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New Gambling regulator in Curacao is coming?

Aug 11, 2021

Curacao Gaming Control Board (GCB) – name of the new gambling regulator, which was expected to start operating in March, 2021, however, as of August, 2021, the changes still did not take effect.

Gaming Control Board will take over the operations of the Government of Curacao, that had previously issued licenses to a variety of sports and e-sports betting sites & brands from all over the world. In a bid to fight illegal activity (such as money laundering or funding terrorist organizations), new regulator is expected to operate a much stricter policy in terms of to whom grant licenses.

Moreover, according to Curacao Gaming Control Board plan, license holders will have to comply with all of the gambling laws of the countries that they are operating in, which comes in a direct contrast with the current situation, where many operators have been able to act as gambling operators without following strict guidelines on safe betting. Giving the formal interpretation of above-mentioned provision, the conclusion can be made that if the operator accepts players from a country in which online gambling is prohibited by law (i.e., Poland, where an online casino is a state monopoly and, as a result, operating under the Curacao license is illegal), then such an operator will violate not only the legislation of such a country, but also the legislation of Curacao.

It is now crucial for Curacao gambling license holders to at least check whether it is legal to offer gambling products & service in countries where they carry out their business.

The establishment of a new gambling authority in Curaçao is certainly a big moment for anybody with an interest in esports betting. While many of the larger operators tend to be licensed by either the UK Gambling Commission or the Malta Gaming Authority, lots of smaller esports betting brands have only been able to legally operate by getting a license from the Government of Curacao.

The new organization is expected to be granted more extensive powers to do things like collect license fees and taxes from its licensed operators. Such powers will come at a cost and this could lead many smaller operators to pay higher fees to operate under Curaçao Gaming Control Board licensing.

Although, it is important to understand, that despite the issues that are going to arose with the business owners, these news shall be broadly welcome by customer – the upgrade in licensing could weed out disreputable operators, who have been using Government of Curacao licensing to operate with less scrutiny.

Recent news about the reform facing the Curacao online gambling sector clearly reflects the global trend towards tightening the regulations of the gambling industry in general and the online sector in particular. Given the general trend towards a safer and more regulated gambling market, a full-scale reform of the island's gambling regulations was only a matter of time. It remains an open question as for what these reforms may lead to. Much will depend on the actual changes awaiting the operators after the reform is complete. Any effort to legalize or reform gambling is always a search for the middle ground between control over this business and creation of opportunities for its further development, so that it can bring income to the state.

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