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Navigating the New Horizons: Recent Shifts in Curacao’s Gambling Landscape

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Navigating the New Horizons: Recent Shifts in Curacao's Gambling Landscape
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In 2020, the Dutch Government introduced a series of reformative mandates for Curacao, a major one being a significant overhaul of the island’s online gambling regulations. These regulations, presently overseen by the master license holders, are recognised worldwide for the ease of obtaining a license within a quick timeframe. They are distinguished by a low fee structure, limited requirements, and an absence of extensive oversight. Nonetheless, the proposed modifications by the Curacao government are poised to remodel this landscape profoundly.

 

Proposed Changes

The impending reforms propose the establishment of a new Curacao regulator which has been welcomed by many. This body will bear the responsibility of supervising all gaming operations and licensing. Additionally, it is thought that the new body will introduce both B2C and B2B licenses for operators. Further proposed changes include the mandatory hiring of local personnel for critical roles based on the island and the introduction of strengthened anti-money laundering monitoring and control measures.

 

Latest Developments

On the 22nd of June 2023, while addressing an audience in Malta, Javier Silvania, the Minister of Finance for Curacao, announced the formation of a fresh regulatory body called the “Curaçao Gaming Authority” (CGA). It is anticipated that the CGA will start granting new licenses from the 1st of September 2023. The establishment of this authority has taken more time than originally projected by the Curacao officials. However, the comprehensive regulatory framework, dubbed “The National Ordinance on Games of Chance (LOK)”, is now completely prepared. At the beginning of June, it was put forward to the Council of Advice, marking the last step before it heads to the Parliament for approval.

It is our understanding that there will be an obligation for the new license holders to enhance their physical presence in Curacao. This modification, which has been the subject of intense speculation for the past six months, is not likely to shock many. The on-ground presence would necessitate the hiring of at least one local individual, which would eventually increase to a minimum of three people within a span of five years. Beyond local staffing, it’s expected that operators will need to secure office space either through purchasing or leasing. This space must be solely used for the execution of the business operations associated with their gaming license.

 

Political Pressures

The latest development comes in the wake of a Q&A article published by the Curacao Chronicle. In early June the piece featured a conversation between VVD members Roelien Kamminga and Ruben Brekelmans, who asked the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wopke Hoekstra, several questions. One of their inquiries was, “What actions have been implemented in recent years to augment the oversight of gambling companies in Curaçao?”

In response, Hoekstra explained, “The Curaçao government is actively pursuing these measures through the formulation of new gambling legislation, which includes the cessation of the master-sub-license system. The forthcoming law envisions a new gambling regulator, empowered with greater authority than the existing one. The regulator is also expected to supervise the offshore gambling sector within the country.”

He added, “The goal is to have these reforms fully implemented by the end of 2023.”

On the 22nd of June 2023, the Minister of Finance in Curacao confirmed that the country aims for the new regulatory framework to “reverse” the country’s current reputation. His intention is to achieve this by demanding “enhanced due diligence” and introducing greater transparency regarding the origins of the operators’ funds.

 

Currently Licensed in Curacao?

For existing online gambling license holders in Curacao and those contemplating Curacao for their licensing needs, the implications of these changes may provide uncertainty. Given the transformative nature of these changes, some operators may find it advantageous to find a new jurisdiction for their operations.

Director of Global Gaming Solutions, Mark O’Neill, adds “One jurisdiction that is continuously viewed as a progressive move from Curacao is the Isle of Man. Known as a premier jurisdiction and a famous centre for online gambling, it is the operational base of choice for numerous significant gambling operators. The Isle of Man license is reputable and helps operators surmount challenges related to banking, payment services providers, and software suppliers. The licensing framework there offers a comprehensive umbrella license that can be secured within a 12-week period from application submission to hearing.”

 

To find out more, please visit the Global Gaming Solutions website via www.globalgaming.solutions or should you wish to speak to the team directly, please contact [email protected].

 

Industry News

DAZN Appoints Brice Daumin as CEO of French and Swiss Operations

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DAZN Group, the world’s leading sports streaming service, announced the appointment of Brice Daumin as CEO of its French and Swiss operations. Daumin will oversee DAZN’s growth strategy in France, using his experience and knowledge of the French market garnered over 25 plus years in the French media and telecoms industries.

