Explained for Canadians: What Does Curaçao Have to Do With Casinos Licensing? 

 June 28, 2022

You may have stumbled upon a few Canadian online casinos offering online slots for real money, and upon checking their licensing credentials, you may have come across the famous phrase “licensed by the government of Curaçao”.

However, many punters do not know where Curaçao is on the map, let alone why their government is involved in eGaming licensing. But you are in luck, as this post will provide you with all you need to know about Curaçao, Online casino gambling, and licensing.

How Curaçao Got Involved in Online Casino Gambling

It all started way back 29 years ago, in 1993 when legislators in Curaçao developed the world’s first legislation on online casino gambling called the National Ordinance on Offshore Games of Hazard. By 1996, the government of Curaçao launched the Gaming Licence Authority (GLA).

GLA would be responsible for the issuance of an online casino gambling license. GLA would also be saddled with supervising and regulating licensed online casinos.

From the moment the government of Curaçao issued their first-ever online gambling license, many prospective virtual casino companies would throng the island looking to apply for and secure an iGaming license.

The influx of applications from online casino owners would lead to the development of even more legislation to provide checks and balances to the iGaming industry. The Curaçao Internet Gaming Association was launched in 2001. This body would be responsible for enforcing the compliance of all licensed online casinos with the T&Cs of the license and the code of conduct of the operation. Learn also more about the best new iGaming experience to use all possible interesting opportunities in this field.

What Makes Curaçao a Hotbed for the iGaming Industry

Over time, Curaçao has earned the reputation of having the world’s largest eGaming registry. The reasons for this are pretty simple and can be put down to the simplistic licensing process on offer and the relatively affordable cost of licensing.

Apart from having a comparatively easy licensing protocol and relatively cost-effective licensing fees, Curaçao can license more operators in the iGaming industry than any other licensing body around the world because of the following:

  • The government of Curaçao is a politically stable one;
  • Curaçao has a thriving and steadily growing economy;
  • Curaçao runs a highly developed, strong, and reliable banking & finance sector;
  • Curaçao also has a sound telecommunications sector with advanced infrastructure in place;
  • The licensing procedure in Curaçao is straightforward and devoid of any ambiguity that could encourage underhand or corrupt practices;
  • Curaçao encourages gaming firms to set up operations by providing an enabling environment driven by world-class corporate structures;
  • Curaçao is also a “tax haven” with a zero corporate income taxation policy with only 2% tax on any net gains;
  • Curaçao also complies entirely with the EU policies and Code of Conduct on harsh, unfair and unbecoming tax practices;
  • Curaçao is an active member and key driving force behind the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering;
  • In addition to working closely with the IRS under the OECD jurisdiction, Curaçao fully enforces both AML and CTF compliance. The Curaçao Gaming Control Board was established to enforce AML-CFT in 2019.

Their desire of the government of Curaçao to strictly adhere to policies and legitimately do things at all times has earned them the admiration of many gaming firms from all parts of the world.

Over the past two decades, Curaçao has become the preferred location for online casino owners who wish to obtain a globally renowned eGaming license. Many gaming companies have relocated their head offices to Curaçao and operate mainly from the island. Read also about someone unknowingly leaving a 229000 win on a broken Vegas slot machine while investigators tracked him down with the payout.

Master and Sub-Licenses in Curaçao

The Ministry of Justice of the government of Curaçao issues two types of gaming licenses, namely, the Master license and sub-license. A Master license is the primary license and has a validity period of five years, after which operators will be expected to apply for a renewal.

The sub-license is a part of the Master license and comes with an indefinite validity period. With both gaming licenses, eGaming operators can engage in every kind of online casino gambling and eGaming activities.

In addition to this, operators with a Master license have the right to issue out sub-licenses to firms offering one form of casino gambling service or another. As long as an online casino has a Master license, its sub-license remains valid.

Only four iGaming operators have been granted a Master license in the last 26 years, and these operators are:

  • Antillephone NV #8048/JAZ
  • Curacao Interactive Licensing N.V. (CIL) #5536/JAZ
  • Cyberluck Curacao N.V. (Curacao-eGaming) #1668/JAZ
  • Gaming Curacao (GC) #365/JAZ

Any prospective iGaming operator needs to apply for a sub-license from any four Master license holders. No operator can apply for and be granted a Master license at this point.

The four holders of a Master license each have their dispute management policies to settle any disagreements between customers of online casino gambling sites and iGaming operators.

Benefits of a Curaçao iGaming Sub-License

Some of the benefits of having a Curaçao eGaming sub-license include:

  • Enhanced Reputation: All operators should be licensed, but having a sub-license from Curaçao further enhances the reputation of the iGaming operator.
  • Improved Profile and Partnerships: Software developers and providers of payment services are more open to partnering with licensed casinos. Having a Curaçao online casino gambling sub-license enhances the operator’s profile and makes them more attractive prospects for iGaming partners.
  • Finance Opportunities: Operators will be eligible to apply for and open a merchant bank account with a sub-license. With the opening of this account, licensed eGaming firms can avail themselves of the available finance opportunities.
  • Undoubted Security: With the sub-license, operators can rest assured that their business is safe from political and economic instability.

Requirements for Applying for a Sub-License

Prospective operators need to be incorporated as a business entity in Curaçao to apply for a sub-license. They also need to fill out an application form and pay the necessary fees while providing the following documents;

  • A copy of the international passport
  • CV or Resume
  • Original copy of utility bill, which should be within three months of the application
  • Original reference letter from a banker
  • Original certificate of good conduct
  • A professional reference letter
  • A copy of another form of identification

After applying with supporting documents, prospective eGaming operators have to wait for at least six weeks before being granted a sub-license from any four holders of a Master license.

In Conclusion

A sub-license from Curaçao is a stamp of credibility, security, and authority. Any gambling operators do not have to worry about an uncertain political or economic climate, and the tax policies in Curaçao are pretty favourable as well. Curaçao licenced casinos offer the best gambling opportunities for Canadians.

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