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How can iGaming operators navigate Curaçao’s new gaming law?

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How can iGaming operators navigate Curaçao's new gaming law?
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By: Alexandra is Chief Legal Officer at Alpha Affiliates.

She joined the company in 2020 after gaining considerable experience in international market research and HR outsourcing companies. No deal or event takes place without her involvement and assistance, from minor to the most critical. Alexandra is responsible for a wide range of legal issues related to the gambling and affiliate marketing industry, including regulatory compliance, licensing, contract drafting, dispute resolution, and other juridical matters.

 

Thanks to its licensing system, Curaçao has long fostered a business-friendly environment for iGaming companies, in which they can operate and thrive. That being said, the existing regulatory framework is being scrutinised for not adhering to international standards. As such, the government is conducting an entire overhaul of the current regulations, and instituting an updated version known as the National Ordinance for Games of Chance, or LOK, which will come into force in the first three months of 2024.

With it comes the Curacao Authority (CGA), which is an entirely new regulatory body responsible for enforcing the guidelines, including compliance, imposing sanctions, introducing new policies and issuing any necessary licenses. Overall, the new regulations will introduce harsher requirements for anti-money laundering, fraud prevention and player protection.

 

What effect will the new changes have?

As with any new law or legislation, the affected bodies will have a time frame in which to familiarise themselves with the changes and adjust, or face certain repercussions such as non-compliance fines. The LOK framework changes affect the ways in which operators disclose certain information, ensure data protection, address anti-money laundering, privacy measures for gaming and monitoring tactics.

Disclosure procedures: The updated regulations require operators to disclose their beneficiaries and provide proof of identity and evidence of where their funding is sourced from.

Data Protection: Operators must have the correct measures in place to assure users their data is secure and protected from unauthorised access and misuse.

Anti-money laundering: As gaming sites can often be a gateway for money laundering, under the LOK, operators must have the right policies and follow robust procedures to reduce and ultimately prevent this type of activity.

Privacy for players: iGaming companies will need to provide more transparency in their services, while still respecting their players’ rights and privacy. In order to do so they must invest in responsible gaming tools and support, to provide a safe environment for their players to operate in.

Monitoring: Any suspicious transactions or fraudulent activities will need to be immediately reported to the CGA to reduce their occurrence and mitigate any potential consequences.

 

Prices for licensing

Alongside the regulatory changes, the licensing fees will also increase, in order to foster a safer and more responsible environment. Starting next year, the proposed fee payable for companies wanting a license to operate will be $5,000. On top of this, operators will pay an extra $340 per qualified person and $275 per UBO. For B2C companies, the Annual License fee will decrease from $66,000 to $25,000 and there will be no GPT tax. Finally, licensed iGaming companies will be expected to pay a gaming contribution of $26,500 to the CGA.

In order for the licensing application requirements to be met and the corporate structure to be set up properly, operators should seek assistance from their in-house legal departments. This way they can prevent making any mistakes when switching their operations to comply with the new guidelines and ensure that they set up a well equipped and responsible environment for their players.

 

Applying for a license

The Gaming Control Board (GCB) opened the new licensing portal on September 1st earlier this year, leaving iGaming companies with two options. They can either apply for new licenses and follow the regulations outlined in the LOK, or they can register as sublicensees. What do both of these options look like?

Purchasing a new license: Those operators looking to apply for a new license must evaluate their existing corporate structure and assure themselves they are able to fulfill the requirements outlined in the LOK. Despite new applications being reviewed under the current legislation, they must still comply with the updated guidelines in order to qualify.

In order to do so, companies should be conducting financial and technical reports on their operators and review any responsible gambling measures. By having the correct and detailed documents, they’ll be able to demonstrate their compliance to the new regulations, and as such, will be granted a new license.

Applications will be accepted from the 15th November 2023 onwards, and if successful, applicants will receive a provisional license to operate. This will last them until the LOK comes into full effect, they will be automatically transferred and have the ability to offer their services online within Curaçao and other LOK jurisdictions.

Registering as a sublicensee: Operators that were issued a license under the old regime will have a set period of time to register for a full license before their sub-licenses expire. So, while under the new law, their current licenses are valid for a year after the LOK is enacted, they will have to purchase a license within 90 days following their extension in order to keep operating.

With the increasing popularity of iGaming, it is vital that its operators maintain a responsible and supportive environment for players. As such, the new LOK regulations should not be seen as an inconvenience. At Alpha Affiliates we are required to comply with regulations. As an operator ourselves, we must make sure to understand the changes and remain competitive within our markets and continue working with affiliates and iGaming partners.

Not only are these new guidelines vital for companies to continue their current operations, but they are also an opportunity for development and respect from the international gaming community. As long as operators stay on top of the monitoring and analysis, they will be able to continue functioning as normal, while strengthening their business in the long run.

 

Affiliate Industry

UK Aggragator Casinosites.co.uk Relaunches

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Casinosites.co.uk, the UK’s leading casino site aggregation platform, announced its relaunch under Leon Hughes, an experienced gambling affiliate and operator owner. With a credible network of products covering global GEOS, Hughes has ambitious plans to rejuvenate and elevate the platform, offering an unparalleled user experience to UK casino enthusiasts.

