Tiny Caribbean island urged to crack down on online casinos

Tiny Caribbean island urged to crack down on online casinos
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The island of Curaçao has come under criticism from a media watchdog as they asked authorities to cease allowing online casinos to target Australian consumers.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (Acma) has banned offshore gambling companies from targeting its residents, with a large portion of the 1,000 blocked websites being licensed in Curaçao.

The Dutch island located north of the coast of Venezuela and in the south of the Caribbean has become a hub for online gambling.

According to The Guardian, an Acma spokesperson has said the agency had discussed its “investigations into individual services licensed in Curaçao” on six occasions since a meeting in June with the regulator to “establish contact.”

“Acam engages with overseas regulatory bodies for the purposes of assisting with our enforcement and disruption efforts against illegal services,” said the spokesperson.

“In relation to Curaçao, we have written to them about individual services licensed in their jurisdiction and about updates on the Curaçao regulatory framework.”

In response, the Curaçao Gaming Control Board has been reported as having said: “we take these breaches very seriously and will do all that is possible to stop them.”

Curaçao prominence in the world of gambling

This tiny island nation was one of the first to regulate online gambling and its ease of doing business, taxation scheme, and tolerant gambling legislation are three reasons why many gravitate to Curaçao for this area of business.

Regulated by the Ministry of Finance and the Financial Intelligence Unit, there are four master license holders on the island. New operators can then apply for a sublicense from one of these holders.

New changes to the process are incoming with the Curaçao Gaming Authority being the ones to grant licenses in the future and a shakeup of the framework to be implemented. They will assume greater control from March 31.