Curaçao changes designed to tighten regulation of online casino operators

News on 21 Dec 2018

The Curacao Chronicle reports that land based casino regulator Gaming Control Board is to take on supervision of the online sector licensed in the jurisdiction in a bid to tighten regulatory control.

The newspaper reports that following a shadowy trade in sub-licenses, the web casinos have been able to operate unhindered in recent years. Many operators hide behind a web of companies located in exotic locations and have their activities run in Curaçao by a local trust office.

The newspaper alleges that it is suspected that there is a direct link with serious international crime such as money laundering, trafficking in human beings and arms and financing of terrorism.

Ronald van Raak, member of the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament, has repeatedly called for tighter regulation (see previous reports).

Another concern, voiced by the Dutch Gaming Authority is that many Curacao-licensed operators are illegally offering online gambling services to Dutch players.

Recently, a mega fine was imposed, but whether it can be collected is moot – the operator is usually untraceable, and the website is kept up to date under another name.

The Curacao Chronicle has also reached the same conclusions as many a burned online punter dealing with certain Curacao-licensed operators – that the sector is adversely impacting the nation’s reputation. The newspaper calls for the Gaming Control Board to halt player abuses after regular international warnings are given regarding Curacao-licensed operators.

Dutch MP Ronald van Raak said he was pleased to see moves to tighten the regulation of Curacao online gambling licensees:

“It is very good news that Curaçao wants to tackle illegal gambling worldwide from the island, because this causes great damage, even on the island itself. As is shown, among other things, by the conviction of former prime minister Gerrit Schotte. He was bribed by the international gambling boss Francesco Corallo who is now in court in Italy for bribing leading politicians in that country.”

The Dutch MP is of the opinion that the sale of (sub) licenses for online gambling and other illegal practices should also be immediately terminated. “This multibillion industry does not yield anything for ordinary people on Curaçao, but it does pose a threat to the political stability of the island. In the past I have asked dozens of questions to the government of Curaçao about politics and the gambling industry, I hope that the Government’s intention to control these illegal practices will also be a reason to answer my questions,” Van Raak.concluded.

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