Is gambling in Curacao legal?
Yes and up until a few years ago, it was the only country in the Netherlands Antilles permitted to license and regulate online gambling. In 2002, the power was decentralized from the Curacao Gaming Control Board. Currently, the Governor of the Netherlands Antilles is permitted to award online gambling licenses.
This decentralization caused online gaming to become a central industry for the tiny area. The largest online gambling affiliate organization, most commonly known as Pokerlistings, also located its headquarters and main offices in Curacao. Two other large corporations headquartered on Curacao are Casinocoins and VIP.com.
What is the regulating organization in Curacao jurisdiction?
The Curacao e-Gaming Licensing Authority regulates online gaming within Curacao, as designated by the Curacao Department of Justice. It was established in 1996, which makes it one of the oldest regulated providers for electronic gaming services. The Authority not only manages gaming licenses, it also performs hosting and IT infrastructure services. This makes Curacao an attractive location for operators and reduces the number of points at which problems could potentially occur.
What are the laws and legal system pertaining to Curacao gambling?
The National Ordinance Offshore Games of Hazard allowed the Governor of the Netherlands Antilles to begin awarding online gambling licenses to qualified operators within the Netherlands Antilles. Gaming licenses are not based on this National ordinance, no longer being centralized with the Curacao Gaming Control Board. Curacao and the Netherlands Antilles are both members of the European Union and are designated at Overseas Country and Territory (OCT).
The tax regime makes Curacao an appealing setting for international operations involving e-commerce. The net corporate income tax rate is only two percent. There is no tax on gross bets, nor is there any sales tax. There are also no VAT, import duties, or restrictions on dividend withdrawals.
Internet gambling within Curacao is the sole focus of the Curacao International Gambling Association (CIGA). This group represents its members to the local government, providing a voice for legal, communication, policy, and legislative matters. Members must comply with licensing requirements and commit to conformance with a code of conduct. The Curacao e-Gaming Licensing Authority holds members to strict standards regarding auditing, age and residency of gamblers, minimum financial resources, advertising, and marketing.
What are the licensing requirements for a website to use Curacao as its base of operations?
The Curacao e-Gaming Licensing Authority offers a license that covers games of chance, skill, and sports betting. This license covers product operators and software providers. The licensing procedure is rather complex and very strict. A company is required to operate its primary servers out of Curacao. At a minimum, the computer hardware located here must contain financial transactions, game logic, and player information.
Operators must register as a legal local entity with the Netherlands Antilles Chamber of Commerce. An operator submits a license application and is then subject to a six-week investigation by the local Department of Justice. During this investigation, the company’s background and its business practices are reviewed. Its gaming software is also subjected to testing regarding randomness.
Applicants who pass this investigation are issued a provisional license, which requires a guaranteed deposit of approximately ANG 60,000. Its operations are then subject to several regulatory rules, including a period of audit during which payouts and wagers are scrutinized carefully to ensure that they are fair and accurate. The licensing fee is ANG 10,000 monthly for the first two years and after that time, the monthly fee is usually represented by a percentage of net gains.
All products licensed under the Authority must display an official license seal, assuring that the operation complies with all the requirements of the jurisdiction. This also provides assurance that the minimum required operations are taking place from computer hardware located in the e-zone of Curacao.
Operators also have the option to obtain a sub-license from several parties. These entities already have a government-issued gaming license. Sub-license costs range from $2,000 to $4,000. Cyberluck is the oldest and the only original Master License provider on Curacao permitted to provide and operate Internet connectivity from within the international telecommunications center of the government.
This entity is government-authorized to provide Internet gaming licenses, enabling authorized operators to receive benefits no longer offered to licensees. Clients of Cyberluck are not required to go through local Internet connection points. The company is also the only authorized CyberGuard intrusion hardware distributor in the Caribbean.
Is there any customer dispute legislation for Curacao gambling?
The Curacao e-Gaming Licensing Authority ensures that members of CIGA operate in accordance with their gaming license as well as assist with development of consumer and customer service standards. As such, both entities have involvement with consumer dispute legislation.
Who do I contact if I have a problem with a casino in this jurisdiction?
Players who have complaints to file should do so directly with the operator. If that proves unsuccessful, they can file a complaint with CIGA, who will not deal with the complaint but will pass it on to the member company for resolution. No government agency deals directly with player/operator disputes or their mediation.
What should I look for in a gambling website operating out of Curacao?
Though the license regulations are not the strictest within the industry, they are sufficient for ensuring that reliable and safe online gambling sites are run by licensees. This jurisdiction has one of the longest histories for handling online gambling licenses so consumers can gamble on licensed sites with little worry.