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Curacao iGaming reform: stricter regulations are coming soon

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Exciting developments are underway in the gaming industry of Curacao! Starting September 1, 2023, the picturesque Caribbean Island nation is set to implement a comprehensive regulatory overhaul that has been long in the making.

CGA to turn stricter, more regulations ahead

Minister of Finance, Javier Silvania, revealed that online operators in Curacao will face more stringent regulations, aligning with internationally recognized standards. This reform, known as the National Gambling Ordinance (LOK), aims to bring about tighter controls on various fronts, including anti-money laundering, fraud prevention, and player protection.

Speaking at the iGaming NEXT Valletta 23 conference, Minister Silvania emphasized the need for transparency regarding the source of funds entering the country. He stressed the importance of operators adhering to legislation that mirrors reputable jurisdictions and upholds international laws and guidelines on money laundering.

One of the significant changes introduced by the LOK is the establishment of the Curacao Gaming Authority, a dedicated regulatory body. This new supervisory authority aims not only to prevent but also to mitigate any unwelcome and unlawful activities within the industry, as outlined by Minister Silvania.

However, before the reforms go into effect on September 1, the Advisory Council will meticulously review the LOK before it proceeds to the parliament. Curacao, as a Constitutional Monarchy and constituent country of the Netherlands, ensures a careful and comprehensive legislative process.

What happens to existing operators under Curacao?

The journey toward reform has been a gradual one for Curacao. The island hosts numerous online gambling operators, and the Curacao gaming license is highly sought after. The favorable tax regime for gambling businesses has often led to resistance against changes, inviting criticism from both the Netherlands and industry players.

Curacao iGaming: Expect Stricter Regulations Incoming

To alleviate concerns, Minister Silvania assured existing operators that they can continue their operations without interruption. Additionally, the Gambling Control Board (GCB) will launch a dedicated portal to streamline the license application process, further facilitating their compliance with the new regulations.

While acknowledging that most operators with a Curaçao license maintain integrity and adhere to good practices, Minister Silvania warned that the country must not overlook those who have exploited Curacao’s reputation. The goal is to attract even more reputable operators and shed the industry’s perception of Curacao as the “red-haired stepchild.

By aligning itself with international standards, Curacao aims to ensure a fair and secure gambling experience for players. Minister Silvania emphasized that these regulatory changes will meet the requirements of the Dutch government, signaling a positive step forward for the nation’s gambling industry.

Curacao’s decision to enhance transparency and strengthen measures against money laundering reflects a broader trend in the gaming industry. These reforms emphasize responsible gaming and pave the way for a brighter future for Curacao’s gaming landscape. 

These developments are sure to bring about new changes to the field of iGaming. But changing it could mean many things: losing operators, telling them to change, as well as aligning it with the current laws. There’s no guarantee of the effect of this change, but Curacao being one of the biggest license regulators will surely bring about a big one.
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