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Curacao announces new deadline for sub-licensees seeking CGB licensing

Monday, 18 March 2024

The Curacao authorities have announced a deadline for all existing master and sub license holders seeking Cucacao Gaming Control Board Licensing, as well as guidelines for those making the transition. According to the announcement, all of those licensed under the previous regime must register under the new framework by midnight on this date, or risk the termination o their operations.

For many years, Curacao has been a hub for online gambling with hundreds of ooperators flocking to establish their businesses there. The previous licensing regime saw the authorities issue master licenses to entities which were the empowered to issue licenses to sub-licensees as long as they met certain criteria. This system, which did not allow direct scrutiny of each and every operator by the authorities, resulted in issues and oversights as well as concerns of irregularities. In a bid to clean up the local iGaming sector and restore faith in Curacao as a jurisdiction, the authorities took action.

The former National Ordinance on Offshore Games of Hazard (NOOGH), overseen by the Gaming Control Board, will be replaced by the new gambling ordinance LOK under the Curacao Gaming Authority.

The new regime will see the CGA issue licenses directly to operators, once they have applied thorugh an online platform. It includes a clearer categorisation of licenses, stricter compliance requirements, and tougher due diligence processes.

As of 23 November 2023, the GCB has been accepting and processing iGaming license applications, but when the new laws come into force, the CGA will be responsible for all applications and license granting. In addition, all licenses issued by the GCB will be automatically passported to the CGA under the LOK regime, with all new applications made to the CGA through the online portal.

But what about those still operating under the previous master-sub-license structure?

31 March deadline

The 31 March deadline impacts two categories of license holder; Master license holders and sub-license holders that wish to continue operating under the Curacao igaming regime.

In the case of master license holders, this category and its scope will cease to exist and master license holders will only be able to work in Curacao as an operator of an iGaming site in a B2C capacity. But they have obligations to those who have a sub-license issued by them.

The master license holder must ensure that all sub licenses and related domains are registered on the GCB portal. This can be done in two ways: through a census account, or by directly applying on behalf of each sub-licensee. Those who have sublicenses, must ensure they are registered before 31 March, if they want to continue operating legally.

Sub-license holders looking to transition to direct operations must ensure they and all their domains are registered on the GCB before the deadline, ensuring compliance with all the requirements.

Any applications made via the GCB after this date will not be considered, but new entities can continue to submit applications until the LOK comes into force.

The application will be considered complete and submitted when it includes three specific forms: the online gaming application form, a personal history disclosure form, and a corporate and business information form. Other documents may be requested by the authorities and should be provided within the allotted time frame.

Fast Offshore has been working in iGaming for almost three decades and we have extensive experience in Curacao as well as multiple other jurisdictions. We can help you meet the 31 March deadline, apply for a new license, or look at other jurisdictions that may be more suited to your needs. Our team of professionals offer expert advice, tailored just to your circumstances, delivered with professionalism and integrity. To find out more, just contact a member of our team today.

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