The lower house of the Dutch parliament voted in support of a motion this week that the national regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) should become more involved in questions around the operation of online gambling licensing and regulation on the Caribbean islands of Curacao and St Maarten – both constituent countries of the Netherlands.
The motion was introduced by Dutch MPs Nine Kooiman and Jeroen van Wijngaarden despite earlier comments by the Junior Minister of Justice and Security Klaas Dijkhoff, who opined that monitoring the gambling sector is the autonomous business of Curaçao and St. Maarten, and that the home government cannot take unilateral actions regarding their decisions.
He did claim, however, that the KSA was “cooperating” with the Gaming Control Board on the islands.
Curacao does not enjoy a good reputation in the international online player community, which largely sees it as a jurisdiction that communicates rarely and does little to support or assist players with complaints against its licensees.
Our readers will also recall that two Dutch MPs, Ronald Van Raak and Andre Bosman, have repeatedly and publically drawn attention to what they claim are questionable activities in the Curacao licensing jurisdiction, urging the Dutch government to investigate and if necessary take action to resolve problems and halt alleged corruption (see previous reports).
They were met with a bland response from Dutch Minister of Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk, who disavowed responsibility for jurisdiction over illegal activities in Curaçao, and claimed that online casinos licensed by the island are not within the supervision of his Ministry.
Technically, only online casinos in Curaçao serving the Dutch market are administered to by the Netherlands Parliament, through the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice in the Hague. Since online casinos are global operations that serve beyond the Dutch market, Plasterk claims that these Curacao casinos are not within the supervision of his Ministry.
The online gambling row is not the only one brewing between homeland and islands….Dutch MP Roelof van Laar recently raised environmental concerns over the manner in which the oil refinery on Curacao is being operated, calling for a response on the lack of enforcement of environmental standards, unsound governance and human rights violations.
Following a motion by parliament, Minister Plasterk was tasked with insisting on a reduction of emissions within a period of three months. In consultation with Prime Minister Bernhard Whiteman and the Minister of Public Health, Environment and Nature Siegfried Victorina it was then decided to appoint two external experts for advice on refining and legislation.