Information about the Curaçao online gambling jurisdiction, licensing requirements, player complaints and dispute resolution process, and a sortable list of casinos licensed under this jurisdiction.
List of casinos operated from Curaçao
Curaçao is a Caribbean island vacation destination that doubles as a base of operations for online gambling companies. Situated off the coast of Venezuela, Curaçao is known as one of the most commonly used online gambling licensors since this island has been issuing e-licenses since 1996, longer than most other jurisdictions.
More information about Curaçao
Curaçao is an island that used to form part of what was known as the Netherlands Antilles before its dissolution in 2010. It remains a territory of the Netherlands but one interesting aspect of Curaçao is that they also have the distinction of being considered a constituent country - a rarity among European Union nations. Of course Curaçao's distance from other European countries, situated just north of Venezuela in the Caribbean Sea, may have something to do with this dual status.
Due to the fact that Curaçao is able to operate their own government, they have also been able to offer favourable conditions to Internet gaming companies, including a company tax rate of only 2% on net profits. The current system in place on the island grants responsibility for e-gaming licensing to a couple of Master License holders that then on-sell licenses to, in our experience, just about anyone who is willing to pay the fee. These Master License holders include Curacao eGaming, AntillePhone N.V., and Curacao Interactive Licensing N.V..
Curaçao Licensing Requirements
Applying for a license in Curaçao all begins with a prospective operator filling out an application with one of the Master License holders. Depending on the Master Licensor used, operators may have to submit identification and proof of the beneficial ownership of the operation. Once approval is gained, the operator is subject to fees that can range anywhere between USD $1000 and $7000 per month, at the discretion of the licensor. That is pretty much it, and while the Master Licensors say all the right things on their websites about vetting applications, the reality is that it seems that just about anyone can get one of these sub-licenses if they have the money and the desire.
Complaints and Dispute Resolution
Despite what their public statements and supposed requirements for obtaining a gaming license would indicate, Curaçao takes little interest in player/casino disputes or mediation. In fact, their official dispute resolution procedure consists of telling the player to sort it out directly with the casino. The result is that the quality of operator running casinos from Curaçao varies wildly. This is the main reason that we do not regard Curaçao as a first class online gambling licensing jurisdiction.
There are many tales of financial woe, managerial ineptitude, and outright criminality that have gone unpunished by the Curaçao authorities. Prime examples include the Lock Casino and Poker Ponzi scheme where players were defrauded of millions of dollars before management shut down the site and disappeared with the money, the use of pirated games and ongoing hacking of websites by crooked operators such as Game Tech Group N.V., or the recent case of Betsoft Gaming where a player was cheated of a progressive jackpot win by "buggy" game programming. The response of the Curaçao government or its Master Licensors to these sorts of incidents: crickets.
If you do have a dispute with a Curaçao licensed operator, your options are limited. Attempts to convince the Master Licensor to help are likely to prove fruitless as they simply aren't interested in player related problems. Uncovering the ownership behind sites operating out of the island can be a difficult challenge as the owners can be anywhere in the world and many go to great lengths using complex anonymous shelf company relationships to hide their identity. The best we can suggest is to get in touch with us via our forums or our contact page and we'll try to help you out.