Casinos in Curacao can be found in abundance, and all forms of gambling are legal in the country, which used to be part of the Netherlands Antilles. Now a constituent country of the Kingdom of Netherlands, Curacao (Curaçao) has full authority to legislate in most matters including gambling, with some specific – and unrelated – exceptions. Situated in the Caribbean Sea, Curacao is an important gambling hub, as are several other countries in the region.
Gambling operators who wish to provide their services to Curacaoan residents must apply for a gambling licence. Licences are issued by the Gaming Control Board founded in 1999. The aim of the Curacaoan gambling laws and of the gaming control board is to control the negative effects of gambling – addiction, money laundering, etc. – by regulating and legalising the activities. The government has realised that gambling can not be completely banished from the country, and controlled operation leads to safer gambling – and, of course, more revenues.*
Curacao was one of the first countries in the world to regulate online gambling. The Curacao e-Gaming Licensing Authority has been issuing online gambling licences since 1996. Online gambling sites who wish to have their services available in Curacao must apply for an online gambling licence. There is a single type of licence that covers games of chance, games of skill (e.g. poker) and sports betting.
Curacao currently licenses several online gambling sites from around the world. Financial transactions, however, must be carried out on hardware physically located within the country. Having a Curacao-issued gambling licence does not hold much merit, as gambling regulations are rather lax and the fees are low – which is also why the country is lucrative to first-time gambling operators. Still, the Curacao gambling licence is much more reliable than, say, the data processing “gambling” licence of Costa Rica.