The New Curacao Gaming License in 2024 – Process, Procedures and Costs

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How to obtain Curacao e-gaming fast and with relatively low-cost? Curacao gaming license is one of the most popular license for online casinos world-wide. Read Below.

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    Why is a Curacao Gaming License Cost Effective?

    Licensing Application Process – The Curacao licensing application process is straightforward and can take as little as 3 weeks from the initial application to issuing of the license. With an expedited application process the cost is reduced.

    Favorable Tax Laws – When determining the most economical jurisdiction for gaming licenses you need to look not only at the cost of the license but also at the jurisdiction’s taxation system. In some jurisdictions the license may be low-cost but the on-going taxes you will have to pay annually may be crippling. Curacao tax on net profits is only 2%.

    2 main factors for cost of Curacao eGaming License

    Curacao is one of the most affordable jurisdictions for the establishment of e-gaming companies.

    There are two main expenses when applying for an offshore Curacao gaming license:
    The application process which depends on legal/advisory fees determined by the size of your business and complexity of your organization plus licensing fees which can vary according to the client’s personal resources. Curacao license costs and fees initially come to approximately €20,000-€25,000 which is a reasonable amount in comparison with alternate jurisdictions.

    Understanding Curacao eGaming costs

    One Gaming License for all Forms of Online Gaming – A Curacao e-gaming license is one-size-fits-all – you can use the one license for all forms of online gaming including sports betting, bingo, poker, lottery etc. One license means one fee and a large saving for businesses dealing in multiple forms of online gaming.

    Cost of Curacao Gaming License includes:

    • Curacao company formation – read below full details
    • Licensing fees (annual fees, one-time application fee, e-zone application and annual fee)
    • Hardware; local hosting and rent of server space (hardware must be owned on the island to satisfy permanent establishment requirements).
    • Legal services.
    • Local company management for the first year.
    • Administrative services for filing, registration of documents etc. that can take 2-3 week.

    Also, please note that you can incorporate a company in other jurisdictions, rather than Curacao AND Associate the license to the Company, FOR EXAMPLE – incorporate a company in Belize and assign the Curacao License to it.

    Application for online Curacao eGaming License

    When applying for an egaming license you will need to incorporate your company in Curacao with e-zone status as Curacao companies can apply for a Curacao egaming licenses and other companies from other jurisdictions.

    You will need to have hardware based in Curacao with at least your client database on the local server in order to comply with the Permanent Establishment Requirement (PE). Then you can apply for a Sublicense from a Master License holder.

    Applicants will usually need to disclose their recent and past finances; show a business plan; show identification of Ultimate Beneficial Owners; proof of no criminal record; proof of enough capital and compliance with KYC policies and due diligence showing your plan to prevent underage gambling and money-laundering. There can be further requirements depending on the jurisdiction. Once you have submitted your application it is examined and the facts confirmed. If your application is approved then the Justice Department grants a provisional license.

    Curacao Company Formation

    There are many advantages to forming an international company in Curacao especially if it is a NV company. NV is an acronym for the Dutch “Naamloze Vennootschap” or a public limited liability company. N.V. companies are registered with the Commercial Register of the Curacao Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

    Curacao has E-zones for online businesses and the jurisdiction is gaming industry friendly. The small island nation has political stability; a diverse economy and welcomes foreign investment. In addition the regulations are easy to comply with in comparison with other jurisdictions.

    • A Curacao-registered company N.V. can qualify for very low taxation of about 2-3% corporate tax rates. Some N.V. companies even qualify for 100% tax exemption.
    • Curacao N.V. companies can be fully owned by foreigners.
    • Curacao companies’ shareholders have limited liability according to their contribution to the initial share capital.
    • Curacao companies have no minimum amount of share capital.
    • An Curacao N.V. company can be formed by a single shareholder. That single shareholder can be the sole director.

    Articles of Association – As with most jurisdictions Curacao requires presentation of the company’s Articles of Association at the time of application for registration. However in Curacao, unlike other jurisdictions you can present your company’s Articles of Association is any language and they don’t have to be written according to any set format.

    Identification – You will need to submit a certified copy of your ID or passport as well as proof of residence dating back at least 3 months.

    Confidentiality – In Curacao information about the company’s shareholders is recorded by the authorities but remains sealed and confidential.

    Directors and Shareholders – Curacao N.V. companies can have just one shareholder. The shareholders can be of any nationality and residence. The company can have just one director (or more) and the director can be the sole shareholder. The Board of Directors can be one or two tiered.

    Capital Requirements – For a Curacao company there is no minimum share capital amount although this can be established by the Articles of Association.

