Government of Curaçao announces sweeping reforms in gambling sector

We are pleased to announce that all holders of the Curaçao master licence will receive a 1-year extension following the passing of the forthcoming gambling reform legislation. This extension aims to ensure a smooth transition and continuity in the gaming sector on the island.

The reform legislation will bring about significant changes to the gaming industry in Curaçao. The current system of master and sub licences, criticized for its lack of government oversight and control, will be replaced by a new regulatory framework.

Previously, operators had to apply for a sub-licence from one of the four master licence holders to gain full approval. This self-regulation model has resulted in Curaçao being known for having one of the least restrictive licensing jurisdictions globally, leading to operators on European and Australian blacklists.

Under the new legislation, the Curaçao Gaming Control Board will directly issue licences from September 1, eliminating the need for sublicences. However, the current master licence holders will still be able to issue sub-licences for a one-year period after the new law takes effect.

To promote transparency and compliance, licensees will be required to provide audited policies and procedures within 6 months of obtaining a new licence. Furthermore, a new regulatory body, the Curaçao Gaming Authority, will be established to issue licences, monitor operations, and enforce regulations.

Our commitment is to ensure greater regulatory diligence and improved transparency for funds entering the island’s gaming sector.

In 2020, the Kingdom of The Netherlands called upon Curaçao, one of its constituent nations, to improve its gambling regulations that were regarded as excessively lenient. Compliance with this request was crucial since failure to do so would lead to a withholding of financial assistance intended to alleviate the tourism crisis triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic. Although there were other reasons for Curaçao’s regulatory reforms, this particular factor carried significant weight.

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