A significant part of the online gaming companies in the world operate under a Curacao license (Curaçao, Curacao). This small state entity in the southern Caribbean has managed to become one of the most popular centers of the iGaming industry in recent years. Today, the Curacao license is an affordable and relatively inexpensive way to enter the market with an online casino and bookmaker, capper organization and slot machines, bingo and lottery, a betting shop and a poker room.
Obtaining a Curacao gambling license is a task that involves a certain algorithm of actions, including the registration of a company in this jurisdiction. You can understand the intricacies and nuances of solving this problem faster if you are supported by experienced experts in the field of international law and licensing, Lawrange law firm. Start with your project without delay! We will provide you with a gambling license!
Features of Curacao as a gambling jurisdiction
Note! Having landed on the coast of the “paradise” island of Curacao in 1499, the conquistador-discoverer Alonso de Ojedo was clearly not going to play games there. But after 500 years, the people of Curacao took up the development of the gambling industry in all seriousness. The government passed a special Ordinance on gambling in 1993. And since 1996, the relevant state bodies began to issue gambling licenses. In 2002, online gaming became a separate area of regulation. After that the jurisdiction of Curacao began to become more and more authoritative among iGaming operators.
Today it is one of the best and most trusted licensors. According to experts, up to 70% of well-known gambling projects have opted for a Curacao license. In addition to the availability of gambling licensing, entrepreneurs from all over the world are attracted by such an advantage as loyal taxation. Transparency of communication with local authorities in the course of business development is also important.
At the same time, in 2019, measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing began to be introduced in the jurisdiction. It helped to increase its reputation in the international community. iGaming is regulated by the Ministry of Finance and the Financial Intelligence Unit. AML (Anti-Money Laundering) standards are enforced by the Gambling Control Board.
Types of gambling licenses in Curacao
The Curacao licensing system has its own specifics: firstly, licenses in this jurisdiction are not divided into classes (unlike, for example, Malta, which provides for 4 classes of licenses with different conditions for licensees); secondly, representatives of the gambling business are actually offered sublicenses. Although at the level of legal regulation, the possibility of obtaining two types of licenses is prescribed – Master License and Sub-license. Let’s see what these types of licenses are.
Master License (general, main or basic license)
The decision to issue such a license is made by the Ministry of Justice, based on its powers. The validity period is 5 years. Getting a master license is extremely difficult. There are only four owners of such licenses:
- Cyberluck Curacao N.V. (Curacao eGaming N.V., “CEG”) – 1668/JAZ;
2 Antillephone N.V. – 8048/JAZ;
- Gaming Curacao (Gaming N.V.) – 365/JAZ;
- e-Management N.V. (Curacao Interactive Licensing N.V., “CIL”) – 5536/JAZ.
The master license licenses the gaming company and, in addition, opens up the possibility of sublicensing third parties, which bear the responsibility and conditions of the main license. Four numbers – 1668/JAZ, 8048/JAZ and so on – will be the same for all sub-licensees.
The decision to issue is made by the owner of the master license. From the one to whom to apply for a sublicense, the required package of documents and fees vary. At the same time, the rights to online gaming activities under a sublicense are no different from the rights under the main license. The sub-license is valid for an unlimited period of time (this permission is valid as long as the master license is valid). As a result, this can be a profitable solution for any representative of the gambling industry anywhere in the world.
Benefits of purchasing a Curacao gambling license
Many licensees do not even puzzle themselves with the question of where exactly Curacao is located because a gambling license is quite available remotely. A personal visit is not required to register a company in Curacao, nor to directly apply for a license. The help of the team of the Lawrange law firm makes it possible to speed up the collection of documents and filling out electronic forms, as well as to avoid errors.
Let’s go through the key advantages of a gambling license in this jurisdiction ii:
- A single application form for bookmakers, slot machines, bingo, lotteries and online casinos.
- One sublicense allows you to carry out any gambling activity – gambling, betting and lottery.
- Income tax 2% until 2026 for companies registered in the E-zone.
- Quick entry to the global market. The process of registering a legal entity and obtaining a license takes about 6 weeks.
- The cost of a license is lower than in other jurisdictions.
In general, the jurisdiction of Curacao is characterized by a developed infrastructure and good opportunities to provide reliable technical support for gambling projects. Over the past two decades, the state has been actively developing e-zones, and also supports various e-commerce projects. Gaming licenses of this jurisdiction are recognized by many states. It creates excellent conditions for the implementation of plans to scale up activities if successful.
