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Curacao Parliament Takes a Stand: Proposed Online Gambling Legislation Requires Rethinking



In a noteworthy development, the Parliament of Curacao has taken a firm stance on the current draft of the LOK (online gambling) legislation, declaring it unsuitable for further advancement, despite declarations from Finance Minister Silvania and the staunch denials of issues from the representatives of the Gaming Control Board (GCB). Surprisingly, no one is opposing the need for legislative change; instead, the Parliament’s perspective centers on the necessity for a comprehensive, transparent, and effective overhaul of the existing framework.

Industry Turmoil and Uncertainty

The Parliament’s rejection has sent shockwaves through the online gambling sector, particularly unsettling the four master license holders and numerous sublicensees who currently operate under the existing regulatory framework. The call for substantial amendments to the LOK law has created a state of flux within the industry, leaving stakeholders uncertain about the sector’s direction in the coming months.

LOK Law’s Initial Intentions

Originally conceived to bring order and oversight to Curacao’s thriving online gambling industry, the LOK law aimed to establish fair and responsible operations within the sector. However, the Parliament’s outright dismissal and subsequent push for substantial amendments have halted these efforts, leaving the industry in a precarious position.

A Consensus for Change:

What makes this decision particularly significant is that it is not driven by opposition to the idea of legislative change. In fact, there is a unanimous call for updating the legislation governing online gambling in Curacao. However, the Parliament asserts that the proposed draft falls short in several critical aspects.


Parliament’s Concerns and Their Implications

The Parliament’s assertion that the LOK law does not align with Curacao’s best interests has raised concerns regarding potential economic and reputational consequences for the island. For the four master license holders, who made substantial investments under the previous regulations, their future now hangs in the balance. Potential disruptions to established business models and financial investments loom large.

Similarly, sublicensees, who rely on the stability of the existing framework, find themselves in a challenging predicament. The changing regulatory landscape casts doubt over their operational viability, raising questions about their ability to continue their online gambling operations on the island.

Key Concerns Raised by Parliament

The Parliament’s viewpoint is underpinned by several key concerns that have emerged during their evaluation of the draft legislation:

1. Poor Technical Legislative Character: One of the paramount concerns highlighted by Parliament is the draft legislation’s poor technical legislative character. This refers to the intricacies, precision, and clarity required in a robust legal framework. Lawmakers have identified numerous ambiguities and inconsistencies within the draft, raising doubts about its enforceability and effectiveness.


2. Inadequate Incorporation of Expert Advice: The Parliament emphasizes that the advice of the Curacao Advice Counsel, intended to refine and enhance the legislation, has not been adequately integrated into the draft. This shortfall raises questions about the thoroughness of the legislative process and the extent to which expert guidance has been heeded.

3. Lack of Consultation with Local Stakeholders: Another critical concern centers on the absence of consultation with local stakeholders in the formulation of the Curacao Online Gambling legislation. Lawmakers assert that engaging with key industry players, including the Central Bank of Curacao and Sint Maarten, is essential for crafting legislation that aligns with the sector’s unique needs and challenges. The Curacao Bar Association raised an objection regarding the proposed accreditation for lawyers outlined in the new draft. They fear that this accreditation could compromise the independence of lawyers and contradict existing legislation. Furthermore, there are concerns that this accreditation may infringe upon the right to freedom of choice of a lawyer and a fair trial, as protected by Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

4. Potential Adverse Consequences: Perhaps the most pressing issue for Parliament is the potential negative impact of certain provisions within the draft legislation on the Curacao online gambling sector’s growth and sustainability. Lawmakers fear that these provisions may not only hinder development but also lead to significant adverse consequences for the industry.

The Call for Transparency and Clarity:

In light of these concerns, the Parliament of Curacao is calling for a legislative process that prioritizes transparency and clarity. The proposed legislation should leave no room for ambiguity and should be drafted with a clear understanding of its implications for all stakeholders involved.



In a unanimous decision, the Parliament of Curacao has made it clear that while the need for updated online gambling legislation is undisputed, the current draft falls short of the mark. The concerns over its technical character, the incorporation of expert advice, consultation with local stakeholders, and its potential adverse consequences have led Parliament to conclude that a comprehensive reevaluation is essential. The call for transparency and clarity in the legislative process underscores the importance of crafting a legal framework that respects the interests and concerns of all parties affected by the online gambling industry in Curacao. As the nation awaits the next steps in this crucial legislative journey, the hope is for a robust, effective, and equitable framework that ensures a thriving and responsible online gambling sector.

Jerome, a valuable addition to the Gamingo.News team, brings with him extensive journalistic experience in the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry was sparked during his college years when he participated in local poker tournaments, eventually leading to his exposure to the burgeoning world of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now utilizes his accumulated knowledge to fuel his passion for journalism, providing the team with the latest online scoops.

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