Curacao is a small isle that is part of the Lesser Antilles archipelago (Caribbean Sea). Because of its location, the jurisdiction has been initially developing as a meeting point of the routes of ships that went from South America to Europe. Moreover, the country is considered to be part of the Dutch territory, due to which it has the status of a member of the European Union.

Such features of legal regulations, combined with a developed infrastructure and minimum tax rates for foreign investors, make this offshore zone one of the most popular places for the registration of gambling companies from every corner of the world.

Curacao online casino license

The 2WinPower team has gathered comprehensive information on every advantage of gambling license in Curacao, requirements that are applied to business owners, and the cost of legalisation of a gambling project.

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Curacao Online Casino License: Formats of the Gambling Permit

The registration of the activity in the gambling field has been conducted since 2001. Decisions on the issuance of certificates and subsequent control of the work of online operators are made according to the view of Curacao e-Gaming. The land-based industry is regulated by another authority — the Casino Games Control Board.

The Gambling Commission issues 2 types of permits:

  1. Master License. The certificate allows you to perform activities in any format: betting, sweepstakes, poker rooms, traditional online casinos, and much more.
  2. Sub-License. The Curacao casino sublicense is also issued for all types of gambling operations. However, operators must take into account several restrictions: a ban on the provision of gambling permits to third parties and the inability to accept bets from the local population and gamblers from France, the Netherlands, and the United States.

Such a system has existed in Curacao since the 90s when the State Ordinance Concerning the Exploitation of Hazard Games on the International Markets came into force on the island.

In 1996, the state issued only four master licences for five years. Operators had to regularly update them. Since then, the list of master licence holders remains unchanged:

  • Cyberluck Curacao N/V/ (Curacao-eGaming) #1668/JAZ;
  • Curacao Interactive Licensing N.V. (CIL) #5536/JAZ;
  • Gaming Curacao (GC) #365/JAZ;
  • Antillephone NV #8048/JAZ.

The situation remained stable until recently. During the ICE London exhibition, which took place from February 7 to 9, the Ministry of Finance officially announced the planned regulatory changes in the domestic market and a large-scale adjustment of the gambling operator licensing program.

Talks about innovations in legislation have been actively conducted since 2019. At that time, the trend towards the global tightening of control over the gambling field around the world first appeared.

At the ICE London conference, the Ministry of Finance presented some theses and a general strategy for changing the licensing procedure.

The 2WinPower team structured the information received and highlighted the key points that will be of interest to both working operators and newcomers who are just considering the possibility of buying a foreign gaming licence.

An interesting feature is that taking into account the large-scale popularisation of cryptocurrency, the offshore zone has introduced additional standards for monitoring projects that are based on blockchain technologies.

The new Curacao bitcoin license is a bit different from the basic one because of several additional conditions — for more detailed information, you can turn to the managers of 2WinPower.

New Licence Formats

Mr Sylvania, the Finance Minister, noted that the changes to the gambling legislation will come into force in the second quarter of 2023.

At the moment, the Council of Ministers has accepted only the draft version of the bill and sent it to the Social Economic Council (SER) for approval. Then, the document will need to be confirmed by the Council of Advice (RVA) and the parliament.

The industry reform program also includes the formation of a new independent regulator, the Curacao Gaming Authority. The body will replace the current Curacao Gaming Control Board.

The main change in legislation involves the abolition of Master and Sub-Licences. Instead, the body will issue direct permits for B2B and B2C categories:

  • B2B licence for operators requires the buyer to interact only with casino software providers that have a local permit;
  • B2C licence is for gaming service suppliers operating in the digital space.

The first type of permission will be an optional service for another two years from the moment of legislative innovations.

Licences will also differ in terms of validity:

  • regular permits will be valid for 5 years;
  • temporary licences will be issued by the CGA for 6 months with the possibility of subsequent extension for the same period.

A temporary permit will be issued if the candidate had minor and easily eliminated inconsistencies with the new legislative provisions when applying.

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Curacao Casino License: Advantages of the Offshore Licensing

A gambling permit of the jurisdiction gives operators the following benefits:

  • Speed of the process. The Curacao casino license is issued in 2—4 weeks.
  • Tax rate. Foreign investors are excused from VAT, sales tax, and import taxes. Also, there is no commission on the turnover from the placed bets. The only compulsory deduction is an annual profit tax of 2%.
  • Sublicense. Having a basic certificate for the organisation of a Curacao casino, operators can provide limited licenses to third parties. An important nuance is that the responsibility for the actions of sublicensees lies with the holder of the main license.
  • A single permit. Operators do not need to buy separate certificates for each kind of the game since the jurisdiction issues a single license for all types of casino games for money.
  • Additional services. The local regulator not only certifies the business but also offers technical and financial support for casinos that obtained a license in Curacao.

An interesting feature is that the Curacao gaming license means that there will be no interference of the gambling regulator in the resolution of all the issues between the service provider and players.

The Transition to New Licences for Existing Market Participants

Those enterprisers who are already working under a Curacao sub-licence will be given a three-month transition period to update their documentation and acquire new permits.

The applications for licence renewal need to be submitted through a special online service, no later than 90 days after the new legislation will come into force. The operator is guaranteed to continue working while the request is being considered, up to the moment a new document is received.

Casino with a Curacao Licence: Stages of Obtaining Permission for New Business Players

Gambling license in Curacao: stages of the acquisition of a permit

Those who want to obtain a permit should pass the following stages:

Collection of Documents

The mandatory package of documents includes:

  • the corporate charter (a copy);
  • scans of passports of all the founders of the project;
  • notarised bank statements that confirm the solvency of an applicant;
  • confirmation of the presence of a physical address of the enterprise (household bills for the last quarter);
  • certificates that confirm a clean record (they must be issued no later than 3 months before the application filing);
  • a business plan of the enterprise (a copy) with a detailed description of goals, investments, and the expected profit;
  • evidence of the presence of the website and domain and the fact that they belong to the licensed legal entity;
  • a location scheme of servers that are used for the organisation of the work and data storage;
  • agreements with suppliers of software components (copies);
  • detailed descriptions of games (title, functionality, percentage of payouts, and so on);
  • a list of countries on the territories of which gambling services will be provided.

