Dutch minister promises action on Curaçao-based gambling

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Dutch Legal Protection Minister Sander Dekker has revealed that an action plan aimed at halting the rise of illegal gambling from Curaçao, including a possible imposition of limits on operators, is due to be completed this month.

Dekker addressed the issue of gambling in parliament following an article in the investigative journalism publication Follow the Money that reported on the current state of the illegal gambling sector in Curaçao, which is a constituent country of the Netherlands.

The article highlighted that 12,000 illegal gaming sites have been established in the country and an estimated 40% of global unregulated gaming runs through Curaçao.

Following discussions between the Netherlands and Curaçao, it was agreed that the island will bring in an independent gaming regulator with the power to grant and revoke gaming licences. It would also ensure that operators act in accordance with the laws and regulations of the countries they target, and collect taxes and licence fees.

Dutch Legal Protection Minister, Sander Dekker commented:

“Based on local laws and regulations, there is a small number of master licences provided by the authorities of Curaçao which could be transferred without the intervention of a government body. This has resulted in a large number of sub-licences, which explains the range of online games available in Curaçao.

“The cabinet takes the concerns about illegal gaming in Curaçao seriously and is committed to limiting the illegal offering of games of chance from Curaçao. Curaçao is currently working on a step-by-step plan of action to limit and better regulate the supply of games of chance. As expected, this action plan will be adopted this month.”

Dekker went on to say that the Netherlands played no role in setting up a financial framework within Curaçao, as the region remains “fiscally autonomous”.

Dutch Online Casino Regulation

On October 1st of this year, the Netherlands opened its regulated online gambling market. Since this date, Dutch players have been able to place legal sports bets and play casino games over the Internet. The aim of the law was to create a legal online gambling offer that is attractive enough to Dutch consumers who want to play online.