As of September 1

Curaçao: Online gambling operators to be assesed under stricter, internationally recognized standards

Javier Silvania, Curaçao's Minister of Finance.
Reading time 1:35 min

The Minister of Finance, Javier Silvania, announced during the iGaming NEXT Valleta 23 conference that, as of September 1 this year, online gambling operators in Curaçao will be assessed according to stricter, internationally recognized standards. 

The new legislation, known as the National Gambling Ordinance (LOK), is currently under review by the Advisory Council and will then proceed to the parliament. Its implementation is expected to result in stricter rules in the gambling industry, particularly in the areas of anti-money laundering measures, fraud prevention, and player protection. 

To enforce the new standards, Silvania has directed the Gaming Control Board (GCB), the existing regulator, to begin implementing and upholding them. Initially, the GCB will issue new licenses to operators under the current legislation, with the intention of transitioning these licenses into the new regulatory framework upon its enactment. The government aims to ensure uninterrupted business operations during this transition phase.

To facilitate the licensing process, the GCB will launch a dedicated portal for operators to register their applications for direct licenses. Minister Silvania expressed disappointment over Curaçao licenses being perceived as “quick and easy to obtain” with lesser regulations and lax monitoring compared to other jurisdictions. However, he emphasized that the new legislation will unequivocally reverse this sentiment.

"We demand transparency regarding the source of funds entering our country," said Silvania during the conference, as reported by the Curacao Chronicle. "We insist that operators comply with legislation that aligns with reputable jurisdictions and meets the minimum requirements of international laws and guidelines concerning money laundering." 

The LOK introduces the establishment of a new regulatory body, the Curaçao Gaming Authority, which will not only prevent but also mitigate any unwelcome and unlawful activities. Minister Silvania highlighted the importance of shedding the reputation of Curaçao as the "red-headed step-child" of the gambling industry through these regulatory reforms.

"By collaborating and working together with other jurisdictions, we ensure a level playing field for operators and suppliers," concluded the minister. "All of this is done with the goal of safeguarding players' interests and preserving the integrity of the entire gambling industry." 

Minister Silvania stressed that most operators with a Curaçao license maintain integrity and follow good practices, but he warned that the country should not forget that some have abused Curaçao's reputation. 

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