Ladies and gentlemen,
Thank you for joining me here today as we reflect on the significant strides the online gaming industry in Curacao has made over the past two years. It has been a period of transformation, challenges, and remarkable achievements that have brought us to where we stand today.
The forthcoming legislation, the LOK, is being assessed by the Council of Advice which is the final stage before being presented to Parliament. Prior to its enactment, from September 1st the Gaming Control Board will open the application portal for the issuance of new licenses under the current law.
I must emphasize that the developments on the 1st September do not entail any changes to the existing legislation or permissions for existing license holders. The Ministry of Finance and the Gaming Control Board will not prohibit ongoing activities of current license holders but will open up the opportunity for operators to have a license directly from the authority.
The above is the first step in the transitioning to a reformed gaming industry in Curacao. Reno Saleh of the Gaming Control Board will provide additional information on this subject hereafter.
One of the most important accomplishments of the new gambling regime is the re-positioning of Curacao as a reputable online gaming jurisdiction. We are proud to share that our efforts have led to recognition with key operators, supporting service companies including payment processors and games providers, and indeed even other comparative jurisdictions, all of whom recognize that Curacao’s alignment to recognized international standards improves the industry at large.
In order to shine a spotlight on the new and improved regime, I am excited to announce an inaugural conference and expo on our wonderful island. For the first time ever Curacao will host an industry event which will firmly establish our place on the global international gaming calendar.
GAMING EVENT IN CURACAO
The “Minister of Finance in association with SiGMA” event will take place on the 25th – 27th September and will be a convergence of international and local companies fostering valuable networking opportunities. I want to stress that this exhibition will provide a platform for local companies to showcase their expertise and services. The new legislation opens up myriad opportunities that haven’t existed previously. Corporate services, key position holders, an influx of companies setting up on the island, employment prospects and so much more – Curacao is wide open with endless new and exciting prospects and this event will provide the first chance for many locals to jump into the global remote gambling industry that will generate an estimated USD $128 billion this year.
SiGMA is a world-renowned event organizer with events in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. The “Minister of Finance in association with SiGMA” is their first Caribbean event and it is with the utmost pride that we partner such a renowned organizer for what will no doubt be an extraordinary event.
Moreover, in recognition and appreciation of the new legislation and Curacao’s new standing in the industry I am absolutely thrilled to announce that the World Poker Tour will host the Curacao Invitational Poker tournament on Monday 25th September to kick off the event. The tournament will bring together over 100 players from various sources, including invited players, qualifiers from online satellite tournaments, and qualifiers from Curacao’s own poker room.
The “main table” will see professional poker players and celebrities joining the tournament which will be recorded and showcased across the world. Furthermore, this tournament will be an opportunity for our local community to participate and witness the excitement first-hand.
In collaboration with the Curacao Tourist Board it is my honor to welcome the World Poker Tour and this exclusive event to our great island.
Thank you all for your time and commitment. I now invite Mr. Reno Saleh, who will elaborate on the license application process followed by Ms. Sixiènne Jansen who will present further details about the upcoming online gaming exhibition. Let us seize the opportunities ahead and know that our collective efforts will bring improvements the likes of which we have never seen before.
Javier Silvania, Minister of Finance in Curacao, 15 August 2023