Proposal for Regulation of Gambling Industry Introduced in Curaçao Parliament

Proposal for Regulation of Gambling Industry Introduced in Curaçao Parliament


A legislation aimed at regulating the gambling landscape in Curaçao has been introduced to the nation's parliament for review and approval.

The Ministry of Finance has also notified current license holders under the existing law (NOOGH) regarding the key milestones for a smooth transition to the new regulatory framework.

The forthcoming National Ordinance for Games of Chance (LOK) is poised to revolutionize the gambling regulatory landscape in the region.

The regulatory overhaul will entail several amendments to the current law, including modifications to license types and operator fees.

Renewal of Existing Gaming Licenses (Master Licensees) Moving forward, there will be no further extensions or renewals of Master Licenses. Master License holders will be allowed to continue operating and authorizing sublicensees until the expiration of current renewals or the implementation of the LOK, whichever comes first.

Upon the enactment of the LOK or when there are fewer than 12 weeks remaining for current renewals, Master License holders must promptly inform the GCB of the active sublicensees under their umbrella.

Subsequently, Master License holders seeking to continue operations independently must wait for the implementation of the LOK and apply for a new license.

Key Milestones Registration of sublicensees on the Curaçao Gaming Control Board (GCB) portal and the subsequent application for a direct license under the existing legislation will be closed after March 31, 2024.

Effective March 31, 2024, there will be no further extensions or renewals of Master Licenses.

The portal commenced operations on September 1, marking the initiation of the application process. Account registrations for applicants and sublicense holders were open starting November 1. The portal facilitates processing new applications under current legislation and registering licensees.

Any sublicensee not registered with their domains listed on the GCB portal by March 31 will no longer be permitted to operate.

Transition to the new framework under a provisional license upon the enactment of the LOK will apply solely to direct license holders under the NOOGH as of March 31. Ongoing applications will continue uninterrupted.

Any operator intending to continue operations in Curaçao but failing to apply for a direct license from the GCB before March 31 can only continue operating under their sublicense until the master license expires or the LOK is enacted, whichever occurs first.

Subsequently, sublicensees must apply for a new license under the LOK.

Additionally, the GCB has renewed all gambling licenses in Curaçao, with the initial renewals expiring in August 2024 and the final one in January 2025.

Starting January 1, 2024, license holders will be permitted to display a Digital Seal on their websites, issued by the GCB. Registered applicants who have submitted an application may also receive permission to display the Digital Seal on their site. The GCB will issue a policy on Digital Seals in due course.

Background Curaçao's gambling regulatory reform was first announced in July 2022. In January of this year, the Dutch government acknowledged Curaçao's efforts toward reform.

At iGB L!VE this year, Sixiènne Jansen, legal advisor to Curaçao’s Ministry of Finance, outlined the new regulatory timeline from September 1 onwards.

The momentum continued to build, with Javier Silvania, Curaçao’s Minister of Finance, voicing support for the LOK in September, citing its role in preventing grey-listing by the Financial Action Task Force.