Dutch Minister Weerwind confident on Curaçao’s gambling reforms


Franc Weerwind, Dutch Minister for Legal Protection, has elaborated on the reforms being undertaken by Curaçao regarding its licensing regime, but has issued a stark reminder that such moves fall strictly within the autonomy of the island country.

During recent Parliamentary questions, Weerwind acknowledged that the cabinet “endorses the finding that there is insufficient effective control and supervision on the online gambling sector in Curaçao”.

However, confidence was offered that a step-by-step reform and modernisation plan, that would revamp a “non-transparent system of master and sublicensees,” will pay dividends. 

“This is a concern for the Netherlands and the reason that there are two measures in the ‘National Package Curaçao’ related to the reform and modernisation of the entire gambling sector, and in particular the online offshore gambling sector,” he noted.

The revamp of the current approach, it is said, will include the formation of an independent supervisor of online casino gambling that could revoke a licence, if necessary; as well as ensuring that providers of online games of chance from Curaçao act in accordance with the laws and regulations of the countries they target.

“There is insufficient data available on the extent to which Dutch companies or interests of Dutch people are involved in the online gambling sector in Curaçao,” Weerwind noted.

Furthermore, it is added that the Curaçao parliament will be responsible for the introduction of the laws and regulations for the modernisation and reform of the offer of online games of chance, with Netherlands on hand to supply technical assistance “if desired and where possible”. 

“The licensing, supervision and enforcement of the supply of both country-specific and online games of chance fall within the autonomy of the country Curaçao and therefore outside the jurisdiction of the Dutch Gaming Authority,” Weerwind reiterated throughout.

To close, the Minister for Legal Protection was quizzed on moves being undertaken across the remaining two countries that comprise the Kingdom of the Netherlands, namely Aruba and St Maarten.

Currently, the former of the aforementioned regions has an authority that supervises the casino sector, while in St Maarten “there is no supervisor of the gambling sector”. 

“There are currently no concerns at the cabinet that the countries cannot comply with this measure from the country package,” Weerwind closed. 

“The progress is monitored and included in the periodic implementation reports on the country packages. 

“For Aruba and Sint Maarten it also applies that the autonomous countries within the Kingdom and that they are responsible for their own laws and regulations, also with regard to the gaming sector.”