Cost Structure of Curaçao Licence Too Complex

Curaçao needs to ensure that it remains an interesting destination for international gambling operators. According to the Social Economic Council of Curaçao (SER) needs to be achieved by adapting its intended appliance process and making sure it’s faster and more transparent. In its advice on the National Decree on tax facilities for remote gambling, the SER states that the proposed cost structure of a licence in Curaçao is “too complex”. The advisory and consultative body states that this could eventually push gambling operators away from applying for a Curaçao licence.

Curaçao is currently working on a new gambling law, with a sole Curaçao Gaming Authority issuing the new licences. In its official recommendation it recently issued on the National Decree on tax facilities for remote gambling, the advisory body explicitly warned that Curaçao should not price itself out of the market. The SER is afraid that the cost structure for gambling companies after the introduction of the National Ordinance on Gambling in Curaçao is too complex and unclear. According to the SET, this could cause gambling operators to apply for licences in other countries.

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Demotivated by Bureaucratic Procedure Rather than Costs

According to the Social Economic Council as quoted in the Antilliaans Dagblad, the local newspaper in Curaçao, gambling operators are not so much demotivated by the costs of a licence, but rather by the bureaucracy that comes with the application. The newspaper had insight into the (unpublished) advice on the National Decree. Curaçao must therefore ensure that the new rules do not deter operators from applying for a local licence:

“The complexity and lack of clarity in the cost structure of the licences can be experienced as daunting by new operators wanting to enter the gambling market.”

Social Economic Council, Antilliaans Dagblad.

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More Transparency

SER’s recommendation emphasises the importance to simplify and clarify the costs for gambling companies. Antilliaans Dagblad adds that Curaçao is “internationally renowned for its fast and efficient licence process, which requires little reporting and consultation”. Therefore, the island must ensure fast and simple procedures, including a clear outline of the costs, are maintained when the new gambling legislation comes into effect.

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Curaçao’s Competitive Advantage

The Social Economic Council fears that Curaçao will lag behind the competition if it doesn’t change its current structure. Significant other popular gambling jurisdictions in the world are mainly located in Europe in countries such Malta, Isle of Man, Gibraltar, and Estonia. Thanks to their solid reputations these jurisdictions are highly sought after, despite charging higher fees than its Carribean counterpart. Nonetheless, Curaçao is considered an important gambling destination world for iGaming operators with approximately 5,000 issued sublicensees. The advisory body estimates that these sublicensees account for more than 12,000 online casinos, sportsbooks, and other online gambling platforms.

These sublicensees will have until April 30 to register in the new Gaming Control Board portal that is expected to gradually move from a system that allows for sublicenses to full gambling licences issued by the one single gambling entity. Currently, sublicences can be purchased from private companies, negatively impacting Curaçao’s reputation.

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