Curacao Online Casino Licensing Authority

Curacao is implementing sweeping reforms to its licensing process. With license distribution historically controlled in large part by major license holders who provide sublicenses to casinos, the Caribbean Island has long offered easy-to-obtain online casino licenses to start-ups. As a result, Curacao is home to more than 450 online casinos. Curacao is one of the most reputable authorities that puts player protection at the forefront.

Along with reputable online betting sites, disreputable operators give the license a bad reputation by closing and walking away with account holders’ deposits. An offer of monetary support with a few strings attached from the Netherlands appears to have sparked the impending overhaul of Curacaos laws and regulatory oversight, according to reports. Many startups seek the Curacao license because it offers a cost-effective licensing solution with a favorable corporate tax structure.

All casinos bearing the Curacao eGaming logo are thoroughly investigated and audited. Let’s explore these online casinos, the benefits, and the drawbacks of casinos licensed in Curacao.

Curacao Online Casino Licensing Authority
History of Curacao License

History of Curacao License

By 1993, the web blossomed with opportunities for new gambling enterprises. Curacao was one of the first regions to pass legislation for regulating online gambling in 1993. By 1996, the Gaming Licensing Authority met the growing demand for licenses and industry regulation. Legislation continued to evolve and by 2001, the government created the Internet Gaming Association to ensure operators maintained the expected code of conduct.

As one of the biggest online gambling licensing bodies in the globe, Curacao offers easy acquisition and affordable requirements. In addition, the country’s robust gambling infrastructure offers licensees strong telecommunications and financial platforms from which to launch an online betting site. Consequently, companies worldwide come to business-friendly jurisdictions to operate. Often called a tax haven, Curacao follows the European Union’s tax laws. Serving as an intermediary for licensed casinos with the IRS, the country adheres to AML compliance requirements.

In its current structure, Curacao issues two different types of licenses, including the master's license and a sub-license. Four companies hold the master license, including Curacao Interactive Licensing, Antillephone, Gaming Curacao, and Cyberluck Curacao. No additional master's licenses have been approved since 1996.

History of Curacao License
Sublicense

Sublicense

To obtain a Curacao license, a new casino must apply for one via one of the companies holding a master's license. Both sub-license and master license holders are authorized to operate internet gambling, such as sports betting, casinos, poker, and lotteries.

Sub-licenses were valid indefinitely with an annual renewal. However, given the announcement about upcoming changes to Curacao’s licensing and regulatory process, the government may review current license holders. As Curacao sets up its regulatory agency, the government seeks to control license issuance. In the past, only the master license holder could revoke a sub-license. The old structure is likely to change significantly as Curacao implements new procedures.

Sublicense
Online Casinos Licensed by Curacao Master License Holders

Online Casinos Licensed by Curacao Master License Holders

Historically, it’s easier to obtain a casino license in Curacao than in most other regions. Still, applicants must complete several steps before receiving the license approval. Traditionally, the timeframe from application to approval is shorter than in other regions, which may take up to a year to issue a license.

From a few days to six weeks, Curacao’s casino licensing system is quick and business-friendly. Yet, disreputable actors have slipped through the cracks in the process, prompting the government to opt for handling licensing at the government level. The region’s finance minister indicates changes are imminent, including a transfer of power from master license holders to government officials.

License Requirements

After registering the domain in the Curacao region, a business may register with a limited liability company to operate. Operators must hire a local representative and maintain a physical server located in Curacao to meet the licensing obligations.

Following AML/CFT rules, licensing authorities must check the personal background of each applicant. These in-depth inquiries include a review of finances, identity, and country of residence. The applicant must have a clean record with no criminal history.

Licensing requires the submission of a significant amount of documentation, including:

  • Terms and Conditions
  • Software
  • Resume
  • Reference
  • Bank Letter
  • Identification
  • Domain ownership
  • Accountant or Lawyer Letter

Once the applicant submits the required paperwork, processing may take up to six weeks to obtain approval for qualified businesses. Startup costs are reasonable at present. Historically, applicants obtain a license for between $20,000 to $30,000. Acquiring a gaming license in Curacao may include various expenses, such as:

  • Personnel
  • Document registration
  • License application fee
  • Bank account
  • Server costs
  • Office equipment
  • Taxes
  • Consultation

Currently, one of the least expensive licenses in the industry, Curacao offers several benefits to operators launching new casinos or online betting sites in the region.

