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The Dutch State Secretary for Kingdom Relations and Digitalisation Alexandra van Huffelen (pictured) has criticised Curaçao’s government over the introduction to parliament of the island’s new offshore gambling law.

The politician said it was incorrect procedure to submit the draft National Ordinance on Gaming (LOK) to Curaçao’s parliament before the Temporary Work Organisation (TWO) was able to review it.  

Curaçao’s Ministry of Finance submitted the proposed shake-up of the island’s offshore gambling regulations to parliament in December 2023.

The TWO is a Dutch government organisation created to implement the 2020 National Package, a series of structural reforms for Curaçao which included a commitment for the island to clean up its gambling sector.

State secretary van Huffelen said that Curaçao’s finance minister has now sent the amended LOK to the TWO so it can verify whether the legislation is in line with the original agreement.

“My visit to Curaçao showed that there too, a lot of energy and dedication is being put into implementing the National Package and that cooperation with the TWO is going well,” van Huffelen said.

“At the same time, the step towards implementation of the major reform processes, such as social security, education and the organisation of the public sector, seems difficult for Curaçao.

“This requires decisiveness and good direction from the Pisas government. The government could make more and better use of the support that the TWO can offer.”

The LOK roadmap

The Dutch government has also published a document outlining the current roadmap for implementing the LOK.

The reformed gambling legislation is now expected to be signed law by 30 June 2024.

The government said it will also examine whether the LOK will need supplementing with additional AML, technical, or consumer protection regulations in secondary legislation.

This came after the Curaçao Advisory Council, which scrutinises legislation, said the bill was unfit to be presented to parliament in its current state.

Following a frosty reception in parliament, the Curaçao Ministry of Finance committed to amending the bill.

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