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Curacao Set to Introduce New Regulator, Refurbishes Its Gambling Industry

Low entry barriers and flexible rules. These are aspects that characterize the current Curacao gambling market. But things are set to change with authorities in the country now planning an entire overhaul of the industry. That includes introducing a new regulator.

In Comes the Curacao Gaming Authority

A new independent gambling watchdog is set to take over the Curacao industry. This is after the Council of Ministers in the country passed a bill that will revamp the entire gambling industry. The Curacao Gaming Authority (CGA) is the proposed name of the new regulator. 

According to the bill, the CGA will be responsible for issuing licenses to B2C and B2B operators. The licenses will come at a fee as the government looks for ways to increase revenue collection from the gambling industry. 

The current sub-licenses will be absorbed into the new system. These sub-licenses will also have 12 months to switch to a transitional license. The government is already conducting a registration process for the eligible sub-licenses set to be part of the revamp. 

The CGA will also have the mandate to partner and settle on agreements with other gambling watchdogs. Former MGA (Malta Gaming Authority) CEO commented on Curacao’s decision to restructure its gambling industry. Mario Galea who is also a consultant to the revamp process stated that such agreements are common. The reason for these collaborations is to prevent operators from zeroing in on particular jurisdictions. 

Galea further added that the new regulatory body would have the power to strip operators should they fail to adhere to the set standards. They also spoke on the license fees stating that the license application fee will be about $4,000, a monthly regulatory fee set at $250, and an annual license fee at $12,000. 

Tighter Regulations on the Horizon in Revamped Industry

The overhauled gambling industry is also set to feature enhanced measures. Among them is that licensees will have to install at least three employees in crucial positions. These employees must also have a base in the country. New AML measures will also be in place in the new regime. 

The country’s finance minister also spoke about the upcoming gambling reforms. Javier Silvania stated that they have no issue should operators decide to exit the market due to tightened regulations. 

Silvania also noted that the latest bill will enhance the monitoring process since it will be “under the government’s control.” Silvania noted that he doesn’t worry about operators exiting the market since the country doesn’t make as much money from these operators anyway. Much of these profits remain with master licensees. 

The finance minister also noted that the government wants to stick with companies that will adhere to the new rules. Silvania also expounded on the need for three employees on the island because companies should not just be on paper, they should contribute to taxes too. 

Adding Legitimacy to the Market

Galea stated that the enhanced measures along with the new regulator will add much-needed legitimacy to the market. Curacao is popular for its low barriers to market and a recent report showed that at least 12,000 sites offer unlicensed products. 

Curacao’s new system is a product of collaborations between the island and the Dutch government. With the Council of Ministers already stamping a go on the bill, advisory bodies will take a look at it for further scrutiny, and then it will be tabled before parliament. The finance minister is hopeful the bill will be ready before the end of the year.

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Nerijus Grenda
Nerijus GrendaUpdated: 05 Aug 2022
Nerijus is one of our top writers here at GoodLuckMate, and he knows exactly what casino players want to read about. He got started in the iGaming industry as a player, more specif...

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