By Peter Amsel
The government of Curaçao plans to tighten control over its online gambling sector, but it’s unclear what form these new controls may take.
On Tuesday, Stef Blok, the Netherlands’ Acting Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, replied to questions submitted by other MPs regarding Curaçao-licensed operators serving Dutch gamblers.
The Daily Herald quoted Blok saying that he and State Secretary of Security and Justice Klass Dijkhoff were serious about preventing Curaçao licensees from offering unauthorized gambling within Dutch borders.
Earlier this month, Dutch parliamentarians put forth a motion to impose greater control over online gambling activity in Curaçao, a constituent country of the Netherlands. Blok said Dijkhoff would respond to this motion at a later date.
Blok noted that the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) gambling authority had in the past taken action against Curaçao-licensed operators who were engaging in “illegal gambling with a limited size on the Dutch market.” The KSA had engaged in a number of “interventions, after which the transgressions were ended.”
Blok said oversight of Curaçao’s online gambling operators remained the responsibility of the Curaçao government and its prosecutor’s office. However, Blok claimed that the Curaçao government was preparing a “national ordinance” to regulate online gambling activity and that the Curaçao prosecutor had shown a willingness to act when the actions of its gambling industry affected the integrity of the local government.
Curaçao is home to dozens of online gambling operators, most notably Pinnacle (formerly Pinnacle Sports) but its anyone’s guess how much business Curaçao licensees do with Dutch punters. It remains to be seen how restrictive Curaçao’s new rules will prove, particularly given the Dutch government’s view that it lacks the authority to crack the whip should Curaçao prove unwilling or incapable of enforcing its edicts.
At any rate, the uncertainty is yet another example of why Antigua still represents the best and most stable licensing option for operators conducting non-US-facing operations.