April 23, 2024 3 min read

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Dutch Criticism Over Curaçao’s Gambling Law Procedure Sparks Debate

Alexandra Van Huffelen expressed criticism towards the Curaçao government for presenting the draft of the National Ordinance on Game of Chance (LOK) to parliament without prior review by the Temporary Work Organisation (TWO)

The Dutch State Secretary for Kingdom Relations and Digitalisation, Alexandra van Huffelen, has raised concerns regarding Curaçao’s parliamentary procedure concerning its new offshore gambling law. 

Dutch Official Condemns Curaçao’s Rushed Gambling Law Process

Alexandra Van Huffelen criticized the Curaçao government for submitting the draft of the National Ordinance on Game of Chance (LOK) to parliament before undergoing review by the Temporary Work Organisation (TWO), a Dutch government body overseeing structural reforms in Curaçao.

The proposed gambling regulations, introduced to parliament by Curaçao’s Ministry of Finance in December 2023, prompted scrutiny due to procedural irregularities. Van Huffelen, who recently paid an official visit to the island, emphasized the importance of aligning the legislation with the original agreement and highlighted: 

I also note that much more and better use could be made of the support the TWO can offer. I shared my concerns about this with Prime Minister Pisas. In response, Mr. Pisas asked for more legislative capacity support, which I am of course happy to comply with. I hope that Curaçao will make maximum use of the opportunities that cooperation with TWO can offer in order to make progress.

Dutch State Secretary for Kingdom Relations and Digitalisation, Alexandra van Huffelen

Curaçao’s government faces pressure to demonstrate effective governance and utilize available support mechanisms, including cooperation with the TWO, to accelerate reform efforts. The criticism from the Dutch government underscores the importance of transparent and inclusive decision-making processes to ensure the successful implementation of legislative reforms.

Curaçao’s Response to Criticism: Reforming Gambling Laws and Beyond

In response to the criticism, Curaçao’s finance minister Javier Silvania amended the LOK and submitted it to the TWO for review to ensure compliance with the agreed-upon reforms. The Dutch government outlined a roadmap for the implementation of the reformed gambling legislation, with expectations for it to be signed into law by June 30, 2024.

Additionally, considerations are being made regarding supplementary regulations to enhance anti-money laundering measures, technical standards, and consumer protection.

The debate surrounding the gambling law reflects broader discussions on the implementation of structural reforms outlined in the Landspakket, a collaborative effort between the Netherlands and the Caribbean countries. While progress has been made, challenges persist, particularly in areas such as economic development, education, and social welfare.

During her recent visit to Curaçao, Van Huffelen acknowledged the efforts invested in implementing the National Package, a set of reforms aimed at addressing various challenges faced by the island. However, she noted the difficulties encountered in advancing significant reform processes such as social security and education, urging the government to demonstrate decisiveness and effective leadership.

Author

Silvia has dabbled in all sorts of writing – from content writing for social media to movie scripts. She has a Bachelor's in Screenwriting and experience in marketing and producing documentary films. With her background as a customer support agent within the gambling industry, she brings valuable insight to the Gambling News writers’ team.

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