Online gambling licensees in Curacao are scurrying after the local regulator announced recently that it was planning on having more oversight of the sector. Earlier this week, local media reported that the GCB or Gaming Control Board of Curacao would be targeting online gambling operators in addition to monitoring domestic land-based operators.
According to the report, the new duties are the result of the shift in gambling oversight responsibilities from the Ministry of Justice to the Finance Ministry. This shift will establish the GCB as the standard regulator for all games of chance that are offered in Curacao by domestic and international operators.
An Old Complaint
Curacao, like Sint Maarten and Aruba, is what is known as a “constituent country” belonging to the Kingdom of Netherlands. The issue of online casinos escaping the oversight and approval of gambling regulators has been a long-standing issue here, with many legislators complaining about it over the past few years.
For instance, sometime in the middle of 2016, Dutch authorities suggested that the government in Curacao would be introducing a national ordinance to bring the growing online gambling sector under stringent oversight. However, this was never followed up on.
Curacao’s Finance Minister Kenneth Gijsbertha issued a statement that the actions of certain online gambling licensees in the country were not in line with the image and reputation of Curacao held across the globe.
The Finance Minister also added that the GCB would be going after illegal providers as well, since they are a threat to society. He pointed out that the illegal providers were raising the risk of gambling addiction among local residents. He also mentioned that the illegal providers were benefiting from the lax regulations by failing to contribute to the government’s coffers. The minister even pointed out that the presence of illegal operators constituted unfair competition to legal operators.
Criticism Against Easy Application Process
It is believed that acquiring an e-gaming sublicense in Curacao is extremely easy. Needless to say, this has come under fire by regulators and lawmakers from all over the world. For instance, the country is home to an actual company called Fast Offshore that provides a fast-track online gambling licensing service. The company often boasts about its ability to acquire permit approvals in just a matter of days.
Dutch MP Ronald Van Raak, who has been a strong critic of Curacao’s online gambling sector, right from the start, welcomed the new idea of increased oversight. He stated that the online gambling operators were a threat to the country’s stability.
Source – Igaming world