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Gambling License in Curacao

A gambling license in Curacao is a promising and affordable solution due to the fast opening time, favorable prices, low taxation, and other advantages. Gofaizen & Sherle will provide professional business licensing support with a guaranteed solution within 6 weeks

If you are planning to run a legal gambling business in one of the most stable jurisdictions – you must obtain a Curacao license. For this purpose, you need to register a company, collect the necessary package of documents, pay the state fees and fulfill the simple demands of the jurisdiction.

Curacao is a small self-governing state that is a part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. This union strengthens the jurisdiction’s image and allows it to enter the EU markets while creating its own laws and taxation norms.

To start an online gambling business you will only need 1 license and it will be suitable for different types of activities. There are 2 types of licenses in Curacao: master and sub-license. However, each of them covers all types of games and allows you to officially operate in the jurisdiction. The only difference is that the master licensee has the right to open sub-licenses to others.

Advantages of the Curacao gambling license

  • Fast and profitable
    Compared to other jurisdictions, Curacao takes record time to process a gambling license application: the entire licensing process takes up to 6 weeks, and the license fee is several times lower than in other jurisdictions – from $4500.
  • No complicated rules
    The licensing process in this country is remarkably quick and simple. Entrepreneurs who plan to apply for a Curacao gaming license have the opportunity to test their business ideas in practice, bypassing the complex and lengthy procedures that usually accompany obtaining a license in other jurisdictions.
  • One license
    A gambling license in Curacao opens up the opportunity to obtain a one-stop license that combines various types of gambling services, including casino, sports betting, lottery, poker, and more, under a common Curacao license. Companies will be able to save time and resources by focusing on developing and improving the gaming experience for their customers.
  • Easy start for startups
    Lower licensing costs and flexible requirements make this region attractive for young entrepreneurs looking to start their own gambling business. The lower financial cost of licensing means that startups can allocate more funds to developing and advertising their gaming products. They have a competitive advantage in the market and the ability to quickly catch up with other companies while minimizing financial risks.
  • Tax advantages
    Curacao offers an attractive tax environment for the gambling industry. This includes low tax rates and the ability to exempt certain types of income from taxation. Curacao offers a 0% rate on value-added tax (VAT), which provides additional financial advantages for gaming companies. In addition, corporate tax is only 2% of net income, which is one of the lowest rates in the international gambling industry.

Disadvantages of the Curacao gambling license

Barring the many benefits and low cost, you should understand that obtaining a Curacao gambling license may not meet your requirements.

  • You will not be able to provide services to the Netherlands, USA, and France markets.
  • For example, the Isle of Man or Malta gambling license will offer more opportunities. However, this also affects the cost of opening a gambling company in these jurisdictions.
  • Data protection and privacy standards may be less stringent than in more regulated jurisdictions, which may cause players to be concerned about the security of their personal data.

Packages of services for gambling license in Curacao

Basic

Assistance with obtaining Gambling license and corporate account for operating activity

€ 25 000
  • All services from the Essential package
  • Corporate account
Essential

Assistance with company formation and obtaining a Gambling License

€ 20 000
  • Dedicated consultant with the fully provided individual approach
  • Full turnkey company formation assistance
  • Company name of your choice
  • Corporate documents
  • Gambling license acquisition
Kiryl Zaremba
Senior Associate, Business Development Manager
Leonid Turok
Senior Associate, Head of Sales (FX and iGaming)

Requirements for obtaining a Curacao gambling license

  • Register a gaming company with a local representative in the registry
  • Draw up a detailed description of all types of games
  • Add “Terms of Use” to the gambling site
  • Create your domain
  • Use physical servers of the company (at least one) in Curacao
  • Develop and implement AML policies
  • Conduct software maintenance audits
  • RNG (Random Number Generator) certificate, which confirms the transparency and fairness of games involving a random number generator.

Process for obtaining a gambling license in Curacao

If you have decided to open a company in Curacao and want to obtain a Curacao online gambling license, follow these steps for successful licensing:

Gathering a set of documents

Stage 1

  • The first step is to prepare the documentation. This includes legal acts, financial statements, business plans, and other integral documents required during the application process.

Passing the relevant and mandatory tests and verifying the information provided

Stage 2

  • You must successfully pass all required gambling-related tests and checks to ensure that you meet the standards and requirements set by the regulator.

