The NSC, one of the key opposition parties in Curacao, is seeking to provide obstacles to the new tax legislation being implemented in the country. 

Having originally been approved in 2015, the NSC sought to postpone the decision for new tax frameworks between Curacao and Malta. 

There were previous postponements to Curacao’s new tax frameworks with San Marino, however the opposition party, to the surprise of many commentators, stayed silent on letting these new legislations pass. 

Nonetheless, the NSC has been joined by a host of other parties in pushing for plenary debate when it comes to the arrangement with Malta, specifically citing deeper insight into the region’s gambling sector.

State Secretary for Finance Marnix van Rij is likely to be staunch in his defence of the double tax treaty – with it holding ambitions to be a significant avenue to clamping down on tax avoidance. 

Government officials will be allowed to take part in the debate around the new legislation, likely bringing to the fore key points and analysis on the region’s gambling sector.

Furthermore, it is widely anticipated by many that the new frameworks will continue to progress, alongside the new deal with San Marino. 

It’s viewed as a delicate issue within Malta’s parliament given Malta was only removed from the Financial Action Task Force’s ‘greylist’ of financial jurisdictions two years ago, in what was seen by many as a landmark moment for the legitimacy of the country’s regulations and enforcement. 

At the time, Carl Brincat, Chief Executive of Malta Gaming Authority stated that work had commenced to implement necessary changes that will be relayed to licensed igaming businesses.  

“We understand that the greylisting of Malta as a jurisdiction may trigger a re-assessment of the risk posed by Malta-based entities by several stakeholders, such as international banks, and therefore our licensees may be faced with additional queries and requests for information by international partners.

“We are in fact prioritising outreach to the most relevant stakeholders in order to explain, through ever-increasing transparency, that the shortcomings identified in Malta’s regard do not relate to the gaming sector in any way and should therefore, in practice, not alter the manner in which these international stakeholders perceive and relate to our licensees.”

Curacao has also been through a period of regulatory transition in recent times.  On April 30, the portal for new or grandfathered licence applications closed.

According to Aideen Shortt, advisor to the Curaçao Gaming Control Board, “this means that all of the sub-licenses had the opportunity, and had this six-month timeline in which they could make an application on the portal. And in doing so, they locked in the ability to get grandfathered through when the lock gets enacted. So it means guaranteed continuity of business”. 

She also revealed that 741 licence applications were received by that deadline, which far exceeded expectations and stated that if bad actors are seeking to leave as the jurisdiction is cleaning up its act, they are happy to see them depart.