Curacao Revamps Online Casino Licensing System

Of all online regulators, Curacao is viewed by many as one of the weakest. The current system allows casinos to easily apply for licenses and share licenses between multiple websites. Curacao is also famous for having few true checks and balances for its “licensed casinos.” This has allowed many lower-quality online casinos to operate for years.

However, this is all about to change in September. Curacao is launching its new regulatory regime and drastically changing how it issues and regulates licenses. The new regime will do away with license sharing and require casinos to adhere to stricter regulations similar to regulatory bodies like the UK Gambling Commission.

Curacao Gaming Authority to Oversee Licensing

Curacao has created a National Ordinance on Gambling, known as Landsverordening op de Kansspelen 2023 (LOK). The new system will drastically overhaul the current regulatory system and create a strong, safer regulatory environment.

The biggest change is that the current licensing system will be eliminated. The Master License and sublicensing systems will be eliminated, and replacing it will be the Curacao Gaming Authority (CGA). Starting 1 September, the CGA will issue new licenses to websites that want to operate from Curacao.

Websites with existing licenses can continue operating under those licenses until they expire. Also, anyone holding a license may issue a sublicense until the launch of the CGA. Afterwards, any new sites under an existing license holder must go under the LOK process.

Existing license holders will be granted a transition period of up to 18 months to meet the new licensing requirements and obtain a license from the CGA.

How A Site Can Be Licensed Under LOK

Under the new system, anyone applying for a license must submit a license application and other documentation proving the company’s financial stability, overall competence, and integrity. The company and those involved must go through extensive KYC verification before a license will be issued.

One of the biggest changes for licensing requirements will be establishing a physical location in Curacao. Anyone holding a license must have a physical office in Curacao with three key personnel on a full-time, permanent basis working out of that office.

Licensing fees will be EUR 4,000 for the application, EUR 12,000 per year, and EUR 250 per month for every licensed URL.

Existing license holders will have 18 months to comply with the new rules, but they must apply for a new license within three months of the launch of LOK, meaning by the end of 2023.

Ordinances Will Establish Framework

Under the new legislation, a pair of ordinances will serve as the regulatory framework. They are the National Ordinance on Games of Chance and the National Decree for Online Gambling. This framework will set a new series of stricter regulations that license holders must adhere to.

Among these new regulations are stricter anti-money laundering regulations and monitoring of online casinos. Furthermore, licensees must adhere to strict Responsible Gaming policies and undergo regular audits and compliance checks.

The new regulatory structure aims to provide transparency for license holders and increased security to players at online casinos. It will also eliminate the practice of one license holder operating dozens of casinos under a single license. Every online casino licensed out of Curacao must adhere to these policies.

Some Casinos May Seek New Licensing or Forego Licensing

In the past, some looked at a license from Curacao as a “paper license,” meaning it had little regulatory authority. With the new licensing policies, Curacao is looking to revamp its regulatory system and provide online casino players with a greater sense of security.

Two things will happen as a result of these new policies. First, legitimate online casinos wishing to retain their Curacao license will follow the new guidelines. Casinos should already be implementing the procedures required by Curacao.

Next, this should help weed out some substandard online casinos. Those just trying to do the bare minimum to appear legitimate will likely shut down or become “self-regulated.” We only advocate playing at online casinos that hold licenses from legitimate regulators. With the changes under Curacao’s new regulatory system, they will have earned a legitimate regulator status.

Rose Varrelli avatar
Rose Varrelli
Senior Casino & News Writer

Hi there! I’m Rose, and with nine years behind me in the iGaming industry, I craft engaging narratives at CasinoAus. My education in Communication across Europe has sharpened my skills in fintech, casino legislation, and digital marketing. Backed by a strong foundation in SEO, storytelling, and cross-cultural communication, I’m passionate about creating content that resonates globally and educates our audience.

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