Curacao e-gaming license explained
Curacao is a part of the old group of islands called the Dutch Antilles meaning that basically, they are a part of the Netherlands. The islands are located near the coast of South America and have traditionally developed as a trading destination. They are also historically significant as a point of stopover for ships traveling between South America and Europe.
Presently, the unique status of the islands as a part of Dutch territory provides them a unique advantage of being able to provide the benefits of being in the European Union without actually being subject to the high tax rates of mainland Europe. This has led to the development of a number of industries including e-gaming and banking and investment.
Overview of Curacao e-gaming Sector
The Online Gaming Sector in Curacao is regulated by Curacao E-Gaming, the renowned e-gaming License and IP (Information Provider) for all Curacao based online Casinos. The e-gaming licenses were separated from Land-based gaming licenses in 1996 and since then Curacao E-Gaming has provided licenses to entrepreneurs across the world to start e-gaming operations out of Curacao. Land-based gaming in Curacao is now controlled by the Gaming Control Board, Curacao.
Measures to promote e-gaming license in Curacao.
Curacao has tried to promote e-gaming in Curacao through a simplified licensing process and a simple and transparent Taxation scheme.
a) Ezone companies
Since 2001, Curacao has established special zones called E-zones or Export Zones which allow the formation of special companies called E-zone companies which enjoy an extremely favorable tax rate and can be used as a holding company. The process can generally be completed within 2–3 days. Curacao imposes a mere 2% tax rate on E-zone companies and this rate is guaranteed until 31 December 2025.
b) Simplified licensing processes
There is the requirement of only a single type of e-gaming and IP License to operate all forms of online games from Curacao. This provides a one-stop simplified licensing solution which is suitable for the introduction of a variety of games and to create new and innovative games
Process of Applying for Online Gaming License in Curacao
The process for applying for an online gaming license in Curacao is divided into the following five steps:
Stage 1: Completion of a Pre-approval process.
The applicants who seek to apply for a Curacao License are first required to seek pre-approval through a Corporate Service Provider to apply for an e-gaming and IP License. The Pre-approval is normally granted within 24 hours.
The pre-approval application process is completed on submission of basic information and a non-refundable fee of EUR 1500.
Stage 2: Submission of Application Form
The completed IP application form along with the required supporting documents are to be submitted to Curacao e-gaming along with the prescribed fee.
As of now, e-gaming IP License fee is €4800/yr. or €700/mo.
On receipt of the application fee, the evaluation process will begin.
Approved applicants will be required to provide payment of all necessary onetime fees and deposits.
Stage 3: Evaluation of application
If the IP application and the required attachments are incomplete or are not compliant to the IP e-gaming compliance requirements, Curaçao e-gaming shall advise the IP applicant together with a checklist indicating the lacking or non-compliant items. On fulfillment of all requirements, the license will be issued.
Stage 4: Starting operations and Independent audit
On completion of all the three stages mentioned above, the applicant is permitted to implement the plan and start his operations within 60 days of permission. The Curacao E-Gaming authority, on the other hand, keeps a close tab of violations and in case of fake license claims, it immediately moves to terminate them.
Broadly, a one-time prepaid application fee of €1500 is required for starting the process to obtain an e-gaming IP License. Once the application process is complete, the monthly or yearly fees mentioned above need to be paid.
In case all the documents are in place, the process can be completed within a period of 2–4 weeks.
Establishing a local Company
Although a Curacao e-gaming license can be applied by most companies from across the world, it is recommended that to receive the maximum benefits from the business, a local Curacao E-zone company is established.
The basic essentials for registration of a Curacao E-zone company are:
- The company’s administration must be performed exclusively in the E-Zone;
- The company’s employees must perform duties exclusively for it;
- Only a negligible part of the company’s activities may be carried out by persons not employed by a company established in an E-Zone;
- The company’s offices, work-floor and/ or warehouses in the E-Zone must be operational on regular workdays from at least 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.;
- The E-Zone company must, in principle, display its goods and offer its services in or from the E-Zone
- The E-zone Company must have a bank account in Curacao
- Local directors need to be appointed (Fiduciary directors are available).
Taxes, Fee and Costs for a Curacao Online Gaming License
There are no taxes to be paid for any income arising in Curacao for Ezone companies and only a profit tax of 2% will be levied on the companies. This makes Curacao a preferred licensing and establishment partner for corporate wishing to expand into the e-gaming sector.
White Label Licensing
With its highly favorable tax rate and easy application process, Curacao allows you to have white label licenses which you can further distribute if the applicants provide the necessary documents. Broadly Curacao white label solutions are possible for clients and can be established in the future. The cost for master licenses to further provide white label solutions is higher than a normal e-gaming license.
Use of License Seals
As a mark of authenticity, licenses operators of a Curacao e-gaming license are allowed to display the Curacao e-gaming license seal on the website.