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MINISTER OF FINANCE JAVIER SILVANIA SAYS ‘LOK TO IMPROVE CURAÇAO’S REPUTATION’

Curaçao 01/03/2024

The National Ordinance for Games of Chance (LOK) has received its first reading in Curaçao’s parliament. 

Speaking during the session, finance minister Javier Silvania highlighted the potential of the legislation to improve Curaçao’s reputation internationally:

“Curaçao, as a small island, has faced significant challenges regarding its reputation in the online gaming industry. We have often been portrayed as a hub for criminal activities and money laundering, contributing to a negative image. However, this perception is set to change with the LOK (…) which will enhance our reputation by promoting transparency, accountability and compliance with international standards in these critical areas.”

He also stressed the importance of moving forward at speed, with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) due to evaluate Curaçao later this year:

“This year Curaçao will undergo a mutual evaluation by CFATF where the laws and measures taken by Curaçao to combat money laundering will be scrutinised. Therefore, this law must be accepted and implemented as soon as possible.” 

with anti-money laundering which is a critical issue for Curaçao at this time”.

The Minister further underscored that the LOK would ensure that Curaçao’s gambling sector benefits the island, arguing that as things stand “the government and the people are being robbed of their rightful income”:

“In a well-managed gambling jurisdiction, direct revenues to the regulator are just the beginning of the influx of money. The overall impact is monumental and demonstrates the real potential value to the economy which can start investing more in education, health and infrastructure.”

In February, the Curacao Gaming Control Board (GCB) awarded the first direct licence under its new regulatory regime and the issuance of licences has steadily been gaining pace since.

Wen Hsieh, senior licensing officer at IGA commented:

“ As things stand the process is working quite smoothly. This week the GCB released another batch of provisional licences, with a number of our clients’ delighted to receive theirs.“

Asked about the application timeframe, she acknowledged:

“There are still slight delays compared to the issuance time-frame that the GCB is targeting, but really nothing major. Overall we are extremely pleased with how things are proceeding.” 

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