Curacao Gaming Control Board (GCB)The Simplest Gambling Authority Reviewed

The Curacao Gaming Control Board (GCB) was founded in 1999 and is responsible for supervising the jurisdiction's gambling industry, both online and offline. However, the GCB is not responsible for issuing licenses; this responsibility falls to 4 master license holders. Here we will explain all you need to know about Curacao Gaming licenses, the different types, how to apply for them, and the top GCB casinos.

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What the Curacao Gaming Control Board Does

As noted, Curacao's GCB is not responsible for issuing gambling licenses. Instead, its job is to ensure the proper enforcement of regulations set by the jurisdiction's lawmakers. This means that they must ensure that gambling is conducted in a transparent, honest, fair, and responsible manner, without the involvement of criminal elements.

The master license holders, which are appointed by the Minister of Justice, must also ensure that those they issue with a sub-license operate fairly and responsibly. The system is designed to guarantee that games are fair and that players' money and privacy are properly protected.

It should be noted that in early 2022, it was announced that there will be a major overhaul of the Curacao gambling laws. The government of Curacao is currently drafting legislation that will bring it in line with international standards. This legislation will make the GCB an independent licensing and supervisory authority for all games of chance, but it is not yet known when it will come into effect.

Applying for a Curacao License – The Process in Steps

One of the biggest advantages of obtaining a gambling license in Curacao is that the process is far simpler than that in many other jurisdictions. However, there are still detailed requirements that must be met for a successful application.

When applying for a Curacao gaming license, you will be applying to one of the four master license holders. Each of these will have its own slightly different processes. However, there are a number of commonalities. For instance, you will have to incorporate a business in Curacao and have a local representative. You will need to gather the relevant paperwork and pay the application fees. Before a master license holder can issue you a license, its technical compliance team will have to review your operation. It means that the gambling operation must be ready to go live before the license is issued.

You will be required to submit a great deal of documentation as part of the application procedure. The exact documentation will vary slightly depending on the master license holder, but you can expect it to include:

Curacao License
  • An original utility bill no more than 3 months old
  • A copy of your passport
  • Your curriculum vitae (CV)
  • A reference for your bank
  • A professional reference letter
  • A certificate of good conduct
  • A second form of official ID
  • A business plan

It is important to ensure that all of the documentation is correct. Otherwise, the application will be rejected, and you will lose any fees that have been paid.

The fees involved will depend on the master license holder that you are applying to. You can expect to pay various fees such as an application fee, local representative fees, legal fees, and so on. Once the license is awarded, the fees are low in comparison to other jurisdictions. There is a 2% net gains tax and a renewal fee. It is hard to find information about the application fees for each of the four master license holders. However, they are not large. For instance, Cyberluck Curacao charges a pre-application fee of €750.

Issuing Complaints аbout Curacao Licensed Casinos

Raising a complaint with a GCB-licensed casino is not a simple process. The Curacao Gaming Control Board does not handle complaints. Rather, the master license holder that issued the relevant sub-license handles them. If you have a complaint about a payout, a blocked account, withheld money, and so on, the best thing to do is to start by approaching the casino directly with a complaint. When you do so, it is important that you collect as much evidence as possible, such as screenshots of chats with customer support and copies of any emails that you have sent.

If you are unable to resolve the issue with the casino, then you will have to turn to the master license holder with your complaint, and each of them has a different complaints procedure.

The 4 Curacao Master License Holders:

  • Cyberluck Curacao N.V. – This is the easiest master license holder to submit complaints to. They can be submitted here at the company website
  • Gaming Curacao (GC) – Gaming Curacao does not seem to provide any information about how to submit a complaint. However, there is a contact form on the company website, or you could try emailing info@gaming-curacao.com.
  • Curacao Interactive Licensing N.V. (CIL) – Curacao Interactive Licensing does not even have an official website, so submitting a complaint is far from easy. However, the email address info@curacaolicensing.com does seem to be active
  • Antillephone N.V. – • On the Antillephone license validator webpage, it states, "Antillephone should only be contacted by players when they believe an Operator is in breach of their license. All disputes with an Operator about a payout, a blocked account, a delay, broken features, and so on should first be taken up directly with the Operator. If no resolution is found, there are the number of independent bodies you can contact, which should be listed on the Operator website." While Antillephone recommends contacting an independent body, there is no guarantee that a casino will work with a trustworthy dispute resolution service. However, the Antillephone email address does seem to be active. If you contact them, be sure to include your personal information (name, country, age), details of the complaint (casino name, username, complaint details), and evidence that you have already tried to resolve the issue with the casino.

