The online gambling world features over a dozen different licensing jurisdictions. These jurisdictions are responsible for vetting applicants and issuing gaming licenses to companies.
Curacao eGaming seems to be doing something right since they’ve attracted so many companies. But they’re mostly popular due to their lax standards. They don’t thoroughly vet applicants, and they approve just about any company who can cover the fees.
These factors have led to Curacao being known as a “rubber stamp” jurisdiction. Such licensing bodies are looked down upon for their weak guidelines.
The good news, though, is that they’re trying to step up their standards. But is this effort enough to save their reputation?
More importantly, should you trust gambling sites with one of these licenses? Keep reading as I discuss this matter, beginning with how Curacao earned its lowly reputation.
Brief History of Curacao eGaming
They began competing against the likes of Belize, Costa Rica, and Antigua for a slice of the local licensing pie and emerged as a successful jurisdiction from a monetary standpoint, given their large number of licensees.
However, Cyberluck also developed a reputation for having no oversight over its operators. Multiple casinos and sportsbooks house in Curacao have closed without repaying players.
Cyberluck, meanwhile, didn’t do anything in these instances. They eventually changed their name to Curacao eGaming in hopes that rebranding could improve their reputation.
While things have improved slightly, Curacao eGaming still does little to help players. They don’t intervene in operator-gambler disputes and merely provide a place for companies to legally operate.
Now a constituent country of the Netherlands, Curacao has recently begun to worry about their reputation. As I’ll cover later, the Ministry of Finance has taken over the online gaming sector. Only time will tell if they can turn the licensing jurisdiction’s reputation around.
Characteristics of a Curacao Online Gaming License
Curacao is one of the cheapest jurisdictions to obtain licensing. They issue “master licenses” to approved applicants that cover a 60,000 ANG (approx. 35,000 USD) fee.
Licensees must then pay 10,000 ANG (approx. 5,900 USD) in licensing fees every month for the first two years. They also need to pay a 2% tax on annual net profits, which is extremely cheap compared to other jurisdictions.
Yet one more bonus www.joinlive77.com is that master licenses can issue sublicenses to their different skins. An all-encompassing software provider, such as Microgaming, can cover licensing for all of the casino skins that it serves.
The cherry on top is that Curacao eGaming licenses are easy to obtain. Well-funded applicants have little to worry about as long as they properly fill out forms and have the necessary money.
Why Does Curacao Attract Rogue Operators?
Earlier, I covered how Curacao eGaming has drawn some unsavory operators. These are referred to as “rogue” gaming sites, because they’re dishonest and have no qualms about cheating customers.
Curacao seems to draw these types of licensees for several reasons. Here’s a recap of why they’re a hotspot for rogues.
A $35,000 “setup fee,” plus $5,900 every month thereafter, might seem like a lot of money for licensing. However, it’s a rather miniscule amount compared to what many entities require.
Antigua, which is by no means a blue-chip jurisdiction, requires a $15,000 application fee. They then demand a $100,000 annual fee on top of this.
The UK Gambling Commission barely charges anything for an application. However, they tax a lofty 15% of total online gambling revenue.
High Rate of Approval
Applying with the UKGC, Danish Gambling Authority, New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, or any other prestigious jurisdiction carries a chance of rejection. The same can’t be said of Curacao’s licensing process.
They’ll approve just about any operator that can pony up the setup fee, monthly dues, and taxes. They’re not overly worried about potential rogue operators.
This isn’t the only licensing body that behaves in this matter.
The Finance Minister also wants to impose tougher standards on licensees and ensure that all operators comply with international laws. Regarding the latter, Gijsbertha wants to prevent terrorists and money launderers from using their jurisdiction to carry out crimes.
Perhaps only Belize, Costa Rica, and Panama have a lower reputation. GCB has its work cut out in trying to change the country’s perception as a licensing authority.