Lisa Cheban | 9 August, 2023 10:33 | Last update on: 9 August, 2023 10:33
The government of Curacao is one of the leading online gambling regulators, with thousands of casinos using this license to accept players worldwide. But like other jurisdictions like the United Kingdom, Germany, and Sweden, Curacao looks to relaunch its gambling regulations to make the industry conform to international standards.
While speaking at the iGaming NEXT Valleta 23 Conference, Javier Silvania, the country’s minister of finance, revealed that the government will launch the reforms on September 1, 2023. The minister announced that all Curacao-based internet gambling companies will undergo vetting afresh according to more stringent, globally accepted criteria.
The new law, the National Gambling Ordinance (LOK), has been forwarded to the Advisory Council for assessment before proceeding to the parliament. If successfully implemented, LOK will result in stricter regulations for the sector, mainly focusing on player protection, fraud prevention, and anti-money laundering procedures.
One of the most important developments under the new law will be the introduction of the Curacao Gaming Authority. The body will actively stop illegal gambling activities and oversee the entire gambling industry. This aligns with the minister’s announcement that Curacao is slowly shifting from its initial reputation as a porous gambling hub.
In the meantime, all master license holders will get a 1-year transitional period. The government seeks to ensure seamless continuity without disrupting the existing status quo.
Additionally, the new regulations will give sub-licensees up to 90 days to apply for a new license. This is irrespective of the remaining active period of the master license. Thankfully, initial regulations will remain active for up to 9 months after applying for a new license. The government says this will provide operators with enough transitional window to comply with the new requirements.
The National Gambling Ordinance will also give the Curacao Gaming Control Board (GCB) the responsibility of issuing licenses from September 1, 2023. With this license, operators can offer gambling services but cannot grant sub-licenses. Before getting the accreditation, operators must provide personal declarations, business analysis, and cooperate disclosures. The GCB will open a dedicated portal to speed up and streamline the license application procedure.
According to Silvania, the country will cooperate with other regulations to provide a level playing field for gambling suppliers and operators. The new law aims to protect players’ interests and maintain the credibility of the gambling sector.
Silvania admitted that most Curacao-licensed online casinos uphold their integrity and adhere to the rules. However, the minister also pointed out that some operators have misused the island’s good name for selfish gains. Implementing the new practices with harsher assessments will be a step forward in separating reputable online gambling operators from untrustworthy actors.
The new license will come with international standards, such as those pertaining.
- Player protection
- Dynamic anti-money laundering procedures
- Know your customer (KYC) regulations
- Responsible gaming policies
- Robust technological and information security setups
Operators must also send audited policies and processes for review within six months of receiving a license. Until then, it’s a wait-and-see scenario!