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Jerome García July 13, 2023 3 min read
Curaçao Enables Master Licenses Extension Ahead of Regulatory Changes
The changes to the gambling legislation seek to ensure better player protection and support efforts against money-laundering and other financial-related crimes
Gambling regulations differ from one jurisdiction to another. Yet, all regulated gambling markets adhere to specific rules related to anti-money laundering (AML), combatting terrorism financing and other crimes that can have a potential impact on the gambling industry. Curaçao is one jurisdiction that seeks to strengthen its regulations and implement major changes to the gambling sector that include higher standards, as well as improved player protection.
The aforementioned changes are a part of the territory’s National Gambling Ordinance (LOK) plan that seeks to enforce new rules starting from September 1, 2023. Now, as reported by iGaming Next, Curaçao master license holders will be given a one-year extension during which the new gambling regulations will be implemented.
Under the existing regulations, gambling operators can secure a sub-license to operate in Curaçao from four current master license holders. However, the overhaul of the sector seeks to implement changes to this licensing regime and seeks to ensure operators adhere to the rules and the process itself becomes simpler and easier to follow.
Despite the major changes planned with the implementation of LOK, Curaçao plans to see the master licenses and sub-license operators continue to do business without interruptions during the transition. The process for master licensees will involve the automatic transition to the new regulations, while sub-licensees will be given a temporary period during which they will be able to submit an application for a new license that is in accordance with the LOK.
Changes to the Gambling Market Are Expected Soon
Sixienne Jansen, Curaçao’s Ministry of Finance’s legal adviser, recently spoke at iGB Live in Amsterdam and said: “We are aware of a lot of speculation as to the state of the master licenses.” She said that after the implementation of the LOK, sub-licensees will be given a period of nine months and during that time they can continue to operate. Still, Jansen said that operators that aren’t interested in transitioning to new regulations will be allowed to operate until the expiry of their master license. She pointed out that licensees would need to adhere to the new regulations that include stricter rules related to responsible gambling, as well as AML.
As a constituent country of the Netherlands, Curaçao was asked by the Dutch government to strengthen its gambling regulations. Ultimately, the changes seek to ensure that operators within the jurisdiction comply with worldwide standards that ensure effective efforts against money laundering and at the same time protect customers.