Brief History of Curacao as a Licensing Jurisdiction
As mentioned, licensing of online gambling started in Curacao in 1993. This was after the government of Curacao introduced the initial legislation to regulate the online gambling sector. Three years later, the Curacao eGaming Authority was formed and tasked with the responsibility of overseeing all the licensees.
The authority began to issue licenses in the mid-1990s and rapidly grew to be one of the most sought-after regulators in the industry. It appealed to many operators with its low corporate tax rates and other initiatives like no VAT and no sales tax. Even today, the Curacao eGaming license is one of the simplest reputable options in the iGaming industry.
Gaming companies with licenses from the Curacao eGaming Authority have the right to offer the following:
- Online sports betting
- Online slots and scratchcards
- Online poker rooms and table games
- Live casino games
Types of Curacao Licenses
Currently, the Curacao eGaming Authority offers two types of licenses:
- Master License: This gives brands the authority to operate online gambling platforms and also share that authority with other firms through sub-licenses.
- Sub-License: A permit obtained from the Master’s license. It allows holders to run an online gambling platform but they cannot share or give sub-licenses to other parties.
However, it will interest you to know that only four companies currently hold the master’s license. Each holder issues sub-licenses to many of the Curacao-licensed online casinos you see today.
Here are the four holders of the Curacao master gaming license:
- Antillephone NV #8048/JAZ
- Gaming Curacao (GC) #365/JAZ
- Curacao Interactive Licensing N.V. (CIL) #5536/JAZ
- Cyberluck Curacao N.V. (Curacao-eGaming) #1668/JAZ
Reliability and Popularity of Curacao License
It will be practically impossible for a gambling authority to exist for over two decades without having some form of reliability. However, the Curacao license is not held in high regard as licenses issued by bodies like the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) and the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC).
Licenses from these other regulators are considered more stringent and are more difficult to acquire. Nevertheless, Curacao eGaming has enough player protection policies which will be discussed later in this guide.
Despite the lower rating of the license, it’s still very popular around the world. This is due to its ease of acquisition and its “One License policy”. Its one-license policy saves operators money and time since it covers all forms of online gambling. In other jurisdictions, you may be required to get separate licenses for a casino, sportsbook, and poker room.
Benefits of Choosing Curacao Licensed Online Casinos
The license not only benefits the operators but also offers advantages for players at online casino Curacao sites, especially when compared to platforms regulated by the UKGC and MGA.
Firstly, Curacao eGaming casinos can accept payments in cryptocurrencies. This grants players a higher level of privacy, convenience, and possible anonymity.
Furthermore, they also offer larger game libraries as they partner with a wide range of providers. Many Curacao casinos feature over 5,000 casino games in their lobbies. In addition, you’ll find other betting options such as sports, virtual sports, lotteries, etc.
Lastly, you may be able to play at a Curacao casino even when you travel out of your jurisdiction. Many of them can operate in nations where online gambling has no regulations or is prohibited. They may also allow you to access the websites with a VPN.
The Process of Obtaining a Casino Curacao License
As mentioned, the process of acquiring a license is easier compared to that of the MGA and UKGC. Casino operators need to apply to one of the master license holders for a sublicense.
To obtain a sublicense, the following are required from the company or brand applying:
- Identity Documents: These may include passports and a bank reference for the owners of the casino.
- Reference letter: From a professional such as a lawyer or police officer. It is required to verify that the owners are fit to run an online gambling platform.
- Commitment to a Random Number Generator (RNG): Operators offering games of chance must commit to using RNG.
- Confirmation of business gaming policies, along with evidence of domain ownership, and software agreementsö
After providing all that’s necessary, the applicants will also pass through anti-fraud tests. While awaiting confirmation, applicants can display the “attention valid” badge (a blue logo with an exclamation) on their sites. Once the application is successful, they can display the Curacao eGaming logo.
Challenges and Controversies Surrounding the Curacao Gambling Licenses
The Curacao eGaming Authority does not exist without its challenges. For licensees, a significant drawback is the comparatively lower perceived value of the license when compared to those issued by the MGA and UKGC. Its easy licensing and less strict requirements make it difficult for a few to trust Curacao online casino sites.
In addition to that, there are some limitations regarding gambling markets. Operators may be forbidden to accept users from countries like the Netherlands, the USA, France, and Curacao, based on the master license holder.
Some Curacao online casinos may also maintain lower standards due to the relatively less stringent nature of their licenses. These casinos may offer poor customer support as their regulator is not solid in terms of resolving casino/player disputes.
The Curacao Authority has also not been left without controversies. A significant one occurred in 2006 when several casinos on the Curacao gaming license list were reported to offer pirated Novomatic and Netent software. To this day, the authority never provided a clear explanation of how this happened under their watch.
However, the government of Curacao is making efforts to build a better reputation for the eGaming authority. It has solid policies in place to protect players on its site and is beginning to improve on dispute resolution. Recently, it has approved legislation to create a new body in the Curacao Gaming Authority. The primary focus of this new arm will be to address and rectify any unfair or irresponsible gaming practices within the industry. It will also prioritize players’ protection and enforce anti-money laundering measures.
Regulatory Oversight and Player Protection
Despite the controversies in the past years, the authority still maintains a variety of security measures to keep players safe. All casinos licensed in Curacao are mandated to have all games and RNG independently tested and verified. The regulator also monitors the casinos to ensure that the games are not manipulated in any way.
Furthermore, to protect players’ information and financial transactions, operators are required to use high-level security encryption techniques on their websites. This is to ensure that any sensitive data shared on the casino is secured and cannot be accessed by unauthorized parties.
Finally, licensed casinos must support responsible gambling. However, the rules are not that strict. Most Curacao-licensed gambling sites only provide information and self-exclusion. Only a few of them provide enough restriction tools for players to control their gaming habits.
Dispute Resolution at Curacao Casinos
As a player, if you ever have issues with Curacao casinos online, you can take some steps to reach a resolution. First, the authority requires you to reach out to the casino support team. You should resort to contacting the eGaming body after communication fails with the casino.
Gather all necessary documents, including details of your conversation with the casino support department, screenshots, and other proofs regarding your complaints. Then proceed to the Curacao Gambling Commission website to make a formal complaint or send them an email.
While the Curacao eGaming license might not be the strictest option, it’s still one of the best out there. Many top reputable online gambling brands make use of the license.
Furthermore, the improvements in the regulatory practices and players’ protection also make their casinos a great option. With the ongoing government efforts to refine the regulatory framework, the Curacao license could eventually gain the same level of prestige as that of the MGA and UKGC.
We feature the most reputable Curacao-licensed casinos here on our platform, so feel free to find a suitable one to play at. Nevertheless, remember that your satisfaction at any casino depends on you. Therefore, you must gamble responsibly at all times.