Submit your application and documentation to the GCB

Stage 3

  • To obtain a license, you need to send an application to the Curacao regulatory agency known as the Gaming Control Board, or GCB (Gaming Control Board).

Payment of Fee

Stage 4

  • To proceed with the process, you must pay the required registration fee to process your application.

Configure and enhance your domain, server architecture, and game system.

Stage 5

  • You must register and attach your domain name, configure your server, and organize your gaming platform if it fits your business needs.

Analyze your gambling software

Stage 6

  • In case your company is in the business of creating gambling software or hardware, experts from the team of a master technical supervision license holder audit your hardware and software.
  • After successfully passing all the steps and checks, if your documentation meets all the criteria, you will be granted a sub-license for a period of 2 to 6 weeks. This will give you the right to engage in gambling in Curacao. Strict adherence to all established rules and standards plays a crucial role in successfully obtaining a gambling license in this jurisdiction.

Request more information about Curacao Gaming License

Types of Curacao Gaming License

There are only 2 types of gambling licenses in Curacao – master licenses and sub-licenses:

Master Licenses

  • Who issues licenses: Ministry of Justice. It is quite difficult to obtain such a license, at the moment, only 4 companies have managed to do it.
  • License validity terms: 5 years

The Master License gives the holder broad powers, including the ability to grant sub-licenses to other companies. This opens up the possibility to create your gambling network and receive additional income from partnership agreements.

Sub-Licenses

  • Who issues licenses: Sub-licenses are issued by the holders of the Curacao Master License.
  • Duration of licenses: usually corresponds to the duration of the master license under which they were issued.

A Curacao sub-license lets companies provide gambling services on their platform under the license of the master licensee. They get access to the infrastructure and technical support of the master licensee, which facilitates the process of launching and managing an online casino or other gambling service.

The main difference between a Curacao master license and a sub-license is that only the master licensee has the authority to grant sub-licenses to other companies. This makes it more attractive for entrepreneurs who are looking to establish a gaming proprietary network and expand their presence in the market. A sub-license, in turn, allows operators to get access to the already installed infrastructure and technical support of the master licensee, which reduces the time and costs of opening a gambling business.

Request additional information about the Curacao Gambling License

Regulating the Gaming Industry in Curacao

As of 2018, the Gambling Control Board (GCB) is responsible for overseeing gambling activities: both physical casinos and online. The GCB does not issue licenses or accept applications. The opening of sub-licenses lies with the 4 master license holders:

  • 1668/JAZ – «CEG»
  • 8048/JAZ – “Antillephone N.V.”
  • 365/JAZ – “Gaming N.V.”
  • 5536/JAZ – “e-Management N.V.”

The Master License is issued by the Department of Justice and establishes rules to ensure that the holders of these licenses monitor the transparent and honest activities of their sub-licensees.

The main responsibilities of the Gambling Control Board are to ensure compliance with legal requirements, oversee the implementation of AML/CTF policies, protect player funds and privacy, and respond to violations of the law.

As part of the GCB’s activities, an additional online gambling regulator, the Curacao Internet Gaming Association (CIGA), has been established. Since 2021, it has overseen more than 30 online gambling operators.

The gaming sector is also regulated by the Ministry of Finance and the Financial Intelligence Unit.

Each of these legal acts and regulators plays an important role in regulating the gambling industry in Curacao:

  • 1999 Casino Regulation Act (AB 1999, No 97): This act sets the rules for land-based casinos in Curacao, ensuring they meet standards and maintain order.
  • 1909 Lottery Act (AB 1965, No 85, z.g.): Regulates the rules and administration of numerical lotteries.
  • 1909 Goods Lottery Act: Legislates rules for lotteries involving goods and products.
  • 1988 Hazard II Gambling Act: This act covers various types of gambling, including Bingo and Bongo-ku-Ne, establishing regulations and standards for their conduct.
  • 1949 National Lottery Act (PB 1965, No. 122, z.g.): Regulates the operation and control of the National Lottery.
  • 1993 Online Gambling and Offshore Operators Act (P.B. 1993, No 63): An Act relating to online gambling and regulating offshore operators.
  • Client Identification Service Provision Act (LID): Establishes procedures for customer identification in the gambling industry.
  • Unusual Transaction Reporting Act (LMOT): Requires gaming operators to report transactions potentially related to money laundering or terrorist financing.
  • 2016 Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Measures: Strengthens actions to combat money laundering and prevent terrorist financing.
  • 2016 Card Game Rules: Establishes rules and procedures for card deck games.
  • 2016 Live Bingo Game Standards: Establishes rules and procedures for the conduct of live Bingo games.
  • 2013 Sports Betting Licensing Requirements: Regulates the sports betting industry in Curacao.
  • 2012 GCB Responsible Gaming Guide: Provides guidelines and standards to ensure responsible gaming and player protection.

