Curacao Gaming Licence

Updated 18 Jan, 2024

Curacao Gaming Licence

  • One licence for all activities
  • Simple licence obtaining process
  • Only 2 weeks to obtain a licence with gaminglicensing.com
  • No VAT, low profit tax rate
  • Popular in the online gambling industry

Curacao Gaming Licence for Online Casino

Benefits at a Glance

  • One licence for all activities

  • Simple licence obtaining process

  • Only 2 weeks to obtain a licence with gaminglicensing.com

  • No VAT, low profit tax rate

  • Popular in the online gambling industry

Curacao is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Caribbean Sea 40 miles (64 kilometers) away from Venezuela. Apart from being a paradise of never-ending summer, it offers great opportunities to start up one’s own online gambling business.

Curacao

Curacao was one of the pioneering countries that legalised online gambling, in 1996 to be precise. Since then, it became a top-jurisdiction for running remote gambling business.

“I favour Curacao because I have some experience with these licences. Right now, I am in the process of obtaining one. If you are considering opening an online casino, my suggestion is to forget about a Maltese licence and opt for a Curacao licence”

Nikolai Livori
Serial Entrepreneur, iGaming Consultant.

Highlights of the Article

  • Under the current licensing regime, one Curacao license covers all gaming activities, making it an attractive choice for operators.
  • The application process for a Curacao license takes about two weeks. 
  • Curacao offers a 2% profit tax rate without VAT, fixed until 2025.
  • All applicants must provide identity proof, criminal record clearance, financial stability evidence, and detailed business plans, including KYC and Responsible Gambling policies.
  • The current sublicensing system will be replaced with a new regulatory framework, introducing the Curacao Gaming Authority to issue B2C and B2B licenses.
  • The new system will impose stricter responsible gambling, KYC, and AML policies, with different application fees and cost structures.
  • Curacao licensees are allowed to offer diverse payment options, including e-wallets such as Skrill and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Why is it so attractive?

Firstly, one does not need a separate licence for every type of gaming activity. One licence covers all types of gaming activities: poker, sports betting and online casino.

Secondly, the Curacao licence is convenient to obtain. The application procedure takes only two weeks, after which a licensee receives a world-recognised and the cheapest licence in comparison to other popular options.

To apply, one must provide a set of documents and pay the Application Fee.

Contact us via email or the form at the end of this article to find out all the details of the procedure!

Thirdly, the Curacao licence is cost-efficient. It is the happy medium between high price and reliability. The licence is to be prolonged once a year.

Additionally, being a part of the E-Zone, the country is only subject to a 2% profit tax rate and is not subject to VAT. According to the corresponding law, these favourable conditions cannot be changed until 2025.

Check out this table for further information on the cost of obtaining a Curacao e-gaming master license with which you will not only have a licensed online casino but also be able to sublicense other gaming sites.

Regulators and Their Role

Under the present-day system, the four master license holders can issue sub-licenses to respective parties without much intervention from the regulators. However, on April 19, 1999, the government established the Curaçao Gaming Control Board (GCB) as the chief regulator of the entire gaming industry, including the land-based casinos, the lottery, charitable bingo, and ‘bon ku ne’ activities in the country. 

The role of the regulators is to grant, amend, revoke, and suspend gambling licenses for all gaming formats. The responsibilities also include Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) supervision, ensuring fair and legal gaming practices. 

In 2020, GCB also took the role of licensing and supervising the online gaming sector in Curacao under the delegation of the Minister of Finance. With LOK in the making, GCB is poised to transform into the Curacao Gaming Authority (CGA), with an even greater scope of actions and more geared towards making Curacao one of the leading gambling jurisdictions out there.

AML Requirements

Curacao’s gaming industry operates under strict Anti-Money Laundering (AML) guidelines, as detailed in the Ministerial Regulation of December 1, 2015. This regulation outlines specific indicators to assess whether a transaction should be considered out of place under the National Ordinance on reporting unusual transactions.

The regulation takes into account various transaction types, including cash transactions, electronic transfers, and credit card transactions. Each category has its own designated thresholds, beyond which all transactions will be flagged for further scrutiny. For instance, cash transactions exceeding a certain amount, such as NAf 20,000, are subject to AML monitoring.

AML monitoring will consider objective and subjective indicators as well. Objective indicators refer to transaction amounts, whereas subjective ones consider transactions that may suggest money laundering or terrorism financing, regardless of their value.

All operators must report transactions that meet these indicators to the appropriate authorities, continually monitor transactions and maintain compliance with these AML requirements in order to retain their license.

