In 1996, Curaçao was one of the first countries where online casino permits were issued. In the following years, Curaçao became one of the favorite locations of online casinos.
Not crazy, of course. Curaçao has a favorable tax arrangement whereby internet companies pay only a 2 percent tax. The island also has an excellent infrastructure for companies. Renowned accountancy firms, law firms with specialist knowledge, trust offices, and a Tier IV data center are available.
Yet in this case, nothing is what it seems. The licenses are not issued by the government on Curaçao but by four telecommunications companies. It also turns out not to be a gambling license, but more a license for "Information Providing." The "supervisors" make commercial interests prevail over the interests of casino players
How does the Curaçao Licensing System Work Exactly?
You often read on review websites that an online casino has received a permit from the government in Curaçao. Many online casinos even try to make the impression that they received a gambling license from the government in Curaçao. Then there is something on the casino's website such as "regulated by the Government of Curaçao" or "licensed by the Government of Curaçao."
That is not true. The government in Curaçao does not grant casino licenses to online casinos and bookmakers. There are four so-called IP licenses in circulation in Curacao. These are a type of data processing license for telecommunications companies. There are a number of them:
- Antillephone N.V. which also operates under the name Gamings Licences (sic). The license number of this company is 8048 / JAZ.
- Curacao eGaming: this company provides eGaming licenses, whereby eGaming refers to the name of the company and not to the purpose of the permit. The license number of Curacao eGaming is 1668 / JAZ.
- Curaçao Interactive Licensing N.V. under permit number 5536 / JAZ.
- Gaming Curacao N.V. under permit number 365 / JAZ.
These companies are also referred to as the master licensees. The licenses that they provide are called sub-licenses. Master licensees usually sell complete packages to interested casinos. It includes not only an IP license but also web server services, accountancy services, tax advice, trust services, etc. Prices for them are between $ 2,000 and $ 8,000 per month. Relatively cheap.
What Requirements Apply to a Curacao Sub-license?
Curacao eGaming The main requirement is that you pay your invoices to the master licensee on time. Furthermore, few conditions apply. That is mainly because online gambling in Curaçao is not regulated. Excuse me? No, CasinoFisher does not make a typo here. Online gambling is still not regulated in Curaçao. There is not a single law in Curaçao that allows online gambling and permits gambling licenses. That is why we also see that online casinos with a license in Curaçao do not accept players from Curaçao. We actually have something there that looks like a license requirement.
The invoice also includes the work of the compliance team of the master licensee. They ensure that a casino meets the guidelines that apply to Information Providers in Curaçao.
Furthermore, the owner of the casino must also identify himself, and he must give some openness about where he earns his money. These are rules that banks and trust offices must comply with. Because online casinos in Curaçao often work through a trust office and need a bank account, these rules also apply to online casinos. Just like they apply to a greengrocer who wants to open a bank account.
There are no requirements for games. You can go to one of the master licensees with self-manufactured games that have not been tested by an independent and competent authority.
Why is Curacao so Popular among Online Casinos?
Everyone will be able to come up with some arguments after reading the first two paragraphs of this article. First, Curaçao was for a long time one of the few options that online casinos had. An online casino has to run the website somewhere and start a company. Curaçao was one of the first countries where that was possible.
Curacao has also had a Tier IV data center for years. They are of the highest category. There aren't many such data centers worldwide.
The low costs are another important argument. The "permit" on Curaçao is one of the cheapest of its kind. Casinos pay between 2 and 8 thousand dollars per month for their licenses, including related services. That's a bargain. You will lose a multiple of this amount in Malta. The tax for companies in the so-called eZone in Curaçao is only 2 percent. That's a bargain too. The most significant data centers of Curaçao are in the eZone. The address, eCommerce Park Vredenberg on the Dr. Hugenholtzweg, is familiar for everyone who ever checks licenses.
Another important argument? Alright then. Online casinos in Curaçao can mainly take their course. As a casino owner, do you sometimes pay your players too late? Or not at all? A minimal chance that you will get into trouble with that in Curaçao. The four "supervisors" invest little to no time in handling player complaints. Have you developed some pokies yourself, and are you not keen on strict, expensive controls on Malta? That is no problem at all.
Cainos in Curaçao: Reliable or Unreliable?
This question cannot be answered directly with "yes" or "no." It only differs per casino. You cannot say that an online casino is reliable because it has a license in Curaçao. Conversely, you cannot say that, because a casino has a license in Curaçao, it must be an unreliable online casino.
So it is important to keep your eyes open. You do need quite a bit of knowledge of the online gambling world to be sure of your case at an online casino that runs from Curaçao. Things to look out for are:
- Does the casino pay the players? You really only know that for sure if you try it out or rely on people who have tried it out for you. If you find many complaints about a particular casino, you know the answer to the question.
- Have the games been tested by reliable and independent control agencies? For this, you need the control reports. It is not only important to know that the games have been checked, but mainly what exactly has been checked.
- Are the games really from the provider that they claim to be? Every week, casinos from Curacao are caught offering counterfeit versions of well-known games from NetEnt, Novomatic and Play’n Go. You can only find this out by looking at the source code of the casino's website.
Therefore, CasinoFisher recommends you stay away from online casinos with a license in Curaçao. Sporadically, there are casinos from Curaçao due to our strict reviews and tests. At such a moment, we will explicitly state in the review that this casino is reliable. For all other casinos that operate from Curaçao: better safe than sorry!