The online gaming sector of Curacao is currently regulated by the National Ordinance on Offshore Games of Hazard (Landsverordening buitengaatse hazardspelen, P.B. 1993, no. 63) (NOOGH). Based on the NOOGH, online gaming licenses are issued by or on behalf of the Governor of Curaçao.
In 2019 the Minister of Finance of Curaçao has been tasked with the licensing for and the supervision of the online gaming sector on behalf of the Governor of Curaçao.
Since March 2020, the Curaçao Gaming Control Board (GCB) has been tasked with the licensing for and supervision of the online gaming sector on behalf of the Minister of Finance.
The government of Curaçao is currently in the process of realizing a complete reform and modernization of its (online) gambling legislation through a new law that will be named the Landsverordening op de kansspelen (Lok).
The Lok will be a legal framework for the regulation of all games of chance, containing general provisions that apply to all games of chance. Based on the Lok, individual games of chance can be further regulated by lower regulations. As the Lok is still in draft form, its final content, when it enters into force, may differ from the current draft.
Given the current focus of the Curaçao government on online gaming, a national decree, containing general measures, will be drawn up to further regulate the online gaming sector.
Based on the Lok, the GCB will be converted into a new independent licensing and supervisory authority for the whole Curaçao gambling industry, the Curaçao Gaming Authority (“CGA”).
A significant number of operators are currently operating under one of the licenses granted to four of the license holders on the basis of the NOOGH. As the government would like to see their continued operations from Curaçao in the future, it is one of its priorities to safeguard their current businesses.
For this reason, the current draft of the Lok contains a transition period for operators that currently offer online gambling services under an existing Curaçao license, based on a contractual agreement with one of the license holders. The Lok shall not apply immediately to such an operator, provided that it applies for an operating license pursuant to the Lok no later than three calendar months after the Lok comes into effect. The operator may then continue its operations under the existing license, as long as the existing license remains valid, its relationship with the license holder remains intact and a license on the basis of the Lok has not been granted or denied.
This portal has been created mainly for the government to obtain a picture of the number of online gaming operators in Curaçao that are considering to apply for a license on the basis of the Lok. Only operators legally established in Curacao and operating under an existing license issued on the basis of the NOOGH are allowed to register themselves through this portal and to update their account where required.
Operators that register themselves should submit the required information through the portal, so that the GCB can verify that they are indeed legally established in Curacao and legitimately operating under an existing license.