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As a jurisdiction of choice, CSB Group can provide clients with assistance in establishing their remote gaming business along with guidance and support in obtaining the appropriate licence which would enable them to provide facilities for gambling and/or advertising in Curaçao. As in all other services and solutions we offer, when it comes to consultancy services for our remote gaming clients, we are set to provide a total online gaming solution to interested parties, providing prospective clients with all the elements necessary for their successful gaming venture.
Online Gaming in Curaçao
Curaçao is currently in the process of reforming its online gambling legislation via a new law that will be named the Landsverordening op de kansspelen (Lok). In expectation of the entry into force of the Lok, the Minister of Finance of Curaçao has decided to recommence issuing licenses under the current law, the National Ordinance on Offshore Games of Hazard (Landsverordening buitengaatse hazardspelen, P.B. 1993, no. 63) (NOOGH). Herewith, the Minister of Finance hopes to create a transition framework that will permit a smooth transition from the existing to the new law.
Thus, Curacao has created a new online portal which is intended to be used for:
- the application for a Curacao online gaming license in accordance with NOOGH by those companies that wish to obtain a license directly from the Curaçao Gaming Control Board (GCB), and
- the registration of operators that are currently offering online gaming in Curaçao on the basis of an agreement with an existing license holder and that wish to obtain a Curacao online gaming license under current/future law.
Applying for a Curacao eGaming Licence
In 2019 the Minister of Finance of Curaçao was tasked with the licensing for and the supervision of the online gaming sector on behalf of the Governor of Curaçao. As of March 2020, the Curaçao Gaming Control Board (GCB) was tasked with the licensing and supervision of the online gaming sector on the Minister of Finance’s behalf. As of November 2023, the GCB has been accepting and processing license applications from those who wish to acquire a Curacao online gaming license directly from the GCB. Licenses can only be issued to Curaçao based companies that offer online gaming.
Obtaining a remote gaming licence in Curaçao
According to the NOOGH, the Governor of Curaçao is authorized to grant a license to operate online games of chance. By national decree of December 23, 2019, no. 19/2434, the Minister of Finance has been provided, on behalf of the Governor, the responsibility for policy-making and implementation of the LBH.
By ministerial order of March 24, 2020, No. 2020/00449623, the Minister of Finance has directed that the powers granted to him regarding offshore games of hazard to the Curaçao Gaming Control Board (“GCB”). On the Minister of Finance’s behalf, the GCB is authorised to grant licenses for and supervising the online gaming industry in Curacao.
Licensing and supervision on the basis of the NOOGH shall be conducted in accordance with the below objectives:
- the prevention of fraud and other illegal activities related to games of chance;
- the protection of players, including the protection of minors and guaranteeing payment of player winnings;
- the prevention of gambling addiction.
A safe, responsible, reliable, and a transparent supply of games of chance in or from Curaçao must be guaranteed, where, nevertheless overlap that may exist between the definitions:
- 'safe' means the safety of the games offered, the game equipment, and the game system, and their sufficient resistance to risks such as theft, malware, and internet crime;
- 'responsible' refers to matters such as open and fair treatment of players, safeguards against gambling addiction, and the protection of vulnerable persons, including minors.
- 'reliable' refers to the integrity, the stability, and continuity of the provider of the games of chance and the game it offers. The reliability of the games of chance provider must also be beyond doubt in connection with the prevention of money laundering and the financing of terrorism;
- 'transparent' means that the operations of the provider must be accessible, transparent, and testable and that it is also properly administered.
Based on the above, the GCB in Curacao shall:
- Grant an iGaming license if the applicant demonstrates and guarantees a safe, responsible, transparent, and reliable offer of games of chance in or from Curaçao.
- Attach license conditions and restrictions that can reasonably contribute to a safe, responsible, transparent, and reliable offer of games of chance in or from Curaçao.
Requirements for applying for a licence
Only a legal entity which have been incorporated under the laws of Curaçao and has its registered office in Curaçao can apply for an online gaming licence. Additionally, only applicants that conduct the following activities are eligible to apply:
- Player management: registration and verification of players, and
- Fund management: engaging in financial transactions, manage players' funds (deposit and withdrawals), and create bonuses and other incentive.
The applicant shall be required to fill out and submit a number of forms along with supporting policies and documentation.
During their review of the iGaming license application, the Curacao GCB will focus on:
- the integrity of the applicant, its ultimate beneficial owners, its holders of a qualifying interest, its statutory directors, its managing directors, and its compliance officers;
- the financial integrity of the applicant's organization;
- delivery channels and their accessibility from the players’ standpoint. Critical policies and procedures must be submitted with the GCB within 6 months of granting of the license, audited in accordance with instructions of the GCB, and thereafter upon the request of the GCB.
The GCB decides whether to grant a licence or not within two months of receipt of the application.
The validity period of the license is one year, subject to earlier revocation or (transitional) provisions applicable under future Curacao laws.
Conditions will be attached to the license that apply to all holders of a license. CSB Group will be able to assist you in relation to understanding certain conditions that apply to licenses granted by the GCB directly. Specific conditions that apply to individual licensees may also be attached to the license depending on specific circumstances.
Fees you can expect from the GCB
Until Lok enters into force in June or July 2024, licensees are required to comply with the current laws in Curacao (NOOGH). However, licence conditions which shall be applied to each licence granted by the GCB shall reflect the new laws (Lok).
When it comes to applicable fees, licencees shall be expected to comply with NOOGH until Lok enters into force. Therefore, applicants/licensees can expect the following fees due to the GCB:
NOOGH (applicable until June or July 2024)
- No application fees;
- Annual licence fee is a total of 120,000.00 ANG (pegged to US dollar):
- 36,000.00 ANG annual licence fee due upon licence issuance
- 7,000.00 ANG per month
Kindly note that these fees permit licensees to include 40 domains within the licence. However, in the event that the licensee wishes to add more than 40 domains, an extra charge of 500 ANG per domain per year shall be applied.
Lok (entry into force in June or July 2024)
- 9,000.00 ANG application fee
- 49,000.00 ANG annual licence fee due upon licence issuance
- 4,000.00 ANG per month
- 500 ANG per year permitting licensees to have unlimited domains included within the licence
Carousel Group partnered with CSB back in 2018 when we began this venture and they have guided and supported us through every step of the process. Despite how arduous and complex licensing a gaming business has become in recent years, we were lucky to have CSB in our corner to ensure success and build the foundations for a high-growth international business.
Mr. Daniel Graetzer
We would like to thank Mr Roger A. Strickland Jr., Director of CSB Group, for his support throughout the application process and his team for their excellent work.
Für uns als ausländisches Unternehmen mit Sitz in Malta war schnell klar, wie wichtig lokales Know-how und die Präsenz eines professionellen Partners ist, der sich um unsere rechtlichen und finanziellen Angelegenheiten kümmert. Wir können nur sagen, dass die Wahl von CSB als unser Berater eine der besten Entscheidungen war, die wir getroffen haben. Da CSB unsere Angelegenheiten stets fristgerecht und zuverlässig erledigt, können wir die Firma jedem empfehlen, der ein Unternehmen im Ausland gründen möchte.
CSB has been managing The EveryMatrix Employee Trust since 2022. CSB have vast experience and knowledge in the Trust Management sector and other corporate-related matters. As Trustees, they have continuously and promptly assisted the Trust throughout any corporate-related process involving our wider group of companies. We look forward to continuing this collaboration in the future!