Curacao has a long history of regulating the online gaming industry, dating back to 1993 when it enacted some of the world’s earliest statutes for this purpose. In 1996, the government established the Gambling Licensing Authority, responsible for granting licenses and overseeing the sector. The issuance of the first license increased Curacao’s appeal as an online gambling licensing jurisdiction, leading to further developments in related laws.
To ensure adherence to legal frameworks and standards of conduct, the Curacao Internet Gaming Association (CIGA) was formed in 2001, promoting a responsible gaming environment. Today, Curacao stands as a prominent global hub for online gaming registration. Its attractiveness is attributed to its minimal licensing requirements and straightforward procurement process. Additionally, the presence of a robust financial services industry, well-developed internet infrastructure, and political and economic stability further solidify its status as a preferred destination for iGaming entrepreneurs worldwide. Notably, Curacao maintains a reputation as a “tax haven” while adhering to international tax standards, including the EU Code of Conduct.
The regulatory framework governing online gaming licenses in Curacao is anchored in the National Ordinance Offshore Games of Hazard (OOGH), enacted in 1996. This legislation aimed to regulate the burgeoning offshore gaming sector and establish a legal foundation for online gaming. Subsequent updates in 2001 and 2014 reinforced the regulatory framework, imposing stricter requirements on gaming operators, such as the necessity for a physical presence on the island and robust anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorism financing (CTF) programs.
The Curacao Internet Gaming Association (CIGA) plays a pivotal role in representing the interests of the online gaming industry and collaborating with the government and regulatory authorities to maintain an up-to-date and effective regulatory environment.
The modern licensing regime classifies gaming licenses into several types, including Master License, Sublicense, IP License, Hosting License, B2B License, and B2C License, providing flexibility for gaming businesses. The Curacao gaming board is presently responsible for issuing and regulating online gaming licenses, continuously adapting the regulatory framework to keep pace with industry developments and safeguard player interests.
To obtain a gaming license in Curacao, companies must meet specific criteria, including physical presence on the island, robust AML and CTF measures, secure and audited gaming platforms, transparency, player fund and data protection, and financial stability.
In conclusion, Curacao’s regulatory framework for online gaming licenses prioritizes fairness, transparency, and player protection while accommodating the needs of gaming businesses. This business-friendly environment, coupled with its strategic advantages, has solidified Curacao’s position as a global leader in the online gaming industry.