Date: 06.02.2024

by Antoni Majewski

Curaçao Gaming Control Board Grants Inaugural Licenses in New Regulatory Era

Under a revamped regulatory framework, Curaçao’s official regulator for the land-based casino industry, the Curaçao Gaming Control Board (GCB), has issued its first licenses, marking a significant milestone in the island’s gambling sector.


Pioneering Licenses

The inaugural direct license has been granted to White Star BV, a division of the Rhino Entertainment Group, for its flagship brand, CasinoDays. Alongside this landmark license, the regulator has also awarded Digital Seals to three well-established operators: Small House, Geeka Corporation, and Games and More. These Digital Seals validate all brands and domains under their jurisdiction and compliance with the regulator’s requirements.

The speed at which the licenses were confirmed is noteworthy, with the process taking just 12 weeks since the introduction of the new regulatory regime in Curaçao. The registration portal was officially launched in September, although applicants could not register until November 1.

The portal now processes fresh applications in accordance with existing legislation and registers any sub-licensees who wish to continue their operations in compliance with the National Ordinance for Games of Chance (LOK). As soon as the LOK comes into effect, the newly established Curaçao Gaming Authority (CGA) will officially take charge.

Comments from GCB and Rhino Entertainment Group

Cedric Pietersz, Managing Director of the GCB, expressed his thoughts on the milestone, saying, “2024 heralds a transformative period in the regulatory landscape of Curacao’s gambling sector. Since opening our doors to applications less than 12 weeks ago, the volume of submissions has far exceeded our expectations. White Star’s licensure holds a special place in our hearts and history. It signifies a pivotal moment for Curacao’s evolution into a top-tier gambling jurisdiction with many more licenses in process.”

Meanwhile, Ross Parkhill, CEO of Rhino Entertainment Group, commented on the significance of being the first to receive a direct license, emphasizing their commitment to excellence and responsible gaming. Parkhill stated, “We wholeheartedly support Curacao’s enhanced regulatory processes, recognizing the added value and prestige it brings to our license. We look forward to fostering an open and communicative relationship with the GCB, ensuring a bright and compliant future for online gaming.”

Evolving Regulatory Landscape in Curaçao

While the new regulatory regime in Curaçao has garnered significant support, some uncertainty still lingers. The country has been operating under the National Ordinance on Offshore Games of Hazard (NOOGH) legislation, which is set to be amended by the LOK.

In January, reports circulated that the LOK had faced rejection after officially entering parliament in December 2023. However, these reports turned out to be false alarms. Curaçao’s Minister of Finance, Javier Silvania, publicly denounced the “misinformation” surrounding the LOK and provided clarifications regarding the process. He cautioned against misinformation and affirmed that the license issuance process by the GCB would remain unchanged. This move aims to eliminate any uncertainties in Curaçao’s evolving regulatory landscape.