What is the impact of the upcoming changes for licensed Curaçao entities and operators?
I want to update you on upcoming changes in the Curaçao license regime. The renewal of the licensing regime in Curaçao has been in the making for several years and is, as we speak, being confirmed and made concrete, as seen in various articles recently published. The current regime, under which new operators can apply for sub-licenses with any of the four “Master License Holders”, is assured to be replaced in the near future by a central government-controlled authority – the Curaçao Gaming Authority (CGA). In this email we look forward on what the impact will be of this legislative change. If we can help you with these changes let me know.
|Currently, operators desiring to obtain a license in Curaçao apply with the Master License Holders. Once the new legislation comes into place, the new operators will need to apply directly with the CGA. No concrete date has been set for this change yet. However, it is anticipated that we will hear about this soon when the Curaçao Finance Minister Javier Silvania will be providing further news and explanations to the iGaming sector on August 12th, 2022. At this point in time, the final bill has been drafted and finalized but has not yet been released. |
The primary aim of this new legislation is to strengthen the Curaçao license by imposing higher barriers to entry for the operators, hence aligning the Curaçao license closer to its counterpart licenses in EU jurisdictions. Another important goal is to centralize the process from the Curaçao government side so the CGA will have a full oversight of the licensees and address important concerns about illegal gambling and Anti Money Laundering (AML) matters more effectively. The result of this effort should, in the long-term, lead to the Curaçao license being further recognized and valued by other jurisdictions.
What does this mean for existing licensed Curaçao entities?
There will be additional controls on the operators whereby a focus on responsible gaming and AML measures will be implemented. In addition, a minimum of three “key positions” employees will need to be hired locally. Furthermore, the yearly license fees will increase, although still remaining competitive in comparison with licenses in other jurisdictions. Current operators under the sub-license regime will be given a grandfathering period of 12 months to adjust their operations to the new regulations and convert their license. Curaçao licensed operators will ultimately benefit from a more reputable license that will give them access to a wider array of online payments methods and third party service providers.
Targeting of markets for Curaçao operators
No changes will be made and no new rules will be imposed to operators on targeting certain markets. However, the responsibility will be placed on the operator to make informed decisions on such. As an example, recent measures have been taken in Belgium and Germany against Curaçao-licensed operators, meaning effectively that all existing accounts for customers in these markets must be closed and settled and these countries should no longer be targeted.
From an EM Group standpoint and in the lead up to the new legislation, we will make sure to keep our clients informed on any new developments, but also to guide our operators on increasing their requirements with regard to the identification and verification of players upon registration, changes to the content of their general Terms & Conditions, and much more.
For more information or should you have any queries, we can provide you with detailed answers. George Bergmann, founder and Managing Director of EM Group in Curaçao, has been assisting the Curaçao government with the drafting of the new law.
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