Requirements for obtaining a gambling license in Curacao
Although the list of documents to be submitted to Curaçao general license holders may vary, applicants for a sublicense must meet the following general requirements:
- the presence of a company registered in Curacao with a local representative;
- Certification of the software used – the provision of an RNG (Random number generator) certificate as confirmation that the actual probability of obtaining a win corresponds to the declared one;
- domain ownership and the presence of at least one physical server of a gambling company on the territory of the island of Curacao;
- compliance with the rules of the Responsible Gambling, including the availability for players of a complete and understandable description of gaming products, the placement of the Rules for using the site, and so on;
- a ban on registration of three categories of players: persons under 18 years of age, US citizens and residents of all entities in the Netherlands Antilles.
Important! The licensing of gambling activities on the island of Curacao complies with the generally accepted standards of Responsible Gambling. First, every user of an online casino or other gambling product should be made aware of the potential dangers of gambling, as well as the requirement to follow certain pre-established rules. Secondly, gambling service providers are required to interact with state regulatory authorities, complying with the regulations and requirements established by law.
As part of compliance with the principles of Responsible Gambling, online casino operators and providers of other online gaming services are subject to the following requirements:
- Ensuring that players are fully, adequately and understandably informed about:
– about the game and the risks of participating in it;
– about the essence of gambling in general, understanding the game as an entertainment, fraught with risks, and not a means of improving one’s financial condition, making a profit.
- Obligatory placement on the website of the subsection “Responsible gambling” with explanations regarding the questions:
– assistance to persons with gambling addiction (indication of resources providing such assistance);
– self-exclusion (exiting the account without the possibility of a refund or temporarily), for example, for one month, for a year;
– blocking the linked card;
– setting a limit, allowable deposit for betting or other limitation of funds that can be spent on the game;
– setting time limits for the game;
– setting other participation restrictions;
– prohibitions on account recovery after deletion.1
- Encouraging players to bet exclusively within rational limits that correlated with their own financial capabilities.
- Development of algorithms and monitoring of stay on the gaming site – timers of time spent playing the game and so on.
Note! When developing and implementing self-exclusion algorithms, online casino operators should provide for several levels of “exclusion” from the game. The first is “cooling off”, a short break for at least a month, the last is irrevocable self-exclusion. During the period chosen by the player, the operator must refuse the request to activate the account or create a new account. In this case, the withdrawal of funds should not be limited.
Failure to comply with the principles of Responsible Gambling in Curacao, as well as in other jurisdictions, entails various measures of administrative responsibility until the revocation of the license.
Important! If you have a need to get more information about the requirements of Responsible Gambling, the experts of Lawrange law firm are ready to advise you. We are ready to take on the preparation of documents in this area and accompany the implementation of Responsible Gambling policies for your project.
Procedure for obtaining a license
If you are interested in a Curacao gambling license, the No. 1 requirement for obtaining it is the registration of a legal entity in this jurisdiction. In order to optimize the tax burden, the company register in the E-zone. It is a tax zone with a 2% income tax.
Important points in obtaining a gambling license:
- the whole procedure can be completed remotely without personal presence;
- terms of execution from the conclusion of a contract with us for services and until the result is obtained from 45 to 90 days;
- the cost of the package “firm + Curacao sublicense” – 23,599 euros.
The procedure for obtaining a license is as follows:
Registration of a local company (B.V. or N.V.) with the assignment of E-zone status + obtaining a legal address.
Appointment of a director and a local representative (agent) of the company.
Obtaining prior approval from the master license holder.
Submission of an application for a sublicense with a package of supporting documents + payment of the state fee + payment to the holder of the general license.
The holder makes a decision to issue a sublicense after checking the documentation and the applicant’s website.
Among the available organizational and legal forms of doing business, entrepreneurs in the jurisdiction of Curacao often prefer public limited companies (de Naamloze Vennootschap, N.V.) and private limited companies (de Besloten Vennootschap, B.V.).
In this case, it is necessary to comply with certain requirements for the company:
- a unique name in Latin transcription indicating the field of activity, it is not allowed to mislead potential customers;
- registered address on the island of Curacao;
- registration in the Chamber of Commerce of the Antilles;
- presence of at least one resident director (individual or legal entity) and a local agent (representative);
- the number of shareholders is minimal – one.
***Note: There are no conditions regarding the minimum amount of the authorized capital.
Important! To register a company in the E-zone in order to take advantage of the preferential tax regime, it is possible only after proving compliance with certain criteria and obtaining permission from local authorities.
