Curaçao’s emergence as a pivotal hub in the iGaming industry is underscored by its widely recognised Curacao iGaming licence. This small Caribbean island has rapidly become a benchmark for obtaining a gaming licence, offering a blend of regulatory flexibility and business-friendly policies that appeal to operators worldwide.
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As a result, the Curacao gaming licence has gained prominence, attracting a plethora of iGaming businesses seeking to establish credibility and access international markets.
With recent regulatory changes aimed at enhancing security and transparency, Curacao continues to shape the global iGaming landscape, reinforcing its position as a leading licencing authority.
The evolution of Curacao in the iGaming industry
On 1 September 2023, Curacao approved transformative changes to its gaming legislation, which took effect in November. These changes mark a significant departure from the previous iGaming regulations and gambling law, which were characterised by the issuance of master licences by the state and the subsequent granting of sub-licences by master licence holders.
The new system introduces an application process for new master licences directly from operators, aligning with existing legislation. This shift aims to centralise control and enhance the oversight of the iGaming sector within Curacao.
Here are the key changes and differences compared to the previous gambling regulations:
Types of licences
- Old System – Previously, the Curacao licencing system was based on a master licence and sub-licence structure. A few master licence holders had the authority to grant sub-licences to other gaming operators
- New System – The reform has eliminated the sub-licence model. Now, the Curacao Gaming Authority (CGA) directly issues a single type of licence to all operators, ensuring uniform standards across the board
Location of companies
- Old System – Under the old regulations, there was no strict requirement for the physical presence of the company in Curacao
- New System – The new regulations mandate that companies applying for a Curacao iGaming licence must have a genuine presence in Curacao, which includes having local management and meeting economic substance requirements
- Old System – The oversight was relatively decentralised, with master licence holders responsible for regulating their sub-licencees
- New System – The CGA now has centralised control and is the sole regulatory body responsible for oversight, compliance checks, and enforcement of regulations
Player protection and anti-money laundering (AML)
- Old System – There were fewer stringent measures in place for player protection and AML
- New System – The new regulations have introduced enhanced player protection policies and stricter AML procedures to align with international standards
Transparency and Fairness
- Old System – The level of transparency and fairness was not as rigorously enforced
- New System – The CGA is focused on ensuring that all licenced operators adhere to high standards of transparency and fairness in their gaming operations
What’s new in Curacao gaming licence?
The motivations behind the reform of Curacao’s iGaming sector are centred around enhancing the safety, security, and transparency of online gaming.
The reforms aim to protect consumers by ensuring that operators provide a safe gaming environment. This includes measures to prevent problem gambling and protect vulnerable players.
By establishing a robust regulatory framework, the reforms seek to secure the industry against fraudulent activities and cyber threats. The new iGaming regulations also emphasise the importance of protecting player data and ensuring the confidentiality of sensitive information.
The reforms are designed to increase financial transparency, making it easier to track transactions and prevent money laundering. Additionally, with direct licences, there is clear accountability for operators, who must comply with stringent iGaming regulations and reporting requirements.
Alignment with international standards
The changes are motivated by the desire to align Curacao’s iGaming industry with international standards, enhancing its global reputation and trustworthiness. By raising the bar for regulatory compliance, Curaçao aims to attract more reputable operators and investors to its jurisdiction.
The requirement for operators to have a local presence is expected to contribute to the local economy through job creation and infrastructure development.
The reasons for the iGaming reform in Curacao
Overall, the reform is a strategic move to position Curacao as a leading and respected jurisdiction in the global iGaming sector, ensuring that it remains competitive and continues to thrive in a rapidly evolving digital landscape. The amendments to Curacao’s gaming legislation reflect a global trend towards more stringent regulatory measures.
The new independent regulatory body, the Curacao Gaming Authority, replaces the Curacao Gaming Control Board, issuing both B2B and B2C licences. This overhaul addresses concerns about money laundering and aims to boost transparency and responsible gambling practices.
In conclusion, the iGaming sector’s evolution underscores the necessity of adapting to diverse global markets. Effective iGaming translations and localisation strategies are indispensable for marketing and iGaming services, ensuring that operators can engage with customers across different linguistic and cultural landscapes.
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