Curaçao pressured to introduce gambling regulations

The Netherlands have started to put pressure on the local government to tighten its licencing regulations

Curaçao is well-known as one of the biggest tax havens on earth. More than a few gambling companies are headquartered at the beautiful Caribbean island, overseeing their across-the-globe operations while benefiting from the tax exemptions offered to attract international businesses.

There are actually thousands of licences being issued to sports betting and online casino operators in Curaçao, often with minimum oversight. Thus, the Netherlands have started to put pressure on the local government to tighten its licencing regulations.

Curaçao is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It has full autonomy on most matters, with some significant exceptions. The country’s defence is the responsibility of the Netherlands, which also provides financial backing. This is particularly important right now. The tiny island nation is going through financial struggles, as its economy is predominantly based on tourism, an industry heavily affected by the ongoing pandemic. The Netherlands has agreed to increase financing, but only if certain standards are met by March 2021.

Curaçao is obligated under the new agreement to form a new independent regulatory comity to oversee licencing decisions. At the same time, Curaçao operators will no longer be allowed to accept international players from countries who don’t accept Curaçao-issued licences. This is major for Dutch consumers, who have for years used accounts in Curaçao-based sportsbooks and casinos, The Dutch government was silently accepting that since online gambling was illegal, but recently the way has been paved for operators to acquire full licences in the Netherlands.

Curaçao operators will have to stop targeting Dutch audiences by September 2021, which (not coincidentally) is the time the interim regulations in the Netherlands are supposed to give their place to the new set of laws.

Also, an important obligation the Netherlands have put on Curaçao regards the licence fees and corporate taxes. Starting from March 2021, the thousands of operators that have chosen Curaçao for its lack of taxation will have to pay corporate taxes and licence fees. This is a major change and it is doubtful that by this time next year will still have operators in the four-digit margin running business on its land.

Some of the other Caribbean tax havens have already started to promote their services to Curaçao-based operators. The Cayman Islands, Nevis, and Dominica will be more than glad to open their doors for any company yielding Curaçao.

This is a paid article