Dutch govt promises action on Curaçao gambling operations

Curaçao will bring in an independent gambling regulator, Dekker says.
Curaçao will bring in an independent gambling regulator, Dekker says.

The minister for legal protection says the government will launch an action plan this month to tackle Curaçao gambling operations.

The Netherlands.- Sander Dekker, the Dutch minister for legal protection, has revealed that the government is planning to implement an action plan designed to clamp down on unlicensed gambling operators targeting Dutch players from the Caribbean territory of Curaçao, which is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

He says the island has accepted the proposal of an independent gambling regulator.

Questions on the issue were raised in the Dutch parliament after an article in the investigative journalism site Follow the Money claimed that there were 12,000 illegal gambling sites operating in Curaçao and that the island was responsible for 40 per cent of all unregulated gambling internationally due to a web of sub-licences.

Dekker said the Dutch government has been speaking with authorities on the island in an effort to change that. While he stressed that Curaçao has fiscal autonomy despite being part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and that the Netherlands has no involvement in the island’s financial framework, he said certain agreements had been reached.

The minister said an action plan to be launched this month would see the island bring in an independent gaming regulator which will have the power to grant and revoke gaming licences.

The regulator would seek to make sure that Curaçao gambling operators abide by the laws and regulations of the countries they target and would collect taxes and licence fees. It may also include a limit on operators.

Addressing the questions raised in parliament, Dekker said: “Based on local laws and regulations, there is a small number of master licences provided by the authorities in Curaçao which can be transferred without the intervention of a government body. This has resulted in a large number of sub-licences, which explains the range of online games available in Curaçao.

“The cabinet takes the concerns about illegal gaming in Curaçao seriously and is committed to limiting the illegal offering of games of chance from Curaçao. Curaçao is currently working on a step-by-step plan of action to limit and better regulate the supply of games of chance. As expected, this action plan will be adopted this month.”

In the past six weeks, the Swedish gambling regulator, Spelinspektionen, has issued three injunctions against Curaçao-licensed gaming operators, ordering them to stop targeting the Swedish market.

It issued injunctions against Disrupt Entertainment Limited, Nero Media and Indigo Soft.

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