Dawn of a new age for Curaçao’s gaming industry

22 September 2023
Reading: 4 min

Dawn of a new age for Curaçao’s gaming industry

Curaçao, a hidden gem nestled in the heart of the Caribbean Sea, presents itself as a captivating destination with its unparalleled beauty, vibrant culture, and enticing experiences. One of the island’s most distinctive features is its vibrant capital city, Willemstad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and soon to be the backdrop for the SiGMA Curaçao Summit, hosted by Javier Silvania, Curaçao’s Minister of Finance, in association with SiGMA.

Shedding its ugly duckling feathers

Curaçao’s gaming industry is witnessing a transformation. While Curaçao has positioned itself as a hub for operators, there have been concerns regarding the reputation of some of the online gaming operators licensed under its jurisdiction. The relatively lax regulatory standards compared to other jurisdictions have led to some less reputable operators seeking Curaçao licenses. This has prompted discussions about improving the credibility and trustworthiness of Curaçao as a licensing authority.

Gaming Regulation and Licensing

The main regulatory body responsible for overseeing gaming in Curaçao is the Curaçao Gaming Control Board (GCB). In February 2023, The Curaçao Ministry of Finance launched a website dedicated to gaming developments on the island (Curaçaogaming.info). It states that the very first legislation regarding lotteries and games of chance dates back to almost 115 years ago, namely the Lottery Ordinance of 1909.

Dawn of a new age for Curaçao’s gaming industry
Javier Silvania, Curaçao’s Minister of Finance

Urgent need for updated legislation

Regulation of the sector is “very outdated” – since 1909 “a lot has changed, and the current laws need to be upgraded to meet modern international standards” as stated on the aforementioned official website. Due to this lacuna, its licensing standards might not be as stringent as those of other jurisdictions like Malta or the UK. It is widely known, however, that the government of Curaçao is working tirelessly to modernize its gambling legislation to one that is at par with international standards and “to adopt a responsible and comprehensive gaming policy that incorporates all gaming activities that are and will be licensed within the jurisdiction of Curaçao”.

The LoK – modernizing gambling legislation

According to the website, “The LoK serves as a framework for the regulation of all games of chance. This means that the LoK introduces general provisions that apply to all games of chance that are offered in or from Curaçao. The LoK contains, among other things, general provisions relating to prohibited gambling activities, the issuance, suspension and withdrawal of (provisional) licenses, ensures responsible gambling, the establishment of a new games of chance authority and most importantly, the enforcement and supervision of these regulations.”

In an official address, Javier Silvania, Minister of Finance, said of the reform, “We intend to bring Curaçao to the highest standards expected of a respected jurisdiction so only those operators willing to meet our established benchmarks will be accepted under our new regime.”

Brand new licences from September 1

The Minister of Finance, aware of the unfavourable situation caused by a number of licence holders, took action and in June 2023 announced new measures until the process for the LoK to be enacted into law is completed. To that effect, the GCB will commence issuing new licences directly to operators on 1st September, issued under the current legislation. Holders of these licences will not be permitted to issue sub-licences and will have to adhere to policies such as AML and responsible gaming stipulations. A press release was issued today to announce the commencement of the process. The online portal may be accessed here.

Head to SiGMA Curaçao

Join us for an extraordinary event hosted by Javier Silvania, Curaçao’s Minister of Finance, in association with SiGMA and learn more about Curaçao’s gaming industry.

SiGMA Curaçao is the perfect platform to witness the Curaçao’s gaming industry and the developments of the new legislation that promises to re-invent the gambling jurisdiction. The event is being hosted by the Ministry of Finance and the Minister himself will be present, along with stakeholders ready to support and participate in this regenerated industry.

Register here to secure your place at this landmark event.

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