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Jerome García January 11, 2024 3 min read
Curacao Gambling Reform Faces New Challenge
The island's Independent Advisory Body raised concerns about the text of the National Ordinance on Game of Chance and its compliance with FATF's AML requirements
A proposed bill, seeing to implement significant changes to the gambling regulation in Curacao is currently being considered by the country’s parliament. Labeled the National Ordinance on Game of Chance (LOK), the new regulations are expected to strengthen the protection for the players and ensure the gambling sector aligns with the high standards established in major jurisdictions across the globe.
Despite the robust changes under LOK, not everyone agrees that the proposal’s text is ready for passage. After it was reviewed by the island’s Independent Advisory Body last week, the proposal raised more questions than ever before.
The Advisory Body released its public opinion on the topic, a staggering document with nearly 30,000 words, highlighting a wide range of concerns over LOK’s current text. One major issue described by the Body revolves around the proposed gambling legislation’s compliance with the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) requirements for anti-money laundering (AML).
According to the Advisory Body, LOK doesn’t explain sufficiently the extent of its compliance with those regulations. “In that context, it is also desirable that the explanatory memorandum provides an explanation of the extent to which the design complies with the FATF Recommendations,” wrote the Body.
“However, the explanatory memorandum does not provide an explanation of the extent to which the design complies with the National Package. Curacao was also evaluated in 2012 by the Financial Action Task Force, resulting in a five-year follow-up procedure to address Curacao’s shortcomings in combating money laundering. and eliminate terrorist financing,“reads the position released by the Advisory Body
MP Flags Further LOK Issues
Besides the Body’s position, members of the country’s parliament also flagged their concerns about the National Ordinance on Game of Chance. As announced by the Antillean Dagblad, Steven Martina MP, joined the debate about the upcoming changes to the regulated gambling sector. One of the important components of the new legislation is the development of a new supervisory body in charge of gambling, the Curacao Gaming Authority.
While that sounds well, Martina was concerned that the new Gaming Authority was formed as a foundation. According to the MP, founded in such a way, the Authority won’t be immune from potential influence from the political sector.
With the start of the new year, online casinos licensed under the LOK must display a special digital seal. This effort seeks to boost transparency for the sector while at the same time, allowing those operators to prove their licensed status. The new digital seal needs to appear on the digital platforms of online casinos licensed under the LOK in Curacao.