Currently, Curaçao operates under the existing National Ordinance on Offshore Games of Hazard (NOOGH) legislation.
In a statement released today (11 January), Silvania acknowledged that the LOK’s submission to parliament would naturally generate “wider debate”. However, he made two clarifications regarding the legislative process. The first was the spreading of misinformation, which he warned against.
“First, amid this entire process we have been all too aware of a significant amount of misinformation, confusion and accuracy and I strongly urge against the further propagation of unverified rumours or speculation,” said Silvania.
“Full and accurate information can only be guaranteed when issued by either the ministry [of finance] itself or the Curaçao Gaming Control Board.”
Ongoing licensing process and milestones
Silvania also confirmed that the current licence issuing process under the NOOGH remains in place.
“Second, and crucially, I would like to clarify that the current process of licence issuance by the GCB under the current legislation remains unchanged meaning that the Critical Milestones published on 20th December 2023 are likewise unaltered,” he continued.
The minister concluded by stating his support for the GCB during the transition.
“The GCB is acting on delegated authority from the minister in this regard and is fully committed to this process in advance of and until the enactment of the LOK, whenever that may transpire, and the GCB has my full support during this period of transition,” he assured. “To suggest otherwise would be reckless and misleading.”
The Critical Milestones document detailed the ministry’s process for transitioning from the current framework to the LOK.
A key date in the process is 31 March 2024. From this date, the registration of sub-licences on the GCB portal – and the subsequent application for a direct licence under the NOOGH, if required – will no longer be possible. In addition, no new extensions or renewals of master licences will take place after this date.
Renewal of licences
The GCB has also renewed all gambling licences in Curaçao, with the first renewal ceasing in August 2025. The final one will be renewed in January 2025.
From 1 January 2024, licence holders were permitted to begin displaying a digital seal on their websites. The GCB, which issues the digital seals, will release a dedicated policy on them in the future.
The GCB kicked off the application process for operators on 1 September 2023 by opening its online portal. The portal began accepting account registrations for applicants and sub-licence holders on 1 November.