- sale of goods / provision of services is carried out in favor of customers outside the island of Curacao;
- the necessary business processes are carried out using electronic communication tools (e-commerce).
Note! If the company plans business transactions with counterparties from Curacao, that is, it goes beyond the e-zone, an application should be submitted to the local authorities. Income derived from a business within Curaçao cannot exceed 25% of the firm’s total income. Interaction with other business entities within the E-zone is allowed without restrictions.
Documents for obtaining a gambling license
The documentation package, that is submitted for consideration to the owner of the master license, includes two sets of documents: 1) for each director, shareholder, beneficiary; 2) for the company.
- a copy of a valid international passport;
- confirmation of the legality of the origin of funds (for shareholders, beneficiaries);
- certificate of non-conviction;
- original utility bill (not older than three months) to confirm the address of residence;
- CV / resume and letters of recommendation (from the bank, from the employer, and so on).
- business plan, marketing and financial plans;
- a copy of the agreement with the software supplier;
- RNG certificate for software;
- a description of the games or other activities to be carried out;
- a document confirming the ownership of the domain;
- list of countries where gambling activities will be carried out;
- audit reports on the financial condition of the company;
- AML policies.
***Note: All documentation, both personal and corporate, is translated into English and certified with an apostille.
Curacao Gambling License Cost
Since only a legal entity registered in the jurisdiction of Curacao can be licensed, services for obtaining a license are provided by Lawrange in a complex manner.
Cost of opening a company + gambling license = €23,599.
Important! The price includes the following list of services:
- preparation and submission of documents for registration of a legal entity (B.V. or N.V.) with the assignment of E-zone status;
- lease of domain and hosting in the jurisdiction;
- resolving the issue with the legal address and local representative;
- preparation of a business plan and other documentation;
- obtaining pre-approval, submitting an application along with supporting documents, obtaining a sublicense;
- payment of state fees;
- opening a corporate bank account.
The standard income tax rate in the country is 22%. At the same time, the legislation allows for the possibility of registering business entities in the e-zone with an income tax rate of only 2%. Legal entities (N.V.) registered in the e-zone also do not pay taxes on the payment of interest, dividends, royalties, regardless of the place of receipt. This preference will be valid until 2026.
Note! The online gambling business fully complies with the criteria that allow a company to receive the E-zone status, that were mentioned above.
When calculating the tax burden, two nuances should be taken into account:
- tax rate of 2% is not charged from the total, but from the net profit;
- worldwide income is taxed at this rate. Income earned outside the E-zone in Curaçao is exempt from this tax credit.
Why choose Lawrange?
More than ten years of experience in the field of legal support of High-Risk international business, including gambling projects, provides the knowledge to resolve issues of any level of complexity. We offer all the necessary services for the full launch of the project: registered company + gambling license + merchant account + bank account. We are also ready to provide support in trademark registration. As a result, you can quickly develop a popular gaming business from anywhere and make a profit with an international license that will be recognized in many jurisdictions.
Note! For the jurisdiction of Curacao, the option of opening a bank account in the EU may be considered. Although many banks today are reluctant to cooperate with gambling projects, thanks to our constant monitoring of this area, some solutions can be found. We also help to close the issue with a trading account (merchant account), an essential component of a successful gambling business. At the request of the client, Lawrange also provides support for the company in the future. Our services may include legal support of the site, preparation and submission of financial statements to regulatory authorities.
If we compare Curacao with other jurisdictions where you can get a gambling license, then the benefits are obvious. These are loyal taxes, relative simplicity and accessibility of the licensing procedure, the possibility of obtaining a single license for all areas of gambling.
Lawrange law firm will help make starting your gambling project with a Curacao license as simple and comfortable as possible. The Curacao gambling license will open the doors to the big world of the gaming industry. We wish you good luck!
How to get a Curacao gambling license with our help?
There are only a few steps to take: 1) conclude an appropriate service agreement with Lawrange; 2) prepare the necessary documents at our request; 3) pay for services; 4) wait for the decision of the owner of the general license, and finally, obtain an international license from Curacao.
What does a casino license give?
With a Curacao sublicense, an online casino is entitled to provide any gaming services: poker, roulette, card games such as blackjack, and so on.
How much does a Curacao license cost?
Lawrange law firm provides gambling licensing services in a comprehensive manner. The cost of a license determined with services for registering a company and opening a corporate account. The package of such services costs 23,599 euros.