In this article, we delve into the evolving landscape of the gambling industry in Curacao, exploring upcoming regulatory changes, existing gambling projects under a Curacao license, and essential steps for those aspiring to secure a Curacao license. Our expert team at Private Financial Services maintains direct communication with Curacao’s regulatory and supervisory authorities, ensuring access to the latest updates and insights.
A Brief for Aspiring Entrepreneurs
For more than two decades, Curacao has stood as a prime destination for gambling ventures worldwide. Many major casinos and bookmakers either currently hold or have held a Curacao license. The attractiveness of a Curacao license lies in:
• Affordable Entry: The Curacao license boasts a low entry threshold, making it a cost-effective option compared to licenses in Malta or the Isle of Man.
• Ease of Acquisition: Obtaining a Curacao license is swift and hassle-free, often taking just a few weeks—a stark contrast to the lengthy processes in other jurisdictions like Malta.
• Tax Benefits: Remarkably, Curacao imposes no gambling tax, enhancing its appeal to prospective licensees.
• Compliance Relief: Curacao offers a hassle-free environment, sparing operators from incessant player complaints and legal entanglements, ultimately saving both time and resources.
• Financial Accessibility: Payment institutions and PSPs are well-versed with Curacao, facilitating quick account setup and processing integration for casinos and bookmakers.
• Crypto-Friendly: Curacao embraces cryptocurrencies in the gambling sector without requiring a separate license for accepting crypto deposits.
• Game Provider Integration: Most game providers readily collaborate with Curacao licensees, enabling a seamless integration of desired games.
This overview only scratches the surface of the benefits Curacao offers to gambling businesses. Exploring the advantages in detail is beyond the scope of this article.
For a thorough understanding of Curacao’s advantages and any potential drawbacks, we invite you to contact us for a free consultation with our specialists. With experience in licensing gambling projects across over 15 different countries, we’re equipped to analyze your business model and guide you towards the most suitable jurisdiction and license.
The Evolving Regulatory Landscape
Over the last five or seven years, Curacao has been a focal point of regulatory discussions within the gambling industry. Progress was initiated in 2020 when the island sought assistance from the Netherlands amidst the pandemic. One condition of this aid was a revamp of Curacao’s gambling legislation, underlining the influence of the Netherlands despite Curacao’s autonomy, rooted in centuries of colonization.
In June 2023, Curacao’s Minister of Finance proposed new gambling regulations, anticipated to be ratified by year-end. Subsequently, in August, the Curacao Gaming Control Board projected the final law’s implementation by mid-2024.
Notably, the Gaming Control Board disrupted the longstanding regime of master license holders, permitting operators to directly apply for licenses starting November 1, 2023, without awaiting the new legislation.
Pros and Cons of the Regulatory Shift
Advantages of this development include:
• Reputation Enhancement: This change eliminates potential negative associations tied to unrelated projects under a master license, bolstering your company’s reputation.
• Operational Independence: The removal of intermediary master license holders grants operators greater operational freedom within legal bounds, alleviating previous constraints and costs.
• Improved Credibility: Curacao aims to shed its previous reputation through this new regulatory regime, offering operators fresh prospects and enhanced credibility.
• Deterrent for Dishonest Operators: Stricter criteria deter unscrupulous operators from obtaining licenses, promoting a more trustworthy gambling environment.
However, there are downsides, including a roughly threefold increase in annual license costs and slightly stricter applicant and internal process requirements.
Lastly, in late September 2023, Curacao hosted its inaugural international gambling conference. Officials reiterated Curacao’s substantial gambling industry presence compared to Malta, emphasizing the need for a regulatory overhaul to bridge the revenue gap with their Maltese counterparts.
Curacao License: Your Key to the Future of Online Gambling
Discover why applying for a Curacao license directly is a game-changing opportunity. From November 1, 2023, you can kickstart the process and potentially be among the first license holders in over 20 years. A remarkable marketing and informational chance awaits as the race for this coveted license begins.
Who Should Act Now?
Considering the upcoming regulatory changes, we strongly recommend the following operators to seize this opportunity:
• Newcomers: If this is your first time obtaining a Curacao license, bypassing sublicense application through master license holders is the smart choice, saving you time and money.
• Multiple Project Holders: Shield yourself from potential legislative shifts by transitioning one of your projects under a “master license.” It’s a proactive move to ensure stability during the transition.
• Pending Sublicense Fee Payers: If you’re nearing the deadline for annual sublicense fee payment, acting now could save you from potential financial losses.
• Visionaries: Anticipate the future landscape where most payment institutions and PSPs might shy away from sublicense holders. Act now to secure your position and payment methods.
What’s in Store for License Applicants?
Prepare for a seamless transition. Once you’ve assembled the necessary documents (allow 2-3 weeks), submit your application starting from November 1. The regulator will take up to 8 weeks for review, ensuring you’re armed with the new license by January 15, ready for the upcoming law changes.
By the way, in addition to license assistance, we offer comprehensive services like opening current accounts, PSP, global company setup, trademark registration, and more.
Rest assured, Curacao will remain a stable hub for gambling projects in the years to come.
Unlike Malta, where 12% of GDP depends on gambling, Curacao falls significantly behind with less than 1%. However, it’s striving to transform into a gambling island hub, beckoning industry experts, payment institutions, and international corporations, aiming to bridge the gap in gambling’s contribution to GDP when compared to Malta.
Although future years might bring stricter substance requirements, now is the opportune moment to establish your venture here securely.
Invest in the future of online gambling with a Curacao license and position yourself at the forefront of this thriving industry. Embrace the change and secure your place on this gambling island paradise.