Gaming Curacao is one of four Master Licence Holders issued by the Government of Curacao. Gaming Curacao has been licensed by the Government of Curacao since 1998.
Curacao operates a very unorthodox licensing system. The Curacao licence is one of the most famous offshore online gambling licences available. However, the Government of Curacao has only issued four licences to online gambling operators, and is not issuing any more of such Master Licences.
The reason why there are hundreds or thousands of websites said to be licensed and regulated in Curacao is because the licences issued by the Government of Curacao are deemed to be ‘Master Licences’, meaning that each Master Licensee is able to issue sub-licences.
Gaming Curacao is one such Master Licensee, offering sub-licences to operators. Gaming Curacao licences and regulates its sub-licensees, and also offers hosting services and fiduciary services to its clients.
In order to acquire a licence by Gaming Curacao, applicants are subjected to assessments including financial standing and integrity.
A government gambling regulator exists in the Curacao Gaming Control Board, however until December 2018 it was only responsible for land-based gaming. Whilst the Government of Curacao announced that the CGCB would become the regulator for online gambling, as well as the anti-money laundering supervisor, legislation to implement these changes has not yet been implemented, and therefore no direct government oversight seems to exist.
There seems to be no restrictions or limitations on the type of online gambling which Master Licensees or Sub-Licensees may offer.
A sub-licence from Gaming Curacao is deemed to be an offshore licence, and there are only a few jurisdictions which are prohibited from being targeted. It is worth noting that a sub-licence from Gaming Curacao does not permit a licensee from targeting players in Curacao itself, or any of the former Netherlands Antilles, Aruba, Sint Maarten, Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius.
Gaming Curacao also prohibits access by a number of other regulated jurisdictions, including France, Netherlands, Australia, United Kingdom, Spain and the USA.
It is however unclear how such prohibitions are enforced, with the Dutch regulator issuing large fines to Curacao-based operators for targeting Dutch customers.
No public database of operators licensed by Gaming Curacao exists.
No enforcement measures taken by Gaming Curacao have been made public, if any have been taken. However, other regulators have issued fines to Curacao-based online gambling operators:
- In May 2021, the Dutch gambling regulator the Kansspelautoriteit issued a €440,000 fine against LuckyDays.com, licensed by Gaming Curacao for offering services to Dutch players;
- Curacao-based Virtual Coin Gaming NV, which operates the websites futgalaxy.nl and nl.futgamer.com were issued with a €500,000 fine for illegally offering services to Dutch players;
- The majority of websites blacklisted by European and Australian regulators are established in Curacao. 350 Curacao-based companies are on such blacklists, operating a total of around 12,000 blacklisted websites.