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Slotegrator on why the Curaçao licence remains one of the most popular

| By Guy Parsons
Leading software supplier and aggregator explains the key steps in the licensing process.

Curaçao is widely known as an international hub for the igaming sector. This small island in the south of the Caribbean attained its status as one of the key centres of the gambling industry with its permissive gambling legislation, optimal taxation scheme and ease of doing business.

To obtain a Curaçao licence, you need to follow certain steps, which include registering a company in the jurisdiction, completing an application and paying a fee. Slotegrator’s expert legal team will help you understand the intricacies of the process — the software developer for the gambling business has been one of the leaders in the market for more than 10 years and has launched more than 150 successful projects (licensing often included). The company helps established operators obtain a Curaçao license and works with those who are new to the market.

The island nation of Curaçao has an impressive gambling history — it was one of the first to regulate online gambling — and the jurisdiction itself occupies an important place in the global igaming space.

The igaming industry in Curaçao is regulated by the Ministry of Finance and the Financial Intelligence Unit. There are two types of licences: a master licence and a sublicence. The Minister of Justice has the exclusive power to issue master licences; master licence holders have the right to issue an unlimited number of sublicences. The master licence is valid for a period of five years with the possibility of extension, while sub-licences are valid in perpetuity, provided that the base licence remains active.

Since 1996, there have been and remain only four master licence holders on the island of Curaçao: Cyberluck Curaçao NV (Curaçao-eGaming) #1668/JAZ, Gaming Curaçao (GC) #365/JAZ, Curaçao Interactive Licensing NV (CIL) #5536/JAZ, and Antillephone NV #8048/JAZ. New operators apply for a sublicence from one of these master licence holders.

Slotegrator provides the opportunity to operate under a Curaçao sub-licence as part of its White Label product. It also includes the development of an online casino platform, a wide portfolio of games, and the ability to operate under the legal entity of the company. The right combination of technical and business solutions gives the right to call this option a win-win for experienced operators and determines the growing popularity of the product in key igaming markets.

Why operators choose a Curaçao licence

  • One licence covers all types of gambling activities.
  • Cheaper than other jurisdictions — no need to pay VAT, income tax is 2%.
  • Having a licence contributes to the development of an honest, transparent gambling environment and inspires players’ confidence.
  • Simple application process and a delivery time of up to 6 weeks.
  • More opportunities for partner network development.

How to get a gambling licence in Curaçao

Although the process of obtaining a gambling licence in Curaçao is less complicated than in other jurisdictions, the operator must fulfil a number of requirements when applying for it on their own. Moreover, one mistake can trigger a domino effect that turns all your efforts into a waste of time.

Here are the steps that applicants will take:

  • Register a legal entity in Curaçao.
  • Prepare the necessary documents — original utility bill (no more than three months old), copy of your passport, resume, original certificate of no criminal record, original letter of recommendation from the bank, expert recommendation letter, and second identity card. Depending on the master licence holder, this list may vary.
  • Apply and pay fees.
  • Wait for a decision.
  • Launch your igaming site.

Before issuing a licence, the standards compliance committee, owned by the holder of the master licence, issues its verdict on the platform within the established rules. The domain, server, platform and other technical aspects must be worked out before a licence is issued.

Applicants for obtaining a licence need to make sure that each document on the list is completed correctly. Potential operators often make mistakes at this stage that mean they have to redo their application – or that the application is outright rejected. Depending on the holder of the master licence, the criteria for reviewing documents may also differ; sometimes even a minor mistake can lead to a refusal to issue a gambling licence.

Taxes and Fees

Application fees vary as all master licence holders have different requirements, but overall they remain low relative to other jurisdictions. The total cost of a licence, in addition to the application fee, may include registration of a company in Curaçao, fees for a local company representative, fees for legal representation and domiciliation, administrative fees, and ISP services for backups.

The financial liability of operators in Curaçao is a 2% net income tax, application fees and licence renewal fees.

Low tax rates, a quick and easy registration process, and new opportunities for developing a partner network are far from all the arguments in favour of a Curaçao licence. Despite the fact that it is subject to small restrictions on target markets – users from Curaçao, the Netherlands, the USA and France cannot play on the platforms of licensees from the jurisdiction of Curaçao – this jurisdiction remains one of the most popular in the global igaming space.