    Local Registered Agent – All Curacao N.V. companies must have a local registered agent. The local registered agent’s office can be listed as the registered office of the new N.V. company.

    The company name cannot include words without justification e.g. Royal; Trust Company or Bank. The company name must end with N.V.; C.V.; B.V.; V.O.F; Foundation or Proprietorship. The companies must hold the appropriate license in order to deal with insurance; fund management; banking; collective investment schemes; trust management; trusteeship business provision; reinsurance or assurance.

    Key points for Curacao company formation:
    1. Curacao company formation can take 4-5 weeks.
    2. The required documents form all individuals involved are as follows: (Directors, shareholders and beneficial owners)
      1. Notarized passport copy
      2. Notarized utility bill issued in the last 2 months
      3. Bank Reference Letter
      4. CV
    3. Professional Reference Letter (Required only if you proceed with Curacao company
    4. In the process of curacao company formation, you must define the directors and shareholders.
    5. Curacao company requires a local co-director. It has at list one local director.
    6. Minimum of one shareholder required, can be corporate or individual.
    7. Curacao company must submit annual financial statements and reports.

    Please note that you don’t have to incorporate a curacao company in order to obtain the curacao sublicense and you can use other jurisdictions.

    You will need an online gaming license issued by the gaming regulatory authority in the jurisdiction where your company is registered. In some jurisdictions like Malta and Curacao a single licensing authority issues a single license covering all forms of online gaming (lottery, casino, bingo, sports betting etc.). In other jurisdictions like the UK the gaming regulators issue a different type of license for each form of gaming; so you might even need three separate licenses.

    Depending on where your customers are located you may need to obtain a license from gaming regulators in several jurisdictions. You may need a license to target customers in certain jurisdictions. For example only gaming websites holding a license from one of the whitelisted countries can target audiences in the UK and USA.

    Remote online gambling businesses licensed in a respected jurisdiction like the UK or Malta are responsible for prohibiting access to players from countries where online gaming is illegal. If websites do not comply with these restrictions they can be fined and subject to legal action from both the licensing jurisdiction and the prohibiting countries. By breaking the law the company owners, shareholders and directors can be held legally responsible. In addition to exorbitant fines the gambling company may lose its license. Many leading remote gaming operators implement IT structures to restrict access to players from countries where online gaming is illegal. These systems block IPs in certain locations from accessing the gaming site.

    So how do you reach a large audience in a jurisdiction where online gambling is prohibited? Many remote gambling companies target audiences in restricted countries by setting up a corporation in a blacklisted country like Curacao where gaming regulations are more relaxed. They can then target players in countries that restrict online gambling but not from their licensed entities. Contact GBO for more information about obtaining online gambling licenses.

    To operate a legal online gambling website you will need to have a gaming license. The required license depends on the jurisdiction where your business is licensed and the jurisdictions where your target audience is located. A jurisdiction may permit legal gambling; it may place restrictions on online gambling or it may prohibit it all together – it all depends on the jurisdiction.

    Curacao Gaming Commission

    The Curacao Gaming Commission is connected to the Netherlands Antilles government. The Curacao Internet Gaming Association (CIGA) is within the Curacao Gaming Commission. CIGA is a member of the Interactive Gaming Council and abides by the councils guidelines, rules and regulations. As part of its duties the Curacao eGaming Licensing Authority monitors gaming businesses and services to insure that they operate according to the standards and regulations of the Government of Netherlands Antilles. A wide range of egaming sites operate out of Curacao including sports betting, casino sites, poker, bingo and more.

    The gaming regulatory authority in Curacao is the Gaming Commission; they regulate, monitor and license egaming companies and all egaming activities in the Curacao jurisdiction. The egaming commission issues one egaming license which covers all gaming operations, egaming service providers, network operators, affiliates, white-label operators and egaming software suppliers. With this one Curacao gaming license egaming professionals can operate legally.

    In Curacao there are Master License Holders and Sublicense Holders. The only difference between the two is that Master License Holders can grant Sublicenses. Both license categories have the same rights to operate egaming companies legally.

    A Master License can only be issued by the Minister of Justice. The select few Master License holders operate like franchises and can issue sublicenses to other egaming operators. As of 2018/19 there were only four Master License holders in Curacao. The Master License holders run their own egaming sites as well as being responsible for issuing and overseeing sublicenses. It is extremely difficult and rare these days for the Minister of Justice to approve a new Master License.

    Companies can apply to holders of a Master License for a sublicense. When approved they can then operate their egaming site legitimately but sublicense holders cannot issue sublicenses to other companies.