Curaçao to Implement New Gambling Regulations, Licensing Process and Reforms

Curaçao plans to amend its gambling laws and implement a new licensing regime known as the National Ordinance for Games of Chance (LOK). These adjustments are a requirement for financial assistance requested by the Dutch government in response to the Covid-19 outbreak. The goal is to rehabilitate Curaçao’s status as a permissive licensing jurisdiction and bring it in line with worldwide standards. While the legislation has yet to be filed to parliament, the Curaçao Gaming Control Board (GCB) will begin awarding new licenses with expanded duties on September 1, 2023.

To operate in Curaçao, operators must secure sub-licenses from the four existing master license holders, according to current law. However, as part of the reforms, the government aims to phase away this system. The impending LOK law intends to simplify the licensing procedure and impose harsher rules on overseas operators.

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All master licenses will be extended for an additional year to ensure business continuity for current licensees. This extension will allow operators to continue operations as usual. Grant Johnson, Property Manager of City of Dreams Mediterranean, thanked the citizens of the country and his colleagues for their contributions to the project’s success.

Beginning September 1, the GCB will issue direct licenses to operators, which will immediately convert to those granted under the LOK. The new licenses will be subject to current legislation, with a focus on anti-money laundering and responsible gaming requirements. Three documents must be completed by operators: an online gambling application, a personal declaration, and corporate disclosures. These forms will contain vital information regarding the operator’s business activities, key personnel, and corporate information.

The new licensing regime in Curaçao attempts to satisfy worldwide norms and expectations. As standard standards, stricter player protection measures, dynamic anti-money laundering procedures, know your customer (KYC) protocols, responsible gaming efforts, and robust technological and information security setups will be implemented.

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In September, the Ministry intends to issue additional updates defining the cost structure associated with the new licensing regime. These updates will give operators with a thorough understanding of the licencing process’s financial components.

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