A Simple System with Just Two License Types

There are two entities that you need to be aware of in Curacao, the Curacao Gaming Control Board and the Ministry of Finance. Online gambling is regulated by the latter and supervised by the former. The lack of a single entity for licensing and regulations has given rise to a slightly unusual licensing system.

Only two types of a license exist in Curacao, a master license and a sub-license. Only the Minister of Justice can issue the master one. Both types of the license allow the licensee to operate all forms of gambling; the difference is that a master license holder is able to award sub-licenses.

Since 1996, just 4 master licenses have been awarded, and it is not possible for you to apply for one. Rather, you apply for a sub-license. A sub-license remains valid for as long as the master license is valid. Master license holders need to renew their documents every five years.

In short, things are greatly simplified in Curacao. No matter what form of gambling you want to offer (casino, sports betting, bingo, poker, etc.), one type of license covers it all.

Verifying a Curacao Gaming License

The Curacao Gaming Control Board does not maintain a public register of its licensees. Furthermore, neither do any of the master license holders. To make things even more complicated, not all of master license holders have a verification system.

Each online casino that is licensed by a master license issuer must show a seal in the casino website footer. This means that you should always scroll straight to the footer to check for the seal. Each of the master license holders has its own seal. If you click on the seal, then it should take you to a license validator webpage. However, not all of the master license issuers insist on this.

If Antillephone licenses the casino, clicking on the seal should take you to a website with the domain name antillephone.com. If it's Cyberluck Curacao, clicking on the seal should take you to a website with the domain name curacao-egaming.com. If Curacao Gaming licenses the casino, clicking on the seal should take you to a website with the domain name gaming-curacao.com.

Finally, if Curacao Interactive Licensing licenses the casino, there is no guaranteed way of ensuring that the license is valid. The casino should be able to provide you with a signed license agreement on its own domain name, but this can be easily faked. Therefore, it is best to be very careful before playing at one of these casinos.

The good news is that the government of Curacao is in the process of creating a register of all license holders, and this will make the verification procedure far simpler.

Curacao logo 01

Look for the Curacao logo in the footer of the casino website.

Curacao website 02

Go to the official Curacao website and search by name or account number.

The Strong Advantages

For operators, there are several benefits to obtaining a GCB license. To begin with, the license will enable operators to do business with a wide range of software and payment service providers. However, there are a number of advantages that are Curacao-specific, such as the low costs and low taxation.

Curacao's licensing system is also far simpler than that of other authorities. With just one type of license to cover all types of gambling, it gives operators great flexibility. Furthermore, as it takes very little time to apply for a license, operations can start in just a few weeks. In general, the entire licensing procedure is simpler than that of authorities such as the UKGC and MGA.

PROS
  • Low costs and low taxation
  • One universal license
  • Simple application procedure
CONS
  • Limited trust from players
  • Cannot accept players from the USA, France, Netherlands

Top Picks for Curacao Licensed Casinos Online

There is an enormous number of casinos with a Curacao license. However, as discussed, not all Curacao licenses are equal, and it is best to look for casinos with a license from either Antillephone or Cyberluck Curacao. Even so, you cannot be sure that casinos with one of these licenses are entirely trustworthy. Therefore, we recommend that if you want to play at a Curacao licensed casino, you choose one of the following:

FAQ

How Much Does a Curacao License Cost?

This will vary depending on the master license holder that you apply to and a number of other factors. You can expect to pay application fees of hundreds of Euros (rather than thousands), but it is best to approach the master license holder directly for an accurate quotation.

What Types of Curacao Gaming Licenses Are Available?

There are only two types – master licenses and sub-licenses. However, you are only able to apply for a sub-license, and it covers all forms of gambling. This means that a sub-license holder can operate a casino, sportsbook, poker, bingo, lotteries, and so on.

How Do I Apply for a License from the Curacao Gaming Control Board (GCB)?

Each of the four master license holders has its own application process. In general, you will need to submit documentation to the gambling authority together with a fee. The entire process takes about six weeks to complete, and you need to ensure that your operation is ready to go live before the license is issued.