
Besides the application price, the operator should pay the company and trademark registration commissions, local company representative fees, legal representation and domiciliation fees, administrative fees, etc.
Another reason why operators choose Curaçao to legalize their gaming businesses is a low taxes policy. Virtual casinos which are registered in the e zone are exempt from taxes aside from a 2% tax on net profits.
How long do you need to wait for the Curaçao online gambling license?
Usually, the licensing procedure in Curaçao takes an average of six weeks. The review period can be extended if the regulator requests missing (or additional) documents.
What territories does the Curaçao license cover?
Currently, in many countries gambling is still in the so-called “gray zone”. In some jurisdictions iGaming is strictly prohibited, in others it is not illegal, but the legislation is vague and poor. These countries, of course, do not issue gambling permits, but, fortunately, there is a way to attract players from such places absolutely legally. Establishing a Curaçao company is a brilliant decision in this sense, as this license covers a huge territory.
The local permit allows license holders to engage clients from anywhere, except for a few locations. So what places are not covered by the Curaçao gaming license? Countries like Curaçao, Belize, the UK, the US, Germany, France and the Netherlands are prohibited for the local operators. It means that the island state license holders can’t provide gaming services to the citizens of those jurisdictions.
Pros and cons of holding a Curaçao online gaming license
- You can obtain one permit that covers all gaming services
- Low taxation for gaming companies, which are registered in the e zone
- Low license fees
- Easy and transparent license application submission
- Fast consideration of the application
- The Curaçao online casino license is affordable
- Curaçao companies are allowed to accept cryptocurrency
- Long period of validity
- Local license covers a lot of jurisdictions around the world
- The island has a developed infrastructure and good opportunities to provide reliable technical support for gambling projects
- Your permit will be issued by a master license holder whose reputation is guaranteed by the Minister of Justice of Curaçao
- No fixed application fee
- It is necessary to collect a lot of documents with the details of key persons and the ultimate beneficial owner
- Since there are no special gaming regulators in Curaçao today (only the Gaming Control Board, whose employees are AML CFT supervisors), the lack of control over the license-issuing procedureoften leads to licensing unfair companies, which in turn discredits the reputation of the jurisdiction
- Each operator must pass a technical audit of each used system (including software)
- The Curaçao company can’t engage customers from the US and some European
Imminent changes in the gambling legislation of Curaçao
All of the above is how the licensing procedure works in Curaçao today. However, the gambling legislation of the island is awaiting big changes. The first mention of possible changes appeared in 2020. 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 was also the complication of the gambling licensing procedure.
The updated legislation is expected to include the creation of the Curaçao Gaming Authority, a gaming body that will monitor the gambling industry and issue B2B and B2C licenses. Also, the forthcoming reforms will strengthen the control over compliance with AML and responsible gaming principles by licensees and introduce a new rule, according to which hiring of at least three key employees and placing them on the island will become mandatory for each operator. Another update concerns the permit fee. Unfortunately, the cost of obtaining a Curaçao permit will increase.
The timing of the introduction of new rules has been postponed several times and is still unknown. However, the Ministry of Finance of the island state presented a website http://curacaogaming.info, where you can find information about current gambling legislation, including the amendments.
As for the owners of current licenses, after the implementation of the new laws, they will be given the opportunity to replace the sublicense with a transitional one for a period of 12 months. During that year, operators will have to bring their platforms in line with the new rules and apply for a new license to the Curaçao Gaming Authority, or move to another jurisdiction and apply for permission from local gaming regulators.
What does all of the above mean for those who are about to obtain a Curaçao permit? Nothing bad for sure. Today, the laws that are too lenient, coupled with a low cost of a license, often cause various violations of the law and worsen the reputation of the island. The new rules will solve this problem. At the same time, the cost and conditions of getting the document will remain quite affordable.
Why is it worth applying for the Curaçao license?
Online gambling is becoming more and more popular these days. Millions of players enjoy playing in virtual casinos, and governments receive millions of budget revenues in the form of taxes from the activities of operators. Every year, thousands of new gambling projects are born and the most far-sighted owners immediately plan on getting a permit for their gaming company. The Curaçao legislation is pretty liberal and supports the interests of gaming businesses. The licensing requirements on the island are also very attractive, and the local license covers a lot of territories. Moreover, gambling businesses registered in the e zone are subject to a tax rate of 2% on net profit, while no turnover tax or other taxes are imposed. Therefore, obtaining a Curaçao license for an online casino is an ideal option for running your platform legally. The introduction of new rules and the establishment of the Curaçao Gaming Authority, although it will complicate the licensing procedure, will also significantly increase the reputation of jurisdiction in the eyes of the industry and potential clients.
What are the Curaçao license alternatives?
If you’re in doubt about the Curaçao permit, or for some reason prefer to choose another jurisdiction, do not miss the chance to learn more about the Isle of Man, Kahnawake and Malta. These locations offer prestigious and respectable virtual casino licenses.
You can also read about other license options in our blog. Remember: when choosing a jurisdiction, it’s crucial to figure out everything about local licensing conditions and expenses, determine how long you will wait for the permit and for what period it will be valid. In addition, always pay attention to what types of games the document allows to offer and in what locations you will be able to operate legally with it.
LicensingAid can make the difficult choice of country easier for you. Don’t hesitate to seek the help of true professionals.
How can LicensingAid be useful for you?
If you decide to become a Curaçao (or other) permit owner, feel free to contact LicensingAid. Our specialists can find the best solution for your gaming company. We can also help you with the preparation of documentation, filing a license application, paying of license fees, communicating with gaming regulators, and provide advice in case any issue emerges.
Our services include:
- Consulting to gaming businesses;
- Registration of an international corporate structure;
- Licensing consulting;
- Responsible gaming consulting;
- Design and trademark consulting;
- Turnkey casino solutions.
Leave a request and start your way to launching a legal and successful internet casino.