The move further underlines DAZN’s commitment to France after its launch in August 2023. DAZN brings its French subscribers the best of combat sports including a weekly schedule of top-quality boxing, MMA with the Professional Fighters League and PFL Europe featuring world-class fighters such as Francis Ngannou and Cédric Doumbé, huge PPV boxing line-ups featuring Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua, such as “Day of Reckoning”. DAZN also brings its customers top-tier football including Ligue 1 Uber Eats, and the UEFA Women’s Champions League.

DAZN has also delivered a distribution strategy, striking deals with prominent telco and cable operators, to ensure as many French sports fans can access DAZN’s compelling catalogue of premium live sports content, magazine programming, archive and other sports entertainment products. Daumin will report directly to Alice Mascia, whose group responsibilities include her roles as Group Chief Marketing Officer and CEO of DACH.

Shay Segev, CEO of DAZN Group, said: “DAZN’s global sports offering expanded into France last year and we’re excited to announce that Brice Daumin is joining our team to help us grow in this evolving market. With his extensive in-market experience across our strategic imperatives – customer focus, commercial development, and distribution – Brice will play a key role in our long-term development in France. This is a clear statement of DAZN’s commitment to France and our ambition to continue growing in this exciting sports entertainment market.”

Brice Daumin, CEO of DAZN France, said: “This was an easy decision for me to make. DAZN has already demonstrated its offer right across Europe, with its operations in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain. Working with the biggest rights holder, in local markets and on a global level, DAZN delivers a fantastic service in a way that works for fans and rights holders. The opportunities for further growth in France are clear, especially when you look at the expanding range of sports entertainment products DAZN is creating – e-commerce, ticketing, social experiences and gaming. The French sports fan is ready for a new experience, one that DAZN will deliver.”

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Industry News

Betsson Acquires Gaming Operator and Game Developer in the Netherlands

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Betsson announced that the Group has acquired Holland Gaming Technology Ltd, a gaming operator with a license in the Netherlands, and Holland Power Gaming B.V., a game studio that develops casino games for Holland Gaming Technology Ltd. The total consideration amounts to EUR 27.5 million on a cash- and debt-free basis and is financed with own liquid assets.

Holland Gaming Technology Ltd is a gaming operator, which holds a gaming license for casino games in the Netherlands and offers games through the websites www.goldruncasino.nl and www.goldruncasino .com.

Holland Power Gaming B.V. is a game development company in the Netherlands that supplies casino games exclusively for Holland Gaming Technology Ltd.

The total consideration amounts to EUR 27.5 million, out of which EUR 16 million is paid upfront at closing, and deferred payments of EUR 9 million and EUR 2.5 million will be paid in six months and twelve months respectively.

The acquisition will over time contribute to a higher share of revenue from locally regulated markets and is in line with Betsson’s strategic ambition to deliver profitable growth through geographic expansion.

The acquisition is subject to post-closing approval by the Dutch gambling regulator KSA.

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Industry News

IGT Earns Gold Medal from Leading Sustainability Rating Agency EcoVadis

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International Game Technology PLC announced that it has earned a gold medal sustainability rating from EcoVadis, a leading provider of business sustainability ratings. This gold medal rating positions IGT among the top five percent of global companies assessed by EcoVadis for its comprehensive sustainable business practices. IGT scored particularly well in the areas of environment, ethics and sustainable procurement.

IGT’s sustainability programme was assessed under the EcoVadis criteria using 21 benchmarks within the categories of environment, labour and human rights, ethics and sustainable procurement. EcoVadis methodically evaluates environmental, social and ethical performance using these international sustainability standards for more than 85,000 companies worldwide.

“Receiving a gold medal from EcoVadis validates IGT’s long-time commitment to continuously improving our ESG results and the effectiveness of our Sustainable Play initiatives. IGT will leverage the gold medal honor from EcoVadis as inspiration for enhanced sustainability innovation and performance, as we help contribute to a more sustainable future for our business and stakeholders,” said Wendy Montgomery, IGT SVP Marketing, Communications and Sustainability.

EcoVadis’ business sustainability ratings are based on international sustainability standards such as the Ten Principles of the UN Global Company, the International Labour Organisation conventions, the Global Reporting Initiative standards and the ISO 26000 standard. The ratings provide an evidenced-based analysis on performance and an actional roadmap for continuous improvement.

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