Australian media watchdog seeks cooperation with Curaçao in enforcing gambling regulations
Ahead of the publication of Curaçao’s new gambling regulations, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has reached out to finance minister Javier Silvania in an effort to prevent Curaçao-licensed operators from targeting Australian players.
iGaming NEXT has learned that Curaçao has made significant progress in developing its new licensing model and that the new gambling regulations will be revealed in the coming weeks.
Curaçao’s intention to implement a new iGaming regime and tighten up oversight of the industry did not go down well with some sectors of the iGaming industry that were in favour of the island’s lenient approach to gambling regulation.
iGaming NEXT discovered that Curaçao-licensed companies were working on back-up plans behind-the-scenes due to concerns that the island would move to introduce new deposit thresholds and trigger KYC procedures.
Last year, Silvania said he had listened to the concerns of the industry and Curaçao was moving towards “more innovative legislation” as part of a broader process to modernise its gaming sector.
Curaçao’s new gambling law is called the National Ordinance on Games of Chance, or LOK for short.
Under the LOK, companies will be able to apply for both B2C and B2B licences, which will be valid for a period of five years.
The current structure of master licences and sub-licences will no longer be allowed.
A letter from Australia
In a recent development, Silvania shared a letter on his Facebook page that he received from the Australian media watchdog ahead of the publication of Curaçao’s new regulatory regime.
The ACMA pointed out that it had identified several Curaçao-licensed websites that are operating in Australia in breach of Australia’s 2001 Interactive Gambling Act, which prohibits iGaming and in-play sports betting.
The ACMA said that it notified both the online casinos and their master licensees to cease offering gambling services in Australia.
Despite the Australian regulator’s writing, the companies continued to operate in Australia, the ACMA said.
“This may be relevant to CGA’s assessment of the suitability of a gaming operator to hold a licence under Curaçao’s reformed regulatory regime,” the ACMA wrote in its letter to Minister Silvania.
The Australian regulator added that due to the global nature of online gambling, it can be challenging to enforce Australian law when an entity is located overseas.
Therefore, the ACMA said it “would welcome any opportunity to engage with the CGA once established, to share information or coordinate action against the provision of online gambling services in breach of Australian laws”.
Earlier this year, the ACMA already issued IP blocking orders against several Curaçao-licensed websites.