Curaçao (GCB)

Curaçao, a Caribbean Island situated next to Aruba and Sint Maarten, has become an immensely attractive offshore location for many gambling organizations due to its favorable tax rates and affordable, simple licensing processes.

Despite not having the best reputation as a regulatory authority, Curaçao is currently one of the most popular jurisdictions for licensing online gambling businesses.

Why Curaçao?

Online gambling has been legal in Curaçao since 1993, with the introduction of the National Ordinance on Offshore Games of Hazard legislation, and the first license was issued in 1996. As such, Curaçao is one of the oldest regulators of its kind.

Curaçao licenses are attractive to operators for several reasons:

  • Only one license is needed to be able to operate all types of gambling activities.
  • The process of obtaining a license is quite simple and cheap in comparison to other jurisdictions.
  • Cryptocurrencies are supported, permitting them to be used a payment method.
  • Only 2% tax must be paid on net profits from a gambling business, there is currently 0% VAT and 0% corporate income tax (great for fledgling companies and start-ups)

The Fantastic Four

Unlike other jurisdictions, there isn’t just one regulator of online gambling in Curaçao. The Curaçao Gaming Control Board is the supervisor for anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML-CFT) for all gambling activities, but online gambling is also regulated by the Ministry of Finance and Financial Intelligence Unit.

Due to the lack of a single, independent regulatory body, the authority to grant licenses and ensure casinos are following regulations has been delegated to four third-party operators, called Master License Operators (MLO). The licenses obtained by online casinos are all obtained from one of these Master License Operators, and are known as sub licenses.

Therefore, there are essentially four Curaçao licensing authorities working independent of each other:

  • Antillephone N.V. with license number 8048 / JAZ
  • Curaçao eGaming with license number Cyberluck Curaçao NV 1668 / JAZ
  • Curaçao Interactive Licensing N.V. with license number (C.I.L.) 5536 / JAZ
  • Gaming Curaçao with license number 365 / JAZ
Note:

This system has some major flaws and can be confusing for players. For example, each company has its own procedures and contact channels, and only has authority over the casinos that operate under their particular license.

This means that there is currently no centralized authority to make a complaint to, and if you contact the wrong regulator, you will be disregarded. Also, each MLO seems to be left to their own devices when it comes to enforcing regulations, so there is no real guarantee that the rules will be followed by casinos operating under a Curaçao license.

The future of Curaçao

It seems that this situation may improve in the future, however, perhaps not in the eyes of some operators, but certainly with regards to casinos being properly regulated and operating in a fair manner. The gambling policy in Curaçao is undergoing a reform, and a new legislation - The National Ordinance on Games of Chance 2021 - has been drawn up.

The Curaçao Gaming Control Board has stated on its website:

"The government of Curaçao is in the process of modernizing its gambling legislation to bring it in line with international standards and to adopt a responsible gaming policy that spans all gaming activities that are and will be licensed in the jurisdiction. Based on this new legislation, the GCB will be converted into a new independent licensing and supervisory authority for all games of chance"

This new legislation would mean that licenses could only be obtained from one authority, which will be known as the Curaçao Gaming Authority, and sub-licenses would no longer be available from MLOs. Currently, MLOs keep the fees for sub-licenses for themselves, but this would no longer be the case.

Also, it is proposed that there would be much tighter restrictions on which countries operators can accept players from and the tax rates may be raised.

The GCB aims to implement a formal procedure for handling complaints too, stating it will do so by the time the new legislation comes into force.

If all this comes to fruition, it could serve to greatly improve Curaçao’s reputation as a regulator. More importantly, it could result in an authority that will have better tools, be more readily available to help players when needed, and be able to maintain a much-needed stricter control over the operators it will govern.

How to check a Curaçao license is legitimate

It is always recommended to check the validity of any license a casino states it operates under, as unfortunately there are those casinos that try to trick players into a false sense of security with a fake license.