Online Casinos Licensed by Curacao Master License Holders
License Approved Casinos

License Approved Casinos

After obtaining a license in Curacao, operators may offer services in any country which accepts the license. Nations across the globe do not ban Curacao licensed sites, including Australia, Canada, Japan, India, and Poland. If an approved operator adheres to Curacao and regional laws, it may continue operating in multinational areas. Penalties for failing to comply with legal parameters may result in loss of the license or financial penalties.

To date, master license holders drive and implement policies for handling operator and player disagreements. However, many complaints against unethical Curacao licensed businesses have led to a change in the system by the government.

Operators may not provide services to citizens in specific regions, including Curacao, France, the United States, the Netherlands, and Aruba. However, in the regions where the license is welcome, the operators may use a license to provide a variety of gambling services.

License Approved Casinos
Pros and Cons of applying for the Curacao license

Pros and Cons of applying for the Curacao license

License flexibility is a plus for operators who seek to offer several gaming options to consumers. Since one license covers all betting types, master license holders and sub-license holders are free to provide nearly unlimited gaming to citizens across the globe, including sportsbooks, casinos, and lotteries. Since the process is historically one of the fastest license approvals on the market, operators appreciate the quick approval timeframe. With zero corporate tax on revenue and a 2% net gains tax, the region continues to attract companies seeking a favorable business environment.

Pros

  • Cutting-edge technology
  • Best-known casino games
  • world-renowned names for virtual games and esports.
  • A wide spectrum of e-betting services
  • Lifetime validity
  • Tax benefits
  • Additional technical and financial support

Curacao boasts some of the fastest internet connectivity and advanced IT infrastructure in the western hemisphere. This is facilitated by numerous submarine optic fiber cables, direct satellites, and a level 4 data center. Besides regulating gambling sites, Curacao eGaming offers financial and technical assistance.

The services include international finance, private cloud services, and dedicated services. The economy highly depends on fintech and financial services, and that's why the country invests in decent infrastructure. Online casinos hosted in Curacao do not have web hosting issues.

One License Covers all Betting Types

Through Curacao's licensing and sub-licensing system, online gambling platforms enjoy a broad range of betting services. With a master's license, a casino has the right to sub-license e-games to other providers. This has created a vast network of operators covering online casinos, gaming software, poker, sportsbooks, and so on.

The best part of the Curacao eGaming license is that it works indefinitely. After the acquisition process, which can take 45 days, the recipient can use it for a lifetime. It is also easier to get than applying for a license from the UK Gambling Commission. Moreover, the licensee enjoys a reduction in corporate income tax by 2% until 2026. Luckily, the VAT rate for all casinos operating under Curacao eGaming is 0%.

Cons

Unfortunately, the license has its drawbacks. Several countries restrict Curacao licensed operators from accepting players in certain regions. Any sites accepting players from restricted regions may face license revocation. Although Curacao has a strong reputation in the industry, its license is not as well-regarded as others in the market.

  • No intervention in case of disputes between players and gaming providers
  • Not necessarily a ticket to trust

Gamblers must know that Curacao's jurisdiction does not solve disagreements between gambling operators and players. Players should do their due diligence before signing up at any online casino.

While many reputable gambling websites have a Curacao eGaming license, it doesn't mean they are 100% trustworthy.

Pros and Cons of applying for the Curacao license
Domestic Laws and Restrictions set by Curacao license

Domestic Laws and Restrictions set by Curacao license

By launching the Internet Gaming Association in 2001, Curacao established a framework for ensuring the licensees continue to adhere to regulations. The Association mediates issues between the government and licensed operators in the country to aid in maintaining policies favorable to the industry. In 2002, Curacao’s e-Gaming Licensing Authority began monitoring online gambling. Another regulatory agency, called the Gaming Control Board, oversees land-based gambling to combat money laundering and terrorism financing.

For operators who fail to adhere to existing regulations, penalties may include jail and/or fines. Those who break the law may also lose their license or encounter bans in various regions across the globe. Only licensed and reputable establishments may obtain work with reputable industry partners. Some countries blacklist certain Curacao-licensed online betting sites which fail to follow local regulations. Therefore, unlicensed illegal operators may face challenges obtaining partnerships with respected financial institutions and software developers.

Several Curacao casinos have been blacklisted in certain regions. Ultimately, repeat lawbreakers will face having their license revoked and businesses closed as the regulation of online gambling heats up in the competitive digital marketplace.

Domestic Laws and Restrictions set by Curacao license

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