Curacao to Revamp Online Gambling Regime
Hugе changes are coming to the Curacao online gambling regime. The island has said that it will be setting up a new licensing body with stricter barriers to entry.
The new body will also be able to cooperate with other regulators to help tackle illegal gambling. At present, Curacao’s licensing regime is known for being extremely liberal, with low entry standards and very little scrutiny.
Under the current rules, the Curacao Gaming Control Board licenses just four businesses, and each is able to offer its own licenses on its own terms. This means that private entities are effectively in control of the licensing system.
However, a new bill approved by the Curacao Council of Ministers seeks to change all of this. The bill introduces a new system with licenses for both B2C operators and B2B supplies issued by the Curacao Gaming Authority (CGA), an independent body created by the government.
There will be a fee for acquiring a license as part of the government’s attempts to increase its direct revenue from the gambling sector.
The B2C license application fee will be roughly €4,000 and followed by an annual fee of €12,000 and a monthly €250 regulatory fee.
All existing sub-licenses will be absorbed into the new system. Licensees will have the opportunity to convert their sub-licenses into a transitional license that will last for a year. There will be several new controls attached to the new licenses. In addition to enhanced money laundering measures, licensees will be required to have at least three employees in “key positions” working on the island.
The changes are partly a result of pressure from the Dutch government, as Curacao is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Dutch government was concerned that Curacao-based operators had been targeting regulated markets, including the Dutch market.
Now the bill has received government approval, it will next go to a consultation stage and then head to the legislature. It is hoped that it will be approved by the end of the year.