The enactment of the National Ordinance for Games of Chance (LOK) is on the horizon, and Curaçao's gaming industry is buzzing with questions about what the transition will look like. The government has taken significant steps to shed light on the pathway existing and new license holders should expect, starting with opening a new application portal by the Gaming Control Board (GCB).
Two-Fold Functionality of the New Portal
The application portal serves dual purposes. First, it is designed to process new applications under the current legislation overseen by the GCB. Second, it aims to register all sublicensees who wish to continue operations smoothly upon the enactment of LOK and the creation of the new Curaçao Gaming Authority (CGA).
Eligibility and Requirements
To apply for a license, companies must be registered in Curaçao and meet two primary conditions: they must have a registered Curaçao address and at least one named director in the country. The government has clarified that, at present, there is no requirement for having physical offices or local employees.
Application Components and Timeline
The application process comprises three essential forms: an application form, a corporate disclosure, and a personal disclosure. The latter is mandatory for Ultimate Beneficial Owners (UBOs) holding more than 10% capital and top executives such as CEOs. Operators can start submitting their fully completed applications from November 15th, and the government will process these within two months. Successful applicants will receive a provisional license.
After the LOK comes into effect, all existing applications will automatically shift to the new regulatory framework, regardless of their stage in the process. Companies that wish to continue as master licensees or sublicensees under the LOK must register on the portal before the law is enacted.
Maintaining Continuity and Integrity
Ensuring uninterrupted operations for all sublicense holders is one of the core objectives of the transition. Sixiènne Jansen, a legal advisor to Curaçao's Ministry of Finance, affirmed that all master licenses would be extended for an additional year to facilitate this aim.
The transition to the new LOK regime is significant for Curaçao's gaming industry. By opening a dedicated portal and providing detailed guidelines, the government ensures a smoother transition for all stakeholders. The steps outlined aim to create a more transparent, regulated gaming environment in Curaçao, benefiting operators and players alike.