Law update from 2023

In 2022, the government announced global legislative changes in gambling regulation. The aim is to comply with international standards, GCB’s independent status to regulate all gambling in the jurisdiction and empower it to issue B2B and B2C licenses to replace existing sub-licenses. A transitional period of up to 18 months will be granted for existing sub-license holders.

In addition, the application fee will be 4,000€ and the license fee will be 12,000€.

The law is due to come into force in the second part of 2023.

Updates to Curacao Gambling License in 2023

In November 2023, Curacao is implementing updates to its gambling industry by granting new licenses to operators. These changes, which Finance Minister Javier Silvania has assessed as significant, are reminiscent of licensing in Malta. The main changes to Curacao’s legislation relate to licensing processes and requirements, which are still under development. Important items include the tightening of compliance and anti-money laundering policies, as well as the introduction of new criteria for companies.

The most significant reform is the scrapping of the sub-licensing and master license system. From 2024, companies will have to obtain individual B2C and B2B-type licenses. Those who already have a master’s license will have a transition period of up to one and a half years to reissue it.

Another innovation is the requirement to hire a minimum of three residents for key positions in the company, which was not previously required. In addition, checks on the sources of income of key employees and co-founders of companies will be strengthened. This will increase confidence in companies, but will also increase the length of the licensing procedure.

It will be mandatory to have a physical office in Curacao and strict compliance with the rules of payment of winnings under the threat of fines or loss of license. In addition, the possibility of settlement and payment of taxes in cryptocurrency is envisaged.

Licensees will be required to adhere to strict information security standards, as well as maintain player and payment transaction accounting policies audited and approved by the GCB. A key aspect will be to ensure fair gaming practices and independent laboratory approval of each game. All these measures are aimed at increasing the transparency and security of the gambling industry in Curacao.

Renewal of a Curacao Gaming License

You do not need to renew your gambling license in Curacao, as this is automatic as long as you comply with the requirements and sign an official annual contract. The license will remain valid as long as the master license of the owner from whom you opened it is valid.

At the same time, in case of illegal actions, the master license holder has the right to revoke the sub-license.

Suspension or Revocation of a Curacao Gaming License

The following violations may result in the revocation or restriction of a Curacao gaming license:

  • serving players from the USA, Netherlands, France
  • admission to gambling of minors
  • lack of information on the gambling site “Rules of use of the site” and warning about gambling addiction
  • facilitation of money laundering
  • financing of terrorism
  • violation of certain rules set forth by the master license holder when entering into a partnership

FAQ about Curacao Gaming License

What is Curacao gambling license?

A Curacao gambling license is official permission to legally operate gambling companies. Having a license will enhance the reputation of the business and protect it from penalties.

How do I get a gaming license in Curacao?

To obtain a license, you need to follow simple rules, such as registering a company and having your domain. For online casinos, poker, betting, and other gambling you will need a sub-license, which can be obtained from the general license holder.

Is it legal to gamble in Curacao?

Yes. Gambling is officially authorized in Curacao. The government regulates the sector and ensures that gambling companies provide proper services.

How long does it take to get a gambling license in Curacao?

If the paperwork is filled out correctly and the requirements are met, the time to obtain a Curacao gaming license is up to 6 weeks.

How does the Curacao gaming license compare to Malta?

Unlike Curacao, holding a Maltese license is much more expensive in terms of opening, government fees, and taxes. In addition, Malta offers 4 types of different licenses depending on the activity of the company, one Curacao license covers all types of gambling.

What type of license do you need to play gaming in Curacao?

To gamble in Curacao – you do not need a license. The license is open only for gambling suppliers.

What is the cost of a gambling license in Curacao, including taxes and fees?

The cost of obtaining a Curacao license depends on the client’s project, the type of activity, and the final goal. On average, the total set up cost is around $22,000, which is one of the lowest prices for such a license on the market.

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