Curaçao Grants 1st Licenses Under New Legislative Regime

Under the country’s fresh regulatory regime, Curaçao’s official regulator of the land-based casino industry, the Curaçao Gaming Control Board (GCB), has granted its 1st licenses.

First licenses:

The company that received the inaugural direct license is White Star BV, a division of Rhino Entertainment Group, and the license is for its flagship brand CasinoDays. Beside this, the said regulator also issued Digital Seals to 3 well-known operators such as Small House, Geeka Corporation and Games and More, supporting all brands and domains under their jurisdiction with the formal Digital Seal of validation from the said regulator.

The confirmation of the license occurred only 12 weeks following the start of the licensing process for the newest regime in Curaçao. In this sense, the registration portal was formally opened in September. However, applicants weren’t allowed to register till November 1.

The aforementioned portal processes fresh applications in accordance with existing legislation with the regulator and registers any sub-licensee who wishes to continue operating following the adoption of the National Ordinance for Games of Chance (LOK). As soon as the LOK comes into force, the fresh Curaçao Gaming Authority (CGA) will officially enter the scene.

Commenting on the first licenses, Managing Director of the GCB, Cedric Pietersz, commented: “2024 heralds a transformative period in the regulatory landscape of Curacao’s gambling sector. Since opening our doors to applications less than 12 weeks ago, the volume of submissions has far exceeded our expectations. White Star’s licensure holds a special place in our hearts and history. It signifies a pivotal moment for Curacao’s evolution into a top-tier gambling jurisdiction with many more licences in process.”

Relatedly, commenting on the new direct license, Ross Parkhill, CEO of Rhino Entertainment Group, said according to the source: “Being the first to receive this direct licence is not only a privilege but a thrilling endorsement of our commitment to excellence and responsible gaming. We wholeheartedly support Curacao’s enhanced regulatory processes, recognizing the added value and prestige it brings to our licence. We look forward to fostering an open and communicative relationship with the GCB, ensuring a bright and compliant future for online gaming.”

Eliminating uncertainty in Curaçao:

Although there is strong support for the changing regime in the country, some uncertainty remains. Currently, the said country operates in accordance with National Ordinance on Offshore Games of Hazard (NOOGH) legislation. However, this will be amended by the aforementioned LOK.

In January, reports emerged that LOK, which officially entered parliament in the last month of 2023, had been refused. But those reports turned out to be false alarms.

Afterwards, Curaçao’s Minister of Finance, Javier Silvania, published a statement expressing his disapproval at the outrageous “misinformation” about LOK. He additionally provided 2 clarifications regarding the process. The former provides a warning against misinformation, while the latter verifies that the license issuing process by the GCB stays completely the same.

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