Located in the Dutch Caribbean (near South America), Curaçao is an island nation and is one of the first jurisdictions to regulate online gambling. Online gaming legislation in Curaçao was first introduced in 1993 when the island was still part of the Netherlands Antilles.
Curaçao offers a sub-license for online operators which provides online gaming licensing authority to operators of gaming services, software, and service providers. The single license covers all aspects of gaming including casinos, sportsbooks, exchanges, lotteries, and games of skill and games of chance.
Master licenses are also available, which grant any online gaming operator the ability to sub-license third parties subject to the requirements of their own master license.
If you are looking to obtain an online gaming license from Curaçao you will have to meet the following basic criteria along with your application and payment.
• Original documented proof of a police clearance certificate (record within the past 90 days) for all the owners.
• Certified passport scans for all the owners.
• Original bank references for all of the owners (record within the past 90 days).
• Original or certified copies of any utility bills (record within the 90 days).
• Detailed descriptions of all the games offered and gaming software utilized.
• Confirmation of the Random Number Generator application and proof of 3rd party certification if needed.
• Listed geographic/target market.
• A signed declaration from all the owners stating that the website provides information on gambling problems and addiction and restrictions are in place so that minors are blocked from accessing content.
• At the minimum, host a backup of the customer and transaction data in Curaçao.
If you are a gaming operator in need of a simple solution for obtaining a gaming license, Curaçao is most likely your best option. Due to the simple and easy application process, along with the basic requirements and low application fees, many gaming operators choose to make their company home in Curaçao.
The sub-license fees for an online gambling license in Curaçao are 10,000 (ANG) per month for the first two years. Master license fees are a bit higher but are still only 60,000 (ANG) per month for the first two years. After the two years are up a new license fee can be determined through negotiation.
Furthermore, Curaçao has many favorable tax laws in place. If you choose to make Curaçao your hub for operations you are subject to only 2% of your net profits via online gaming.
Gaming regulations in Curaçao are also less complex. Not only is the process simpler, but you only need one license for any type of gambling operation.
In addition to the licensing and regulation, Curaçao also offers several support options for operators. These include private cloud servers and hosting services, financial and payment services, and overall consulting.
While there are certainly many pros to possessing a license from Curaçao it’s fair to say that there are disadvantages as well. Especially when comparing a Curaçao license to a license issued by Gibraltar, the Isle of Man or Alderney.
Simply due to the fact that Curaçao’s license is so accessible slightly diminishes its value and clout. The easy application makes for a quicker turnaround and less hassle, but it’s valid to say that the market is then flooded with more and more operators who are not subject to a rigorous application process and strict regulations.
In the past, casinos with Curaçao licenses have been linked to stealing player’s money or going off the grid. And unfortunately, Curaçao does not intervene in any disputes involving players and operators.
A majority of licenses from Curaçao are sub-licenses issued from master license holders. Therefore, the company that holds the master license is responsible for the third party who possesses the sub-license and can audit them, not the gaming commission.
Lastly, there are also drawbacks regarding market availability and banking. Operators with Curaçao licenses are may not be allowed to access certain markets within North American and the European Union. Similar hurdles are present with the financial industry for operators who have licenses from Curaçao. Some banks may not allow an operator open an account or process payments.
While it is perfectly legal to obtain a license from Curaçao it is really the duty of operators to build trust and a good reputation with their players and the industry as a whole. And it is on players to do sufficient research on the online gaming sites they wish to play on and be mindful of the pros and cons of each.