Curaçao is ushering in the National Ordinance for Games of Chance (LOK), causing curiosity about the roadmap for existing license holders.
The revamped licensing commenced on 1 September, as the Gaming Control Board (GCB) rolled out the official license application portal.
This portal has a dual role:
- Managing fresh applications under prevailing rules via the GCB.
- Registering existing sublicensees ensuring they operate seamlessly once the LOK activates and the new Curaçao Gaming Authority (CGA) takes over.
Essential Criteria for Application
Companies registered in Curaçao are eligible for registration under the new law. They should have a Curaçao-based address and at least one designated director residing within the country. As the enactment of the LOK looms, the government will evaluate all new aspirants under the current norms. Interestingly, there's no emphasis on maintaining a physical office or hiring local workforce, as confirmed by the finance ministry.
For entities with an existing Curaçao registration, this stipulation shouldn't be a stumbling block. For external operators, they would need to meet the set criteria.
The portal will become active for application uploads starting 15 November, providing all necessary information and official instructions for the licensing process.
Diving Deeper into the Application Mechanism
Three forms encompass the application:
- Application form.
- Corporate disclosure.
- Personal disclosure.
Notably, a personal disclosure is mandatory for Ultimate Beneficial Owners (UBOs) possessing more than 10% capital, and this extends to senior roles such as CEOs.
The government has committed to processing accurately completed applications, supported by essential documents, within a 60-day window from submission. Those passing the assessment will obtain a provisional license. They'll then have half a year to provide the needed audited policies and protocols.
Once the LOK becomes operational, ongoing applications will transition to the updated format, irrespective of their progress status.
LOK and Sublicensees
For uninterrupted operations post-LOK, both master licensees and sublicensees should register on the portal ahead of LOK's implementation. Upon this, the baton passes to the CGA as the principal regulatory body.
Current operations under existing master licenses can maintain their usual course. Yet, it's crucial that the incoming regulator has a comprehensive list of all active license holders.
During the iGB L!VE event in July, Sixiènne Jansen, a legal consultant for Curaçao’s finance ministry, revealed a one-year extension for all master licenses. She emphasized that a smooth transition to the new structure, ensuring continuous operations for sublicensees, stands as a priority.