Types of Licenses

As per gambling regulations still in power in Curacao, there are Master license holders and sub-licensees.

The master license holders are:

  • Curacao Interactive Licensing N.V. (CIL) #5536/JAZ.
  • Antillephone NV #8048/JAZ.
  • Cyberluck Curacao N.V. (Curacao-eGaming) #1668/JAZ.
  • Gaming Curacao (GC) #365/JAZ.

Master license holders are granted the right to issue sub-licensees at their own discretion as long as the sublicensees comply with the laws and regulations. Furthermore, sub-licensees are not forced to indicate whether they are B2C or B2B service providers, which is something that’s going to be changed with the National Ordinance for Games of Chance (LOK).

What’s more, sub-licensees can offer all types of gambling with a single license, such as sports betting, online casinos, bingo, lottery, and others.

With LOK in place, two types of licenses will be offered: B2B and B2C licenses, based on their role in the industry.

Documents to Obtain a License

To secure a gaming license, operators must provide a range of documents to demonstrate their compliance and operational readiness. This includes presenting detailed policies and procedures in line with the Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP), clear and unambiguous customer terms and conditions, and specific rules of play.

Financial transparency is crucial, requiring bank statements covering the previous six months. In addition, a comprehensive business plan and profit and loss projections for the ensuing three years are mandatory.

Operators must also provide proof of adequate funding, details about bonus or profit-sharing schemes, and their most recent annual reports and returns. GamingLicensing is here to help operators gather and prepare these documents efficiently, facilitating a smoother licensing journey, even with the new Curacao gambling law.

License Cost

Multiple factors determine the license cost. Interested parties need to consider the cost of incorporating a company in Curacao, registering two domains, setting up a Curacao data backup storage, including other costs that come from fulfilling the regulator-issued requirements. 

The cost of an iGaming license is also connected to the service costs from a local managing director and software certificates that guarantee game fairness.

Main Requirements to Get a Curacao Gaming License

Curacao e-Gaming regulator has specific requirements all potential iGaming business holders need to meet before being issued a license. Naturally, GamingLicensing is there to help you every step of the way, but you need to be aware of several things prior to initiating the process. 

The Curacao authorities need to inquire into your identity, your plan, source of wealth, country of residence, and other personal details before you’re allowed to set up a company in Curacao and start your gambling business.

By doing so, the authorities ensure they abide by the AML and CFT rules and other financial rules and applicable laws. 

You must also pass a fit and proper test to show that you have not been sentenced for any criminal deed, so you must not have a criminal record. 

You will be required to submit the following documents at a certain point, so prepare the following just in case: 

  • Certified copies of ID documents, such as passport and ID card;
  • Proof of residence not older than three months;
  • Proof of no criminal record;
  • CV;
  • Letter of reference from an accountant or lawyer with whom you have had a business relationship longer than two years, plus a banker’s reference that fall under the same conditions;
  • Domain ownership; 
  • Detailed Terms and Conditions of your gambling enterprise with clearly pointed KYC and Responsible Gambling policies; 
  • Gaming software details showing the RNG certificate to prove the fairness of games, software agreements from the providers supplying your gaming content, etc. 

Payment Methods

All operators need to ensure a wide-ranging, flexible collection of payment options to meet the requirements of the Curacao gambling license. Standard options include credit/debit cards, e-wallets, bank transfers, direct debits, electronic checks, and even cryptocurrency-based transactions.

E-wallets, including platforms like Skrill, deliver an effortless and cost-effective solution for global transactions, skirting around unnecessary banking and conversion costs. Cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, offer customers the added benefit of absolute anonymity and transactions that sidestep traditional banking routes, which can considerably increase the speed of withdrawals.

That said, it’s paramount to forge strong bonds with industry-leading payment processors. This is where GamingLicensing comes to the fore. Our white-label and turnkey packages help you set up a corporate settlement account and a merchant account, facilitating the smooth acceptance of Visa and Mastercard payments. Moreover, we can deliver dozens of different payment options through a single integration, reducing the time to launch.

License Maintenance

Getting a Curacao gaming license is a start, but ensuring compliance with the legal and technical requirements of the regulator is an ongoing process. Operators have multiple responsibilities, such as filing annual reports, ensuring continuous compliance, and handling renewal fees, among other periodic requirements.

Moreover, as your business grows, you’ll most likely need to add more payment methods, revise the appointment of directors and the statuses of shareholders, and change other details, which would require meandering through the treacherous waters of bureaucracy. Here is where GamingLicensing can be of great help.

