HomeGuest ArticleCuracao's New Gambling Laws Will Allow Cryptocurrency Payments

Curacao’s New Gambling Laws Will Allow Cryptocurrency Payments


The Government of Curacao will be running a tight ship on the cryptocurrency casino front starting no later than Q2 2023. The big news dropped on 15 November of this year (2022) was met with mixed feelings from operators looking at Curacao as their saving grace in the licensed gaming market.

The news is about a new regulation regime aiming at gambling sites supporting cryptocurrency payments. Right now, anonymity is king on that side of the iGaming industry, but that will be subject to change if the new regulations. The main question is how that will impact the players and the gaming brands currently engorging the fruits of the very permissive licensing framework of The Government of Curacao.

Consequences of Curacao’s New Gambling Laws

We don’t yet have all the details on the upcoming changes, but we do have the promise of Javier Silvania – head of the Ministry of Finance of Curacao – that the gaming authority of Curacao will continue to work with all licensees. However, this is not a guarantee that the new vision of the regulator will make everyone happy.

On the contrary, as per the announcement made by Curacao in the summer of 2022, particular attention will be devoted to the vetting process. On the one hand, this will be better for the average user who has found a legit Bitcoin casino to have a look at and decides they want to make a full commitment. On the other hand, complications for the players and service providers will ensue.

This is why reinventing the licensing criteria with the purpose of strengthening security in the ecosystem of licensees was not music to the ears of the top brands operating gambling sites licensed by the Government of Curacao. Here’s the rationale.

Strengthening security means the introduction of KYC and responsible gambling policies, as well as complication of money transfers. Deposits and withdrawals will be held under more careful consideration. Withdrawal time will increase due to mandatory checks performed by all KYC-abiding casino sites.

Curacao license holders have every reason to be concerned that deposit and withdrawal limitations will come into play after the new rules come into force. This would change the status of cryptocurrency gambling as “the land of the free” to something much less exciting for high-stakes players. It could very well kill the momentum the crypto-gambling industry has gained over the past few years. We can see how Tim Heath’s prediction of “a mass exodus” is not the least bit unrealistic.

The National Ordinance of Games of Chance

In its reformed state, the gambling law of Curacao will go by the name “The national Ordinance of Games of Chance” (LOK). The law will make room for cryptocurrency payments with the contingency that in the future, more precise crypto regulation will be exacted. This very vague statement of Minister Silvania is also somewhat worrisome to anyone who enjoys the freedoms of crypto gambling.

But that’s not all. A new regulatory body – the Curacao Gaming Authority (CGA) – will be tasked to monitor license holders. As admitted by Government consultant Mario Galea monitoring crypto payments is a big challenge. The creation of the right tools for that purpose was the main goal set for the 2022’s summer.

With the proper tools at its disposal, the CGA will be able to enforce the new clause allowing for cryptocurrency payments to and from the sites licensed under the Government of Curacao. The CGA will also take on the responsibility of issuing B2B and B2C licenses.

The Challenge

Curacao is actively seeking to harness the crypto gambling market without losing any current license holders. We should add to the equation the difficulty of monitoring payments made over a decentralized network such as the blockchain. One of the future applications of the blockchain will be machine learning, but easy regulation isn’t one of its virtues. The Government of Curacao and the Curacao Gaming Authority have their work cut out for them. Another difficult to account for thing for the CGA and the operators will be the volatile cryptocurrency price.

Furthermore, the jurisdiction must stay a somewhat desirable target for license-seeking gambling brands if legislators have any hopes of being competitive. Currently, the huge contributor to that is the fact Curacao is not as strict a regulator, but as we already pointed out, this stance will be subject to change.

Mario Galea said that the operators licensed in Curacao would be responsible for ensuring that the cryptocurrency networks they support are properly regulated. Also, on their shoulders will fall the burden of carrying out regular reports with regard to all crypto payments.

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