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The Curaçao Gaming Control Board (GCB) has extended its licence application window after receiving multiple sub-standard submissions.

The GCB highlighted that some applicants have encountered “logistical difficulties” ahead of the original deadline, which required existing sub-licensees who wish to continue to operate in Curaçao’s market to register by 31 March.

With the aim of facilitating a smoother transition, the deadline for application submissions has now been extended to 30 April.

“From the outset of this entire process the Minister of Finance has been unambiguously clear that everything possible would be done to ensure continuity of business for sublicensees who wish to operate out of Curaçao under the transitional and intended new statutory framework,” the GCB said. 

“However, unfortunately many applications have not been completed nor met expected standards which has inevitably resulted in processing delays to the detriment of both the GCB and the applicant entities,” the regulator added.

The GCB indicated that this is the only extension that will be granted, while applications currently in progress will continue to be processed.

Application guidelines

In March, the GCB issued application submission guidelines after first making reference to receiving many low quality applications.

The regulator warned that sub-par applications will result in processing delays for applicants since the GCB will need to request additional information, amendments or corrections.

Among other requirements, the GCB stressed that applicants must fully populate three forms relating to the corporate applicant and upload all enclosures outlined at the end of each document.

The current application process is for direct licences under Curaçao’s existing legislation, the National Ordinance on Offshore Games of Hazard (NOOGH). 

However, once Curaçao’s new gambling law, the National Ordinance for Games of Chance (LOK), comes into effect, licences will be transferred. 

In February, finance minister Javier Silvania emphasised the importance of passing the legislation as soon as possible to combat money laundering and improve Curaçao’s finances.

However, he also pledged to amend the proposed gambling law following criticism from various stakeholders, including members of parliament, the Curaçao Bar Association, and the Dutch government. 

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