GamingLicensing’s familiarity with your company and the relevant laws ensures a smoother, more efficient management process than trying to navigate these tasks independently.

The cost of maintaining your Curacao gaming license is also manageable, thanks to GamingLicensing packages. We offer a high-value maintenance package at a competitive fixed rate, handling all your corporate affairs, compliance responsibilities, and other license-related matters.

History of Online Gambling Regulation in Curacao

Curacao is a trailblazer in the world of online gambling. As early as 1993, the country enacted laws to oversee internet gaming, making it one of the earliest jurisdictions globally to do so. Seeing the need for formal regulation in this rapidly evolving sector, Curacao created the Gambling License Authority in 1996 to issue permits and conduct regulatory supervision.

Curacao’s comprehensive gambling legislation, enacted in 1996, was one of the first to legitimise a broad scope of online gambling activities, encompassing casinos, sports betting, and various other forms. Importantly, these laws allow Curacao’s gambling operators to accept payments not only in traditional fiat currencies but also in cryptocurrencies, although that concept was introduced much later.

Right from the get-go, the country became an attractive destination for procuring licenses for online gaming ventures. In response to this increased demand, the island’s regulatory framework expanded. The Curacao Online Gambling Association was founded in 2001 to ensure that all operators adhered to the prescribed guidelines.

The entire Curacao regulatory system has relied on a sublicensing arrangement. Namely, a select group of five companies received full online gaming licenses. These companies, in turn, have the authority to issue sublicenses to other businesses. It’s estimated that this structure has resulted in around 5,000 sublicense holders, many of whom manage multiple online casinos or betting platforms. This unique framework has helped solidify Curacao’s central role in the global online gambling sector.

Latest Changes to Gambling Regulation in Curacao

The Curacao legislative system has been working tirelessly to craft and implement the new regulatory framework regarding licensing agreements. Namely, the bill aims to change the sentiment about Curacao gaming licenses being easy to obtain. Judging by the speech by Finance Minister Javier Silvania during iGaming NEXT Valletta ‘23, the National Ordinance on Games of Chance (LOK) bill is advancing through the parliament, and it shouldn’t be long before the country has replaced the sub-licensing system with an entirely new one.

According to reports, a new regulatory body, the Curacao Gaming Authority, will issue B2C and B2B licenses to operators. There will also be an 18-month period for transitioning currently licensed operators into the new system.

New licenses come with new costs. For example, the application fee is expected to have a price tag of €4,000 and a yearly renewal fee of €12,000, among other things. Also, strict responsible gambling, KYC, and AML policies will be imposed.

Allowed Countries

Curacao gambling platforms boast a good reputation among players who continuously rank them as far and safe. Moreover, the fact that Curacao-licensed casinos can accept players from multiple other jurisdictions and territories makes them even more attractive. Only players from certain countries cannot gamble at Curacao online casinos. These countries include:

  • Curacao
  • The United States of America
  • Australia
  • The United Kingdom
  • France
  • The Netherlands
  • Dutch West Indies
  • Belize
  • Germany

Curacao online casinos run detailed KYC checks that serve to check if the players are coming from restricted territories or are underage. Also, AML policies ensure the source of funds is verified, as per international financial regulations.

Disadvantages of Curacao Gaming License

Although the Curacao gaming license is very cost-effective, you can obtain it rather quickly and use it to start a gambling operation with more than favourable tax rates. However, there are some disadvantages to having a Curacao license: 

  • Due to legal impediments, a gambling business running on this license cannot accept players from certain jurisdictions, such as the Netherlands, the USA, Curacao, France, and others. 
  • The license is not as reputable as some other regulators, such as Malta Gaming Authority or the Isle of Man.

How to Get a Gambling License From Curacao Gaming Authority

There is no doubt that getting a Curacao gaming license is easier than most others. However, there are certain requirements and steps you need to take before you can get one. First of all, you need to know the difference between a Master and a Sub-License. 

Since 1996, only four Master licenses have been issued (Cyberluck Curacao N.V. (Curacao-eGaming) license no. 1668/JAZ; Gaming Curacao (GC), licence no.365/JAZ;

Curacao Interactive Licensing N.V. (CIL) licence no. 5536/JAZ, and Antillephone NV licence no. 8048/JAZ. 