To check a Curaçao license is valid, the easiest way is to click on the validator on the website of the casino. This will usually appear as a small logo of the relevant authority:

validator logo
Curacao Antillephone Validator logo

Every casino licensed by Curaçao should display the seal of their license on their website, and it can usually be found in the footer at the bottom of the page. Once clicked, you will be taken to the validator page, where you can check the status of the license:

validator page
Example of a Curacao Antillephone Validator Page

The license status should of course be "Licensed", "Valid" or "Verified" but you should also check that the URL of the website is correct and secure (the part in bold will always be the same):

Curaçao eGaming

https://verification.curacao-egaming.com/validateview.aspx?domain=casinowebsite.com

Gaming Curaçao

https://licensing.gaming-curacao.com/validator/?lh=d43882bf47d9041163a4fe72a39c7a91

Antillephone N.V.

https://validator.antillephone.com/validate?domain=casinowebsite.com&seal_id=cf9...

The exception here is the C.I.L. license, which only shows a certificate and can have any URL as one is not provided by the authority. This can easily be falsified and the only way to completely guarantee the authenticity of this license is to contact the C.I.L. directly.

How to submit a complaint

The process for submitting complaints, if any is available, is different for each authority, so we will address each in turn.

Curaçao e-Gaming

You can submit a complaint to Curaçao eGaming via the Curaçao eGaming website , and indeed they appear to be the most accessible Curaçao authority when it comes to player disputes.

The website can also be reached via a button on the validator page:

submit complaint
File a complaint button

Gaming Curaçao

There is no specific procedure for submitting a complaint to Gaming Curaçao, and it is not mentioned at all on the Gaming Curaçao website. The only option that seems to be available to players is to submit a complaint by email to complaints@gaming-curacao.com.

Antillephone N.V.

Antillephone N.V. also has an official website, but again there is no information to be found regarding player complaints. However, on the Antillephone N.V. validator page, there is the following paragraph:

"Antillephone should only be contacted by players when they believe an Operator is in breach of their license. All disputes with an Operator about a payout, a blocked account, a delay, broken features and so on, should first be taken up directly with the Operator. If no resolution is found there are number of independent bodies you can contact, which should be listed on the Operator website."

Players that wish to submit a complaint can only contact Antillephone via email here: complaints@gaminglicences.com.

Curaçao Interactive Licensing N.V

The C.I.L doesn’t appear to have a website, let alone a procedure for dealing with complaints. The only information with regards to contacting them is an e-mail address which can be found on any C.I.L certificate: info@curacaolicensing.com or helpdesk@curacaolicensing.com.

Self-Exclusion

There is no way to self-exclude from all Curacao licensed casinos at once. You must self-exclude at each casino individually. Curaçao e-Gaming seems to be the only one of the four authorities that specifies a procedure, which is to request exclusion via a form on the license validator page:

exclusion form
The Self-Exclusion form

Once submitted, the CEG will then confirm your identity to validate the request. After this has been completed, the casino will have 7 days in which to comply and must exclude you for a minimum of 6 months.

To self-exclude from casinos that operate under any of the other Curaçao licenses, you will need to contact the casino to find out how to do so.

Contact Information

Curaçao eGaming

Address: PO Box 4633, Pletterijweg Oost, Ara Hilltop Building - Suite-A4, Willemstad, Curaçao

Tel: +599 9-465-1134

E-mail: info@curacao-egaming.com

Website: https://www.curacao-egaming.com/

Gaming Curacao

Address: PO Box 840, Willemstad, Curaçao

Tel: +599 9-461-3709

E-mail: info@gaming-curacao.com

Website: https://www.gaming-curacao.com/

Antillephone N.V.

Address: Heelsumstraat, 51 E-Commerce Park, Curaçao

Tel: +599 9-433-8808

E-mail: certria@gaminglicences.com

Website: https://www.gaminglicensing.com

Curacao Interactive Licensing

E-mail: info@curacaolicensing.com

or helpdesk@curacaolicensing.com

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