Curacao Licensed gambling operators in could suffer a reduction of clientele as the government gives into pressure from the Netherlands.

The move will see an introduction of new rules and restrictions for the granting of licenses to online casinos and betting providers.

The local economy in Curacao relies heavily on tourism. With the arrival of the Covid pandemic the Caribbean island has suffered hugely this year. In order to reduce the spread of Covid, As a result, Curacao had to take extraordinary measures. These were financially backed by the Netherlands.

In May 2020, after the islands second round of funding, the Dutch Government informed Curacao that its financial support would no longer come without some duties and responsibility.

Within the Dutch government’s Country Pack agreed with Government they included stipulations in reference to introduce restrictions when issuing online gambling licenses. In addition, they outlined certain changes necessary overall for the gambling industry in Curacao.

Several thousand online casino and betting providers have been issued with licenses from Curacao. However, they often reach customers in other territories not authorised to operate within (including the Netherlands). The new reform set out in the Country Package, will see an end to this. Under the new proposals outlined in the country package, local license holders will no longer be able to target and accept players from other regulated territories, except a few.

Also outlined in the package agreed between Curacao and the Netherlands

Due to the pressure from the Netherlands, Curacao will now be required to create a new independent regulator. This body will oversee the gambling sector and the granting of gambling license within the island nation. In addition to these powers, it will have the ability to revoke any non compliant licenses. The dates et for the formation of the new regulator is March 1, 2021.

Currently, several master license holders within Curacao mostly private telecommunications companies who sub license to online casino and betting websites. It is important to note that these licenses are granted on the grounds of commercial purposes. There is no regulator that oversees the activity of these types of licenses.

Currently, operators who are licensed in Curacao do not have to pay tax on revenues collected from online gambling services. However, under the new reform this is due to change.

As stated in the Country Package Curacao and the newly formed regulator must produce a plan by 1st September 2021 to reorganize their current online gambling market.

This will introduce a system of licensing that stops license holders in Curacao from targeting customers in the prohibited territories such as the Netherlands.

Ensure that all operators are compliant with the new regulations.

Allow licensed operator to service local customers

Punish those operators who violate the new regulations.

This outcome will mean a dramatic increase in the amount of customers that Curacao Casino and betting operator can target. This will result in limiting their target customer base to just the 160,000 customers on the island and a few other countries.

In addition, all gambling operators will be required to pay taxes (including corporate tax) and licence fees. Currently, master license holders pay for their master license fee and only 2% of corporate tax. The reason for this being that they provide services from other locations.