In response to the news that Curaçao is set to drastically reform its online gambling and iGaming system with the setting up of a new regulator, the European Gambling and Betting Association (EGBA) said this is “welcome, but long overdue.”

Last week, it emerged that Curaçao’s extremely liberal licensing system and low barriers to enter the market is set to change thanks to the setting up of a new licensing body / regulator.

Under the current system, only four gambling businesses are licensed by Government, which then offer out their own licences on their own terms to private entities. This is all set to change, however, thanks to a new bill approved by the Curaçao Council of Ministers.

The new system will cater for B2C and B2B licences for operators and suppliers via a newly formed Curaçao Gaming Authority (CGA).

In response, the EGBA pointed out:

“Many Curaçao-based online gambling operators continue to target the EU market despite not fulfilling basic requirements such as being established in the EU single market or complying with EU law. This means that their customers cannot rely on the protection of EU law for basic consumer rights, nor EU protection against fraud and money laundering.

“Likewise, EU-established operators have to compete online with these black market operators who don’t have local licenses in the EU, don’t comply with the regulatory requirements in EU member states, and don’t have to pay the same taxes, levies, or fees that EGBA members, and other operators based and regulated in the EU, do.

“For these reasons, it’s important that these practices are stamped out, and quickly. The proposed measures are a start of that process, but only a first step. It’s important to swiftly follow up with further measures to curb malpractices and ensure strict enforcement of even basic regulatory requirements. We support the ongoing efforts of the Dutch government to encourage these regulatory changes in Curaçao, and are looking forward to the next steps.”

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