Changes in the gambling licensing system in Curaçao

23rd of October, 2023

In 2023, the Curaçao Island Government announced changes to the gambling licensing process. News of gambling licensing in Curacao in 2023 unambiguously indicate one thing: by 2024 the rules for operators will become stricter, it will become more problematic to obtain authorization. The requirements for the financial stability of organizations, data security will increase, and new measures against money laundering will be introduced.

Gradual implementation of changes began in September 2023 and, according to experts, the full transition to the new licensing system will take from 3 to 6 months. This means that those wishing to enter the online gambling market in Curacao should hurry up and apply for opening a business before the end of 2024, before the innovations come into force.

As it was: the general license system

Previously, a general license (master or basic license) was issued to conduct online gambling business. In order to obtain a Curaçao gambling license, it was required to comply with certain standards, in particular on payments, as well as to meet the requirements for verifying the identity of players, ensuring the protection of databases, combating money laundering. Holders of such a permit could organize and conduct online games, conduct financial activities all over the world: pay prizes, accept payments and so on.

It was also possible to obtain a sub-license, i.e. the right to rent equipment and infrastructure of the main licensee. In other words, the lessee could use the software and digital capacity of already existing platforms to establish a casino or betting house. There was no need to engage in software development on its own. This approach greatly simplified and accelerated the process of starting a business.

What changes are being introduced?

Changes in the licensing system are global, they will affect all the main aspects of online casinos. Innovations are introduced to strengthen the protection of users from various fraudulent schemes, to stabilize the gambling market, to "clean" the sphere from weak and unreliable companies.

Change of administrative bodies

Previously, Curacao licenses were issued by the Curacao Gaming Control Board (CGCB). It will now be replaced by the Gambling Authority, which is fully subordinated and controlled by the Government. The change of administrative bodies will result in the Government having access to information on all entities licensed to operate in the gambling industry. New companies applying for a license will also be more strictly monitored and audited.

Abolition of sub-licenses

Once all the changes come into effect, the issuance of new sub-licenses will cease. Each company will now have to individually apply for a permit to operate, and therefore will have to pass all reliability checks.

Introduction of new types of licenses

Curaçao will phase out not only sub-licenses, but the entire master license system. From 2024, specific authorizations will have to be obtained:

  • B2C – a license entitling to interact with the Operator;
  • B2B – a license to work with manufacturers of software, platforms, and payment systems.

For companies that have previously obtained a general license, a transition period of up to one and a half years is envisaged: during this period it will be necessary to obtain a new permit and pass all necessary inspections.

Increase in the size of commissions

The change in the type of licensing and standards will inevitably lead to an increase in the price of licenses, moreover, now it is necessary to obtain several of them. Registration fees are paid annually.

The need to hire local staff

Securing a Curaçao gambling license to carry out gambling activities will become more troublesome. Previously, it was enough for a company to have 1 high-ranking employee from among the residents or residents of Curaçao. Now there must be at least 3 such employees, all of whom must hold key positions in the company.

Source of income checks

The protocol for checks on co-founders and employees holding key positions in the firm will be updated and amended. Their sources of income will be particularly scrutinized. On the one hand, this will increase the level of trust in companies, but on the other hand, it will cause longer checks before licenses are issued.

Disbursement verification

The Authority will strictly monitor that companies pay out winnings. If they do not, a licensee who refuses to remit winnings will have to pay fines. And in some cases, it may even have its license revoked temporarily or permanently.

Availability of an office

To acquire a license, you will have to register a company in Curaçao and set up a physical office with real employees.

Cryptocurrency settlement

The concept provides for the possibility of settlement as well as payment of taxes with cryptocurrency.

How to get a license in Curaçao?

It is worth hurrying, before not all the changes in the licensing system of Curaçao in 2023 came into force. From January 2024 the procedure will be much more complicated: you will have to collect a noticeably larger package of documents, and its verification will take much longer.

Intelligent Solution Group employees will help you to do everything correctly and quickly:

  • form the right package of documents for registration of old or new type of license;
  • select office premises that meet all the requirements and properly draw up documents for it;
  • open accounts;
  • will accompany you up to the moment of obtaining a license, as well as for some time afterwards.

Intelligent Solution Group has its own representative in Curaçao, he will help to solve any issues on the spot. We will help you to avoid administrative difficulties, return of documents for finalization. With us you will be able to open a gambling business in Curacao quickly and without any problems until the end of 2023, while the licensing system remains the same. If you still have any questions about how to get a gambling license in Curacao in 2023, please contact our manager by phone or through the form on the website.