Dutch concerned over Curacao’s online gambling industry

Some government officials disavowed responsibility for jurisdiction over illegal activities in Curacao.

The Dutch government suspects there are ties between online gambling operations and organised crime in Curacao.

The Netherlands.- Some Dutch government officials suspect of links between online operators in Curacao and organised crime. Now, these concerns have raised the question of Dutch jurisdiction in the island state, creating divisions within the Dutch government.

Dutch Minister of Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk disavowed responsibility for jurisdiction over illegal activities in Curacao in a formal response to Parliamentary questions from Dutch MPs Ronald van Raak of the Socialist Party (SP) and Andre Bosman of the ruling party VVD. In theory, only online casinos in Curacao serving the Dutch market are administered by the Netherlands Parliament, through the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice in the Hague.  However, since online casinos are global operations that serve beyond the Dutch market, Plasterk argues that these Curacao casinos are not within the supervision of his Ministry.

It has transpired that Van Raak and Bosman concerns are focused on potential connections to organised crime from Curacao´s publicly owned national telecom provider UTS. UTS issued a statement, saying: “The good name of the company is unfairly affected. The management of UTS suspects the Dutch MPs to have a double agenda.”

KPMG, UTS´ accounting firm, has refused to share UTS financial statements with the Dutch government. The firm asserts that neither it nor UTS is beholden by law to submit financial statements to the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce.

Questions regarding the extent of UTS involvement in online gambling and illegal activities linked to these operations in Curacao and the reach of Dutch jurisdiction over the online arena of the Curacao market are all issues still to be resolved.