Casinos

Casinos

Casinos

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The “brick and mortar” casino industry of Curaçao is regulated through licensing and supervision by the Curaçao Gaming Control Board (GCB). The GCB is mandated the authority to issue, revoke and suspend casino licenses on Curaçao. The GCB also has the authority to formulate additional policy for the casino sector and to issue regulation and guidelines as part of the casino license conditions and requirements.
 

Licensing

A Casino License can be applied for by downloading, filling in and submitting to the GCB the Casino License Application Form as well as all necessary Personal License Application Forms, including all required documentation.

Download Casino License Application Form
Download Personal License Application Form
 

GCB Regulation

The GCB has the authority to issue additional regulation for the casino industry. Currently available regulations issued by the GCB:

• Responsible Gaming | GCB-Guideline Responsible Gaming | July 2012
• Sports Betting | GCB-license regulation on Sports Betting | December 2013
• Live Bingo | Regulations for Live Bingo Operations | March 2016
Card Games / Card Rooms | Regulations for Card Games | March 2016
• AML/CFT | Regulations for Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism | August 2016

Exposure drafts for new and improved regulation are under way for a.o. slots, tables, progressives, online slot monitoring systems, security & surveillance, bankroll, casino closure and changeover.
 

GCB MICS

Minimum Internal Control Standards (MICS) issued by the GCB are aimed at strengthening the internal control processes of the ‘brick and mortar’ casinos. The following MICS are currently available:

• All | Curaçao Minimum Internal Control Standards | October 2010
• Live Bingo | Minimum Internal Control Standards for Live Bingo Operations | March 2016
• Card Games/Card Rooms | Minimum Internal Control Standards for Card Games | March 2016

Exposure drafts for new and improved MICS are under way for a.o.AML/CFT, slots, tables, progressives, online slot monitoring systems, security & surveillance.
 

GCB Technical Standards

The GCB started the process of issuing technical standards to ensure that only quality products enter the Curaçao gaming market. These standards find their basis in the open source technical standards issued by Gaming Laboratories International (GLI).The following technical standards are currently in effect:

• Live Bingo | Technical Standards applicable for the Curaçao jurisdiction GCB-TS-15:Electronic Bingo and Keno Systems | March 2016

More technical standards for a.o. casino gaming devices, online slot monitoring systems, progressives systems etc. are currently in process.

Casino license FAQs

Yes. Providing the opportunity for gambling without a valid license in Curaçao is a crime. A casino license is required to operate a “brick and mortar” casino in Curaçao.

Curaçao casino legislation does not recognize renewal of casino licenses. Every 3 years a new casino license application must be submitted and processed.

No, the casino license is non-transferable.

The maximum term of a casino license is 3 years.

A casino licensee is held to paying monthly license fees. The license fees have a fixed and a variable component. In addition, the casinos are held to withholding a percentage from the amounts being cashed-out by players, the cash-out fee. License fees and cash-out fee are payable to the GCB on a monthly basis.

The fixed component of the casino license fee is an annual amount of NAf 100,000, which translates to approximately USD 55,555, payable in equal monthly installments.

The variable component of the license fee is based on the following:

Category: Slot machines/gaming devices    
Applicable License Fee Percentage Rate: Gliding scale of 13.5% to 17.5%*   
Basis for calculation: Net win

Category: Table games    
Applicable License Fee Percentage Rate: 12.5%
Basis for calculation: Net win

Category: Sportsbetting
Applicable License Fee Percentage Rate: 12.5%
Basis for calculation: Commissions earned

Category: Bingo
Applicable License Fee Percentage Rate: 12.5%
Basis for calculation: Income from sale of participation instruments

*Depending on the number of hotel rooms. In principle, the casino can operate a number of slot machines that is three times the number of hotel rooms at a maximum. In the case that a casino elects to operate more slot machines than the maximum allowed, an additional 1% for every batch of 30 slots or part thereof is added to the License Fee Percentage Rate.

• Number of hotel rooms: Minimum: 45 Maximum: 74 • Applicable License Fee Percentage Rate: 17.5%

• Number of hotel rooms: Minimum: 75 Maximum: 149 8 Applicable License Fee Percentage Rate: 16.5%

• Number of hotel rooms:  Minimum: 150 Maximum: 224 • Applicable License Fee Percentage Rate: 15.5%

• Number of hotel rooms:  Minimum: 225 Maximum: 299 • Applicable License Fee Percentage Rate: 14.5%

• Number of hotel rooms:  Minimum: 300 Maximum: > • Applicable License Fee Percentage Rate: 13.5%

Casinos in Curaçao are also legally held to the cash-out fee, a withholding percentage of five percent (5%) from the amounts being cashed-out by players.

For now, there are no costs related to the casino license application, other than the potential costs for the applicant related to the preparation of the application.

To obtain a personal license the applicant is required to submit a duly prepared Personal License Application Form accompanied by a duly signed Privacy Waiver to enable the GCB to perform the necessary fit-and-proper checks. Professional, financial and criminal background checks are performed by the GCB as well as by relevant partners like Interpol, the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Curaçao Police Corps etc.

To operate a casino legally on Curaçao, a Casino License is required. All regulation and guidelines issued by the GCB form an integral part of the casino license. Furthermore, all financial stakeholders and stakeholders that (can) exercise material control, being natural or legal persons, up to the Ultimate Beneficial Ownership (UBO), are required to apply for and obtain a personal license that is explicitly tied to a specific casino license.

No. At a minimum, tables and slot machines are required. Legalization of casinos was partly driven by the employment opportunities that it would create. Table games require more employment than slot machines.

Yes. There is a limitative list of 6 hotels with at least 45, but less than the legally required minimum of 150 hotel rooms. These are the so-called grandfathered-in hotels that already operated a casino when the 150 hotel room minimum was introduced. These 6 hotels are currently known as the Kura Hulanda Hotel, Hotel Otrobanda, Hotel San Marco, Trupial Inn Hotel, Airport Hotel and the Wave Hotel.

Yes. In Curaçao a minimum of 150 hotel rooms are required for a casino license request to be deemed admissible. In principle, a casino should run primarily on the foreign tourists that are accommodated in the hotel.

Stand-alone casinos are not allowed in Curaçao. Casinos are required to be an amenity of a hotel that is focused on the international market for tourism.

A casino is required to be operated by a legal entity, specifically a limited liability company (NV or BV). This entity is a special purpose vehicle with one single objective, which is to operate the casino. This policy is driven by AML/CFT oversight requirements. The actual casino operations should be in the hands of one or more qualified casino managers.

Only legal entities, specifically limited liability companies (NV or BV), can apply for a casino license. This entity can either the owner of the hotel real estate in which the casino will be operated and/or the hotel operator.

The GCB has the authority to suspend or even revoke casino and personal licenses.