Prior Approval

Before applying for the legalisation of business, applicants must obtain prior approval from the provider of corporate services. The process is completed after the main package of documents is prepared and a fee for the consideration of an application is paid (1,500 dollars).

As a rule, the indent is satisfied within 24 hours.

Since the certification procedure under the new rules has not yet been established, a preliminary assessment of a business project may take much more time than it used to. Although the government has already promised that the consideration of applications will take no more than 12 weeks.

We would like to remind you that earlier such requests were replied to within 24 hours.

Application

The completed form is attached to the main package of documents and a certificate of payment of the fee. All papers are sent to the Gambling Commission.

Applicants must be prepared to pay all the fix costs that are necessary for the business evaluation.

Evaluation

In case of non-compliance with the requirements of the offshore zone or the provision of incomplete data, the authorised body will contact the applicant and provide a list of mandatory revisions. The Curacao gambling license can be issued only after reexamination and full compliance with all the requirements of a regulator.

Commencement of Work and Audit Examination

The license is obtained and now, operators must proceed to business. The gambling platform should start accepting customers within 60 days after the satisfaction of the request for certification.

The Increase in Regulatory Requirements for Curacao Licence Applicants

Previously, the local regulator was very loyal to the working methods of gambling operators. It put forward practically the only requirement for market participants — not to accept bets from local residents.

With the changes planned for the second quarter of 2023, additional regulations will also come into force to ensure the honesty, safety, and legality of operators’ work with Curacao licences.

Key points and requirements for operators:

Fair Play

The legislative changes set new standards of honesty and guarantees of transparency.

To confirm the safety of games, operators will be offered several specialised tools, including various audits and additional content certification.

Consumer Protection

Operators will be required to develop and implement a special defence program for vulnerable categories of players, including:

  • transparent responsible gaming policies;
  • secure dispute resolution mechanisms (let us remind you that previously all disputes between the supplier and the client were resolved at the discretion of the master licence holders and did not follow a single standard);
  • the procedure for open consideration of customer complaints.

Operators may also be required to impose betting limits and provide users with an opportunity to limit themselves from the play.

The Fight agains Monetary Machinations and Terrorist Financing

All current anti-fraud programs will be brought up to international standards. Besides, operators will be required to register in special open lists and adhere to the principles of the global goAML program.

Physical Presence

To obtain a new Curacao licence, the operator will have to register a local legal representation and ensure its full functioning. The licensee's headquarters must operate for at least 5 years from the date the updated legislation comes into force.

The changes also affected the number of actually present employees of an enterprise. Previously, one representative in a key position was enough to work. The physical presence of at least three authorised persons will be required. Key positions are as follows:

  • director;
  • manager;
  • compliance or operational specialist (officer).

The premises should correspond to the theme of the business. The regulator provides some exceptions for start-ups. However, the key minimum requirements must be met by all applicants.

The Due Diligence Procedure

The new legislation includes a clause on mandatory verification of all individuals involved in the organisation of a gaming project: from shareholders to key authorised representatives of the company and applicants for licensing.

The regulator will pay special attention to verifying the sources of income and the welfare of candidates.

The Legalisation of the Gambling Business: the Financial Matter

Legalisation of the gambling business

Having made the decision to purchase a gambling permit in a foreign offshore zone, operators can count on the following amounts of money:

How much does the Curacao gambling license cost
Opening of a bank account (the authorised capital of the enterprise must be kept at the local institution)
$ 1 000
Registration of legal status in the offshore territory
$ 3 600
Annual maintenance of the local representative office
$ 3 600
Application for casino licensing
$ 1 000
The necessity to pay a fee for every third domain every year
$ 2 400
Annual maintenance of a casino with the Curacao license
$ 4 800
Purchase of equipment for the office and software components
from $ 1 500
Annual establishment of the server (for the equipment unit)
$ 6 000

The information about the cost of new Curacao licences is not available yet. However, it is expected that the key requirements regarding taxes and fees will not differ much from the current ones:

  • The estimated payment for applying will be about 4,000 euros.
  • The annual state fee for the maintenance of the licence will amount to about 12,000 euros.

Operators will be required to appoint responsible persons to control financial turnover, prevent money laundering, and comply with the responsible gaming rules.

Concerning tax fees, various financial initiatives are currently being discussed. For example, the government is considering the possibility of eliminating any tax collection for some business representatives during the first 10 years of operation.

For the B2B category, a decision to abolish the sales tax is supposed to be made.

When hiring qualified foreign specialists, the operator will be able to qualify for a special expatriate regime with reduced rates on salary deductions.

There is no official information about the new taxation system yet. We recommend focusing on the amounts that have been relevant over the past years.

Conclusion

The Curacao gaming license is the best confirmation of the honesty and good reputation of a casino. With this document, you can guarantee your customers the maximum variety of games and transparency of financial transactions.

Cooperation with 2WinPower is a good way to avoid paperwork and reduce the time of the resolution of legal issues.

We are ready to join the project at any stage of the implementation (from the creation of a step-by-step guide for beginning investors to the promotion of ready-made websites with slot machines) and provide full support for your business.

With us, you can get access to the latest releases and the developments of the world’s leading suppliers. Moreover, you can always order exclusive solutions according to your own sketches.

You can become personally certain of the quality of the offered products by downloading a free demo version of the gambling system.

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