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.
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.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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:
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:
A temporary permit will be issued if the candidate had minor and easily eliminated inconsistencies with the new legislative provisions when applying.
A gambling permit of the jurisdiction gives operators the following benefits:
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.
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.
Those who want to obtain a permit should pass the following stages:
The mandatory package of documents includes:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
Operators will be required to develop and implement a special defence program for vulnerable categories of players, including:
Operators may also be required to impose betting limits and provide users with an opportunity to limit themselves from the play.
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.
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:
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 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.
Having made the decision to purchase a gambling permit in a foreign offshore zone, operators can count on the following amounts of money:
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:
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.
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.
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