The Caribbean island of Curacao has been expressing plans to change its gambling legislation for over two years. Relatively little has happened since then. As has now become known, the reorganization of gambling will be delayed even further. But why does Curacao want to change its comparatively lax gambling laws at all? If it weren’t for outside pressure, it probably wouldn’t have happened at all.
We reported on the planned gambling reform in Curacao Casinos for the first time in November 2020. Background: The Caribbean island is a politically independent country within the Netherlands. During the corona crisis, the Netherlands promised financial aid for Curacao in the so-called “Landspakket Curacao”. However, this aid was subject to conditions. Among other things, the Netherlands from Curacao have demanded a reorganization of the gambling system. The Netherlands has long had a thorn in its side for the lax gambling regulations on the Caribbean island. As has now become known, however, the reorganization of the gaming industry is to be further delayed.
Gambling in Curacao: Adaptation to EU standards required
The Netherlands is asking Curacao that the new gambling regulations should be more in line with EU standards. For example, it is about the license holders being more closely monitored. In addition, the prices for issuing a gambling license are to be increased in the future.
Another important requirement is that online casinos with a license from Curacao are no longer allowed to specifically address customers in the EU markets. So far, players from the EU area have been an important source of revenue for online casinos with a Curacao license.
Just a few months ago, the Dutch government indicated that a first draft of the law could be available as early as February of this year. However, those responsible already pointed out at this point in time that there could be delays in the schedule. This is exactly what happened now.
This means that the first draft of the planned amendments to the law will probably not even be available in the first quarter of this year. The corresponding “Implementation agenda for the Curacao country package” states soberly:
“A date by which these drafts can be released must be reflected in the Treasury Department’s updated schedule.”
Gambling sector important source of income for Curacao
It’s no secret that gambling has been an attractive source of income for the small Caribbean island for several years. Many online casinos, especially from the German-speaking area, advertised with such a “Curacao license” in the past. Accordingly, funds in a not inconsiderable amount probably flowed into the coffers of Curacao. And that, although the Caribbean island currently has just 150,000 inhabitants.
It is around 8,300 kilometers from the Bavarian capital of Munich to Curacao. The island is only 444 square kilometers in size and Wilhelmstad is the capital of the Caribbean island. Although Curacao is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Caribbean island does not officially belong to the Schengen area or to the European Union.
The adjustment of the gambling laws on the Caribbean island of Curacao will in all likelihood be delayed for some time. So far, there has not even been a date on which a first draft of the amendment to the law should be published. It is of course to be expected that the government in Curacao will have no real interest in adapting the gambling laws. Accordingly, the Netherlands would have to step up the pressure to get Curacao to align their gambling regulations more with EU standards.