Curaçao Reveals New Operating Standards for Operators
Curaçao is set to hold gambling operators accountable to new internationally recognised operating standards from 1st of September.
At the iGaming NEXT Valletta 23, Curaçao’s finance minister Javier Silvania who took office in June 2021, made known the decision to expedite the regulatory reform process in the country.
Silvania said he has become increasingly aware of “troubling corporate behaviour” in recent months that warrants “immediate action”.
Last summer, the country announced its intention to overhaul the regulatory regime for the iGaming industry and abolish the current system of master and sub-licences.
The country has unveiled a new law, called the National Ordinance on Games of Chance (LOK), which is currently progressing through the parliamentary process.
Earlier this month, the LOK was presented to the country’s Council of Advice, which is to be the final step before presenting it to parliament.
While expressing satisfaction with the progress, Silvania said that lax practices within gambling operations, particularly concerning AML measures, fraud prevention, and player protection can no longer be tolerated.
The Regulator and New Standards
Silvania said that he has directed the country’s regulator, Gaming Control Board (GCB), to start implementing and upholding the new standards.
The GCB will begin issuing new licences to operators under the existing legislation, with a plan to transfer these licences into the new regulatory framework once it is enacted.
To ensure a smooth transition for existing operators willing to adopt the new regime, the government will allow for “uninterrupted business operations”.
The GCB is set to launch a dedicated portal for operators to register, facilitating the process of obtaining a direct licence.
Silvania said the narrative that Curaçao licences is ‘quick and easy to obtain’, accompanied by ‘lesser regulations’ and ‘lax monitoring’ as compared to other jurisdictions, is painful. He however, stressed that this notion will be unequivocally reversed through the new legislation.
The finance minister said going forward, Curaçao wants to know who owns the businesses operating from within their borders by conducting appropriate and consistent levels of due diligence.
He added that Curaçao will require transparency regarding the source of funds flowing into the country, and operators must adhere to legislation that aligns with reputable jurisdictions and, at the very least, meets the minimum requirements of international laws and guidance on anti-money laundering.
Curaçao will equally demand robust player protection and data security.
New Gaming Supervisory Body
The minister said that the LOK, which includes the establishment of a completely new regulatory body known as the Curaçao Gaming Authority, will prevent as well as mitigate any unwelcome and unlawful activities, in the country in order to ensure that Curaçao would no longer be known as the “red-headed step-child” of the gambling industry.
Silvania also pledged to collaborate and work alongside other regulatory authorities in other jurisdictions so as to ensure a level playing field for operators and suppliers, while safeguarding the interests of players and preserving the integrity of the gaming industry as a whole.
Lastly, Silvania highlighted that the majority of Curaçao-licensed operators uphold integrity and adhere to best practices, but that the country can no longer overlook the fact that some operators have tarnished the nation’s reputation.