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Curacao GCB Extends Licence Registration Deadline to 30 April

Article authored by Advennt

In a recent announcement, the Curacao Gaming Control Board (GCB) has extended the deadline for licensee registration from 31 March to 30 April, 2024. The decision comes in response to logistical challenges faced by some sublicensee applicants, causing delays in processing applications.

The Minister of Finance has reiterated the commitment to ensuring business continuity for sublicensees operating out of Curacao under both the transitional and new statutory frameworks. However, incomplete applications and deviations from expected standards have necessitated the extension, allowing applicants additional time to meet requirements.

It’s crucial to note that while the deadline has been extended, all other guidelines and requirements outlined in the publication remain in full effect. This includes the consequences for failing to meet the new deadline. Applications in progress will continue to be processed during this extended period.

There are important considerations for licensees when preparing for this deadline. Until the new legislation (LOK) is passed by the Curacao Parliament, operators have the opportunity to apply for their direct licence under the current law. However, there seems to be no grandfathering of existing sub-licensees (i.e. those who have not already applied for their own direct licence) to the new LOK licence, once the master licence under which it operates expires or the LOK becomes effective whichever is earlier, a new licence will need to be in place. This could lead to a gap between the effective date of the LOK and the grant of a licence under it during which time the operator would need to shut down. In addition, existing sub-licensees will not be able to add additional domains after the new deadline. Therefore, timely registration and compliance are essential for uninterrupted operations.

For existing NOOGH licence holders, guidelines issued in mid-March emphasise the mandatory requirement of registration as a sub-licensee by the deadline. Failure to do so will result in the inability to operate.

Looking ahead, the GCB anticipates issuing regulations related to minimum KYC requirements for licence holders’ customers in the coming months, further underlining the importance of compliance with regulatory directives.

Read more on the deadline extension announcement here.