The Caribbean island of Curaçao has announced that it plans to overhaul its online gambling license approval process following continued criticism of its infamously liberal licensing procedure.
New license holders must have at least 3 employees based in Curaçao
According to the announcement, a new licensing body will be created that will introduce tighter conditions for license holders and liaise with international regulatory authorities in a bid to stamp out illegal gambling.
The island is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and since the Dutch government moved to regulate online gambling, the local government has come under increasing pressure to limit licenses issued to gambling operators involved in illegal activity.
At present, the Curaçao government operates a master license system with only four businesses having direct licenses issued to them. These companies can then offer sub-licenses of their own to any gambling operator and set their own conditions for the licenses. This means that the government has no real control over who holds a sub-license.
However, a bill passed by Curaçao’s Council of Ministers has proposed the creation of a new independent state licensing body, the Curaçao Gaming Authority (CGA). This will be the primary regulatory body issuing license to both B2C and B2B companies. The fees for the licenses are expected to be €12,000 per year plus a monthly fee of €250 for each domain under the license. There will also be an application fee of €4,000.
Sub-license holders are currently being vetted are registered for new licenses through a transitional 12-month license. However, these holder must meet the new requirements if they are to retain their licensed status. These requirements include tighter anti-money laundering protocols along and a stipulation that each license holder have a minimum of three employees based in Curaçao. The latter requirement will likely see quite a number of license holders leave the jurisdiction.
The CGA is also likely to work closely with other regulators to limit gambling companies’ ability to illegally target regions that they are not licensed to operate in.