Leon Hughes and his team have been hard at work, consulting extensively with industry experts and players to conduct multiple focus groups. This has been with the aim of delivering exactly what UK casino players want.

“The consensus from our consultations was clear: players desire a clean, easy-to-navigate website where online casino options are readily accessible. This is precisely what we have delivered,” said Hughes.

Casinosites.co.uk is not just a reimagined platform; it is been transformed into a comprehensive hub for casino fans. The site shines a spotlight on the best casinos, provides an inventory of new casinos and features expert ratings, new bonuses, free spins and more. The relaunch promises to enhance the user experience by forming relationships with casinos across the industry, from trusted brands to crypto casinos and those specialising in certain game types.

“We have seen that tastes are changing in gambling. From the rise in crypto casinos to live game shows, no two players log onto a casino site with the same ambition. This is why we’ve established partnerships with casinos in every corner of the industry. Our aim is to provide our users with the most reliable and diverse range of options available, ensuring there’s something for every type of player,” said Hughes.

In this new chapter, Casinosites.co.uk will continue to offer its signature in-depth casino analysis, providing accurate and insightful evaluations to help players make informed decisions. The platform is designed to be intuitive, making it easier than ever for users to find their preferred online casinos and take advantage of the latest offers and promotions.

“We are incredibly proud of the work we’ve done to bring Casinosites.co.uk back to life. Our team has worked tirelessly to create a platform that not only meets but exceeds the expectations of UK casino players. This relaunch marks the beginning of a new era for Casinosites.co.uk, and we are excited for what the future holds,” said Hughes.

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Affiliate Industry

Blexr Promotes Sophie Hodgson to Chief Operations Officer

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Blexr has confirmed the promotion of Sophie Hodgson to Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the igaming affiliate media publishing group.

Hodgson takes on the role of COO, having previously served as Blexr Vice President of People and Talent since 2022.

Her background includes working in both start-ups and multinational corporations. She has also served as the CEO and Founder of Storm Collaborative and as COO of BAE Systems Air. As COO, Hodgson will continue to oversee the People and Talent sector while also assisting the executive team with daily operations and strategic initiatives.

Hodgson said: “I am incredibly excited to take on this new challenge and continue to build on the solid foundations we’ve established at Blexr. My goal is to create a positive, high-performing environment that attracts and retains top talent, fosters employee engagement, and promotes a culture of diversity and inclusion that aligns with Blexr’s overarching strategy.”

Paudie O’Reilly, co-founder of Blexr, said: “Sophie’s strategic vision and commitment to creating a positive, high-performance culture have been invaluable to Blexr. Under her leadership, I am confident that our teams will be inspired and energized to achieve even greater success while growing and developing their careers.”

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Affiliate Industry

iGB L!VE 2024: Boomerang Introduces Partnership with AC Milan and New Affiliate Opportunities

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Boomerang Partners will participate in iGB L!VE 2024, held from July 16-19 at RAI Amsterdam, inviting partners to meet at stand 11-C20. One of the event’s highlights will be Boomerang’s recently announced collaboration with AC Milan, presenting new marketing opportunities and benefits across Europe (Italy excluded) for sportsbook affiliates and partners.

At this year’s iGB L!VE, Boomerang will spotlight its role as the official regional betting partner of AC Milan. This collaboration enhances Boomerang’s brand visibility through extensive media coverage, including TV broadcasts and digital marketing across Europe. It also provides affiliates with unique promotional and engagement opportunities. Book a meeting with us to learn more.

“Partnership with the legendary AC Milan demonstrates Boomerang’s credibility as a proven business partner,” says Ivan Kraynov, co-founder of Boomerang Partners. “As this partnership draws strong interest from partners and the media, we will create and showcase new collaborative formats aimed to enhance value for stakeholders. These will be presented for the first time at iGB L!VE 2024.”

Boomerang will host an exclusive contest at iGB L!VE 2024, offering event attendees the chance to win tickets to upcoming AC Milan matches. Join us for three thrilling raffle rounds on July 17 at 4:00 PM, and July 18 at 11:00 AM and 4:00 PM. Visit Boomerang at stand 11-C20 to try your luck and be part of this unforgettable experience!

This exciting draw will feature a performance, underscoring the dynamic synergy of this collaboration and enhancing the event experience for all our distinguished guests.

Vitalii Prokofev, CEO at Boomerang Partners, expressed enthusiasm about the event, noting, “iGB L!VE provides a fantastic platform to engage with our partners and showcase our latest initiatives. It’s always an excellent opportunity for real-time feedback and fostering new partnerships.”

The iGB L!VE event is renowned for its extensive networking opportunities, which serve as a hub for innovation, where industry leaders discuss current trends and future directions. Boomerang’s participation underscores its commitment to staying at the forefront of industry advancements and enhancing affiliate relationships.

Attendees are invited to visit Boomerang’s booth 11-C20, to explore the benefits of Boomerang’s AC Milan partnership, participate in related activities, and engage with key team members.

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