Curaçao, a Caribbean island known for its online gambling industry, is set to undergo a significant regulatory transformation. The island’s government is preparing to implement a stricter regulatory framework aimed at enhancing the integrity of its gambling sector and aligning it with international standards.
The forthcoming changes, announced by Finance Minister Javier Silvania at the iGaming NEXT Valletta 23 conference, include the introduction of a new legislation known as the National Gambling Ordinance (LOK). The LOK is currently under review by the Advisory Council and is expected to be approved by the parliament soon. This new legislation will introduce significant changes to the gambling sector, particularly in the areas of anti-money laundering measures, fraud prevention, and player safeguarding.
A key component of the new rules is the establishment of a new supervisory authority, the Curaçao Gaming Authority. This body will be tasked with preventing and curtailing illegal activities in the gambling sector, signaling Curaçao’s determination to shed its reputation as a lax regulator in the gambling industry.
The transition to the new regulatory regime will be facilitated by allowing existing casino operators operating under its licence to continue their business operations without interruption. To streamline the license application process, the Gambling Control Board (GCB), the current regulator, will launch a dedicated portal for operators.
From 1 September 2023, Curaçao will start issuing direct licenses to gambling operators. These operators will be held accountable to internationally recognized standards. The GCB will begin issuing new licenses to operators under the existing legislation, with a plan to transfer these licenses into the new regulatory framework once it is enacted.
The government is committed to ensuring transparency in the sector. It aims to know who owns the businesses operating within its borders by conducting appropriate and consistent levels of due diligence. It also insists on transparency regarding the source of funds flowing into the country and requires operators to adhere to legislation that aligns with reputable jurisdictions and international laws concerning money laundering.
In conclusion, the upcoming changes in Curaçao’s gambling regulations are a significant step towards a more transparent and responsible gambling industry. The new rules are expected to enhance player protection, combat illegal activities, and restore trust in the sector. The island’s commitment to aligning with international standards and its willingness to implement stricter regulations demonstrate its determination to improve its reputation and attract reputable operators.