The Curacao gaming license is the first choice for operators due to its affordability and reasonable requirements.
Curacao is a Caribbean island and a constituent country in the kingdom of the Netherlands. It has the longest track record of any jurisdiction in the iGaming industry. The National Ordinance on Offshore Games of Hazard came into effect in 1993, legalizing online gambling, and starting with 1996, the authorities started issuing licenses. Online gambling quickly joined the ranks of international industries that saw the island as a perfect place to set up shop — with its modern infrastructure and business-friendly tax rates, Curacao makes for an ideal offshore business hub, and it has become one of the world’s most in-demand jurisdictions for licensing online gambling businesses.
In 2019, the Curacao Gaming Control Board became the AML-CFT (anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism) supervisor for all gaming activities conducted in Curacao, including online gambling. The online gambling is regulated by the Ministry of Finance and Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). In lieu of a single framework for regulations and licensing, Curacao has a system based on different classes of licenses.
Curacao has two kinds of licenses:
- master license issued by the Minister of Justice;
- sub-license issued by the holder of the master license.
Both master licenses and sub-licenses allow the holder to conduct all kinds of gambling activities.
The master license is valid for five years, and the sub-licenses tied to the master license are valid indefinitely, as long as their master license remains valid. Starting with 1996, there have been only been just 4 master license holders. All other operators interested in a Curacao e-Gaming license will have to apply for a sub-license from one of the master license holders. Each master license holder has its own policies regarding issues like handling disputes between players and operators.
In Curacao there are 4 master license holders:
- Cyberluck Curacao N.V.
- Gaming Curacao
- Curacao Interactive Licensing N.V.
- Antillephone NV
Why should you get a gambling license in Curacao in 2021?
- Security. Getting licensed gives operators peace of mind that they can do business without having to worry about legal repercussions.
- Finance. Enables you to open a merchant account — most financial institutions won’t let an online casino business open an account without a license.
- Credibility. Grants the casino a significant amount of legitimacy in players’ eyes.
- Reputation. Contributes to the iGaming ecosystem, fighting stigmas and helping create a fair and transparent gaming industry.
- Cooperation. Makes the casino more appealing for software and payment service providers, many of whom refuse to cooperate with operators who are unlicensed.
There are many jurisdictions that are regulated and offer licensing services, but Curacao has the following reasons why it should be shortlisted for starting your business:
- One sub-license covers all types of gambling
- Affordable – cheaper than other jurisdictions
- Fast – a license can be received in approx. 6 weeks
- Crypto payments are accepted from compliant operators
- Low taxes – 0% corporate income tax, 2% tax on net gains
- Less complicated – process than in other jurisdictions
How to obtain a Curacao gaming license?
To obtain the Curacao license, you need to follow these steps:
- Incorporate the business in Curacao;
- Collect the required documents;
- Submit your application and pay the application fee;
- Wait around six weeks;
- Start operating your online casino.
Before the license is issued, the master license holder’s technical compliance team will review the website, which means that the domain name, server, and platform don’t necessarily need to be finalized at the time of application, but they must be ready before the license is issued.
What are the required documents to obtain the Curacao gambling license?
To establish the credibility and eligibility of the applicants, Curacao authorities require a long list of paperwork (but not limited to):
- Original Utility Bill (not older than 3 months);
- Copy of passport;
- Resume (CV);
- Original certificate of good conduct;
- Original bank reference letter;
- Professional reference letter;
- Second ID.
It is very important for the applicants to gather and review all of the required documents before submitting their application. Even a small mistake on the highly complicated paperwork could result in a rejection.
Gambling Consulting Expert offers consultancy services and complete package solutions for gambling license acquisition that include:
- Gambling jurisdiction and business advisory
- Gambling business corporate structure incorporation
- Opening bank accounts
- Gambling license application
How much does a gambling license cost in Curacao (taxes and fees)
One of the main advantages of the Curacao online gambling license is the low cost. License fees vary, depending on the master license holder and several other factors, but they are generally lower than in other jurisdictions. In addition to the initial application fee, some of the associated costs can include the incorporation of a local company in Curacao, the first year’s local representative fees, legal office fees, and domiciliation and administration fees, as well local ISP service for compliance backups.
Another reason Curacao is such an attractive jurisdiction for online casino operators is the incredibly low taxes. Whereas other jurisdictions will assemble a long list of different taxes and fees that operators are required to pay, the 2% net gains tax and the application and renewal fees are the entirety of the operator’s financial obligations in Curacao.
The final cost of the license can vary and depends on a variety of factors. There are a number of services that guide operators through the licensing process, and it’s often recommended that operators engage expert help to find the pricing scheme that works for them.
What happens if you don’t have a license?
If you try to operate an online casino without the proper licensing, will expose you to a number of complicated and serious problems:
- Many game developers and software providers will refuse to work with unlicensed operators;
- Unlicensed casinos can very fast develop a bad reputation among players;
- Unlicensed casinos can be subject to heavy fines, especially if they are registered in a jurisdiction that regulates gambling;
- The casino will be shut down by the authorities if it does not comply with the regulations of the jurisdiction where the company is based;
- The operators’ representatives can spend time in prison.
By deciding that the costs of licensing and taxes are too high and trying to save money by going without, the costs of the consequences are far higher than fees and taxes. In short, online casino licenses may present a significant up-front cost, but the financial effects of fines and prison time will outweigh them in the long run.