Whether you live in a country where online gambling is regulated or not, you must have stumbled upon an online casino that holds a Curacao licence. It comes as no surprise given that this island country in the southern Caribbean Sea is one of the jurisdictions that legalised online gambling back in 1993.
Curacao has been issuing online gambling licences since 1996. However, its legal framework and infrastructure differ from other popular jurisdictions where licences can be obtained. In this article, we discuss Curacao gaming regulators and the process of obtaining a licence. It can help you, as a player, make an informed decision next time you choose an online casino.
Gaming Regime of Curacao
The first thing you should know about Curacao is that there are two types of gaming licences, master and sub-licences. Master licences are issued exclusively by the Minister of Justice, and their holders can issue sub-licences.
Holders of both master licences and sub-licenses can offer gambling services. The former is valid for five years, while sub-licenses are tied to them. A sub-licence will be active as long as the master licence is valid.
Prospective casino operators cannot apply for a master licence. In Curacao, there is no central regulatory body that oversees online gambling activities and authorises online casinos. Instead, the government has transferred the responsibility of monitoring the market and protecting players to the master licence holders.
The Curacao Gaming Control Board was established in 1999 to regulate all gaming activities in and from Curacao. However, it licenses only land-based casinos, lotteries, bingo and Bon Ku Ne. At the same time, its responsibility is to oversee both online and land-based gambling as an anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) supervisor.
Master Licence Holders in Curacao
Since the 1990s, only four entities have obtained a master licence:
- Curacao eGaming
Also known as Cyberluck Curacao NV, Curacao eGaming is the master licence No. 1668/JAZ holder. The agency states that players can contact it to file a complaint against an operator on its official website. It refers to operators holding a sub-licence issued by Curacao eGaming. You can also get in touch with the master licence holder to ask for help if you want to self-exclude from gambling and learn more about the concept of responsible gaming.
- Gaming Curacao
As a master licence No. 365/JAZ holder, Gaming Curacao authorises operators to offer online casino, online poker, and sports betting services. Sub-licences issued by this agency enable operators to offer their services in various countries. Although its logo is often present in the footer of online casinos, Gaming Curacao’s official website is quite obscure and addresses operators only. The only way to contact the master licence holder is the contact form available on its website.
- Antillephone NV
The master licence No. 8048/JAZ holder has no online presence. Therefore, if you want to find out anything about it, you have to locate an online casino that has acquired its sub-licence. Click on the Antillephone NV badge in its footer to find an email you can use if any issue occurs during your stay at the casino.
- Curacao Interactive Licensing NV
Last but not least, Curacao Interactive Licensing NV holds the master licence No. 5536/JAZ. It is another master licence holder with no online presence. That’s right; it is 2023, and an agency entrusted with licencing operators and protecting players’ rights has no website, social media account or phone number on the internet. Even those casinos that hold a sub-licence issued by it have no badge on their site. So, practically, players are left on their own, with no protection.
How to Obtain an Online Gambling Licence in Curacao
Gaming companies that want to obtain a gambling license in Curacao must first establish a limited liability company in this jurisdiction. You will notice that Curacao-licensed operators have abbreviations BV or NV in their names.
The main difference between the licensing procedure in Curacao and other jurisdictions is in the regulatory body. Instead of a central authority, licences in this jurisdiction are granted by authorised agencies, also known as master licence holders we have mentioned earlier.
If you google how to get an online gambling licence in Curacao, you will come across many agencies that serve as middlemen between prospective operators and the master licence holders. It may be an answer to how to get in touch with an entity with no contact details available online, which is the case with two out of four master licence holders.
Besides an address registered in Curacao, a prospective casino operator must be registered in the local chamber of commerce. Also, they must appoint a local agent representative and a local director to manage its operations. The net profit of online casino operators registered in the e-zone is subject to a 2% tax. However, no corporate income tax or VAT applies.
The information on the cost of a Curacao licence is scarce. Still, according to some sources, online casino operators have to pay a €21,900 fee + 6% sales tax per year.
A gaming licence is issued within 4 to 8 weeks if all the requirements are met. It is one of the shortest timeframes in the world.
Why Play at Curacao-Licensed Online Casinos?
The straightforward licensing procedure and low taxes make Curacao an attractive jurisdiction for online casino operators. But, what does it mean for you as a player?
A Curacao licence gives an operator the freedom to offer their services worldwide. It is particularly convenient if they want to enter unregulated markets. Most Curacao-licensed gambling sites cater to players from those markets where online gambling is not banned, and authorities do not block offshore operators.
While a Curacao online gambling licence does not provide players with a high level of protection, it guarantees a multitude of options. Curacao-licensed casinos offer games from dozens of suppliers and support many payment methods and currencies.
Make sure to find an online casino that has established an impeccable reputation, and you will have peace of mind. Some of the best options are white label casinos that run on platforms provided by renowned companies. These software providers ensure that players enjoy a safe and fair gaming experience.