These Master license holders can then issue Sub-Licenses to all interested parties under the guidance of the authorities. Here are the most important steps you need to take to get the Curacao gaming licence: 

  1. Register a business in the Curacao E-zone, together with a domain. Note that a company needs to have a local representative and a physical server located in the country. 
  2. Complete all the necessary paperwork by providing the authorities with required documentation and certificates. 
  3. Pay the application fee and corresponding costs. 
  4. Submit the application. 
  5. Wait up to six weeks for the application to be accepted. 
  6. Start operating your online gambling business. 

GamingLicensing is your reliable partner in the entire process. All you need to do is reach out to us using the communication form at the end of the page. Our experts will help you get a Curacao gaming license ASAP. 

Future Changes in Curacao Licensing and Gambling Laws

Curacao is planning a major overhaul of the current gambling laws, which will affect the licensing procedure considerably. As a part of an agreement signed with the Netherlands, the local government has agreed to reform the gambling industry in return for funds to alleviate the pandemic-induced financial problems. 

The new gambling rules will be placed before the parliament in February 2023. Under the latest regulations, an independent body, the Curaçao Gaming Authority (CGA), will be established to oversee all gambling activities. 

New licensing fees and cost structures will be implemented. All applicants will be required to pay a €4,000 fee for their applications, plus a license fee of around €12,000 yearly and €250 monthly per URL. 

Holders of current sub-licenses issued by master license owners will be given a 12-month transitional period to convert into the new legislative regime. What’s more, under the updated rules, licensed operators will need to have at least three employees in key positions on the island. 

Whatever the outcome of these changes, GamingLicensing will be there to help you with the entire process in terms of both the transition and the new licensing structure.

How Can GamingLicensing Help You Get a Curacao Gambling License?

The process of acquiring a gambling license is a maze of detailed paperwork and compliance requirements that can prove too much for unfamiliar first-time operators. Any slip-ups can lead to potential rejections and a year-long wait for a chance to reapply. This is where GamingLicensing can be of great help.

Namely, our experienced team, proficient in the nuances of the licensing process across various stable and reliable jurisdictions, can substantially reduce potential mishaps, leading your application toward a successful outcome.

Beyond assisting with the license acquisition, we offer a complete package for obtaining a Curacao gambling license. Our services, provided for an annual fee, start with the company registration in Curacao and expand to include the provision of a local managing director, a physical address, and vital gaming hosting and server space with the Curacao data backup storage.

We also offer additional services like offering up to two domains, unlimited regions, and five unique validation links per year that can solidify your online casino operation’s foundations.

2023 Updates

Curacao is undergoing a significant transformation in its iGaming licensing regime, reflecting Curacao’s response to the Dutch government’s influence and demand for a more robust and credible iGaming environment. 

As a result, the government introduced the National Ordinance for Games of Chance (LOK). This new gambling law will replace the current Master License and Sub-License system with a more stringent and regulated framework.

Namely, under the new LOK law, operators are required to classify themselves as either Business-to-Consumer (B2C) or Business-to-Business (B2B), which was not the case with the previous National Ordinance on Offshore Games of Hazard (NOOGH) law. 

Each licensing category under LOK will now be facing distinct licensing fees and requirements. B2C operators are now subject to a €4,000 application fee, a €12,000 annual licensing fee, and a €250 monthly regulatory fee for each URL.

The Curacao Gaming Authority (CGA), the new independent regulatory body, will enforce stricter licensing criteria, including enhanced anti-money laundering measures and a requirement for operators to employ a minimum of three key personnel in Curacao.  

The existing sub-licensees will be grandfathered into the new system with a 12-month transitional license. The updated regime is expected to bring increased clarity, financial predictability for operators, and a renewed focus on preventing illegal gambling activities.

FAQ

  1. What does the Curacao e-Gaming license offer?

    With the Curacao e-Gaming license, you will gain access to all gambling activities with a single license. The licensing process is simple, and with the help from GamingLicensing, you can obtain yours in just two weeks. Also, by running an online casino, betting site, or poker site from Curacao, you will be subject to low-profit taxes.

  2. How much is the profit tax rate in Curacao?

    The profit tax rate in Curacao is just 2% on an annual level. By doing business from their E-Zone, you will not be subject to additional VAT taxes. According to their laws and regulations, these conditions can’t be changed before 2025.

  3. What do I need for the Curacao license?

    To obtain the Curacao e-Gaming license, you need to register a company in their E-Zone first. All your servers and hosting needs to be done from Curacao, but you can run the operation from any country in the world.

    Also, your software needs to be tested by an auditing agency to ensure that the fairness and random outcomes of games are indeed random. Moreover, further legal and financial documentation needs to be submitted for revision.