Obtaining a license is a prerequisite for building a business related to gambling – so the operator’s activity acquires a legal basis. Each country independently determines which approach to the regulation of the gambling industry will be chosen. So, in some cases, the activity of online casinos is completely prohibited at the legislative level, for example, in the Russian Federation. There are countries that do not explicitly prohibit operations related to online gambling. In more than 60 countries, such activities are legal and under the strict control of government agencies.
What are the operators guided by when choosing a jurisdiction for obtaining a gambling license? There are a number of factors that can influence the company’s decision, in particular the strictness of the regulatory regime, the cost and timing of obtaining the document, and the country’s tax policy regarding gambling. Not the least for the operator is the reputation of the document in the eyes of the world gambling community. All these factors must be taken into account when choosing a license, but it is reasonable to focus on the jurisdiction that best contributes to the needs of the business.
Curacao gambling license: General information
The gambling legislation governing online gambling was developed in Curacao in 1993. And in 1996, the first license was issued for the right to provide services related to virtual gambling.
Curacao is a self-governing state entity that has been part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands since 2010. This is due to the attractive status of the territory in the European Union. This is the largest island of the Netherlands Antilles, located in the Caribbean sea, which can be found near the coast of Venezuela. Curacao has one of the longest and most meaningful traditions of working with the online gambling segment.
The gambling regulator, the Curacao gambling Commission, has a direct relationship with the government of the Netherlands Antilles. The Commission is also known as the Curacao Internet gaming Association, or CIGA. The latter was founded in 2001.
Curacao gambling license is good for its versatility, it allows you to provide online casino services, bookmaking, lottery operations. At the same time, two types of licensing are accepted – parent (main or master license) and sub-license.
The first type of licensing allows you not only to get a work permit for the company, but also to make subsequent sublicensing of other operators. An important aspect is that the master license holder undertakes to be responsible for the operations performed by the companies to which he has granted the work permit.
Sublicense gives the right to conduct legal business without the possibility to delegate permission and distribute it to third companies.
The cost of a license of Curacao and tax policy
The fee for obtaining a master license is 60 thousand guilders (approximately €29 thousand). In addition, the new operator is obliged to pay 10 thousand guilders (€4.8 thousand) monthly for two years. At the end of this period, the licensee may apply to the government of the country to review the fees.
Looking ahead, one of the main advantages of the Curacao jurisdiction is a loyal tax system. Thus, operators are obliged to pay 2% of the profit.
Curacao license: advantages and disadvantages
In addition to the main advantage in the form of loyal tax legislation, supported by a liberal attitude to the regulation of the sphere, there are several other favorable factors.
One of them has already been mentioned in the article – the universality of the license.
Below we will describe the step-by-step process of obtaining permission from Curacao, but it is worth noting that the procedure itself is somewhat simplified in comparison with the one carried out, for example, in the UK. Hence the reduced time to obtain a license and reasonable cost.
The main drawback of the Curacao license is a flawed reputation. Even before the Millennium, there was a boom in this type of permits, the mass of which, provoked by the low cost, was reflected in the” quotes ” of permits in the gambling environment. Over the past two decades, the jurisdiction has tried to improve its reputation by improving the mechanisms for checking operators. Since Curacao does not interfere in disputes that may arise between the operator and the players, the loyalty of the latter is not guaranteed by the mere presence of a permit of this jurisdiction.
In addition, the work of companies under the license of Curacao is not allowed in all countries of the world. So, in the Russian domain zone, such sites are blocked by Roskomnadzor.
Getting a license: guide for operators
When the basic properties of the license are studied, it is necessary to elaborate on the procedure for obtaining permission.
The process of applying for a Curacao license can be divided into five steps.
- Step 1: completion of the pre-approval procedure
Companies that want to obtain a local license must first obtain prior approval, which must be obtained through a corporate service provider. As a rule, it does not take more than a day. The company provides a minimum package of documents and pays a fee of €1.5 thousand. Important: in case of refusal, the funds will not be returned.
- Step 2: submission of application
The application form is published on the official website of the regulatory Agency. After filling it out, the operator undertakes to provide all necessary documents and pay for the license at the above cost.
After the gambling regulator receives the registration fee, the evaluation process will be launched.
Approved applicants are required to pay all one-time fees.
- Step 3: evaluation
If the package of documents or information provided to the regulator is not exhaustive, the latter sends the applicant a checklist of forms indicating missing or incompatible elements. The license can be issued only after all inaccuracies have been eliminated.
- Step 4: start-up and independent audit
Upon completion of the steps described above, the licensee can proceed with the implementation of the strategic plan. The launch of the work must take place within 60 days from the date of receipt of the permit. This period is extremely important, as the authorities will be vigilant to ensure that the company does not allow violations in the work. If the latter are detected, the license will be immediately revoked. The duration of the process may be delayed due to the lack of necessary documents.
- Step 5: registering a local company in the E-zone
Obtaining a Curacao license does not necessarily involve the implementation of the last point, but this format of work, according to experts, is the most optimal.
To register a company in the E-zone, you must provide a full range of administration by the company “on the spot”, the formation of staff, rent or purchase of premises for offices. The working hours of the latter are also regulated – from 9: 00 to 12: 00, as well as from 14: 00 to 16: 30 on weekdays.
The company also undertakes to open a Bank account in the jurisdiction, as well as to elect local Directors.
Requirements for operators
The final decision in the case of a master license is made in consultation with the Minister of justice and on the basis of documents collected by the legal counsel of the Netherlands Antilles.
One of the main conditions for checking the applicant’s documents is evidence that the company is able to provide quality financial accounting. In addition, the gambling operator must provide confirmation that the service offered by them is functioning properly, and the rules of gambling are clearly and unambiguously spelled out.
In addition, the company undertakes to provide information about its own activities. The identity of the final beneficiary must be disclosed without fail.
The company’s activities must comply with the principles of Due Diligence and KYC.
Recall that the powers of the gaming regulator Curacao to oversee the land segment was planned to expand to the online industry.