Adding digital currencies to a Curacao e-gaming license
A casino in Curacao does not have to apply for a different or additional license in order to start accepting wagers from customers in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Etherium, CBDCs or stable coins. This means that there is no specific Curacao crypto gaming license, and the gambling is not in any way different from all the other online casino activities.
There are currently no restrictions on how digital currencies can be accepted and transacted with respect to a Curacao gaming crypto license. The Curaçao Gaming Control Board is the official gaming regulator in Curacao, and has no regulations concerning digital or crypto currencies. The Central Bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten (CBCS) controls this. According to their website, there are currently no restrictions on conducting transactions with digital currencies. You should consult with GBO for up-to-date information about this.
Curacao online payment system
As well as getting the proper license, an essential step in running an online gaming operation in Curacao is to set up a complete payment processing system. It needs to efficiently provide smooth and straightforward processing of customers’ deposits, and guarantee those account holders that they will be able to withdraw quickly. Traditionally, online casinos catered for transfers in ordinary currencies like US dollars, UK sterling and euros. Now they have added digital currencies (bitcoin and others) to their range due to their advantages, including allowing players to remain anonymous, minimizing costs on transactions and rapid movement with the need for intermediary handlers.
Curacao payment methods
The payment system should at the very least cater for the following types of payment methods:
- Credit cards & debit cards
- Digital wallets
- Bank transfers
- Direct debit
- Electronic checks (e-Checks)
Digital wallets store a customer’s money in a digital account, making it easier and cheaper for international payments, avoiding bank and exchange charges. Payment service providers (such as Paysafecard, PayPal, Skrill & Neteller) guarantee that payment is processed correctly and protected.
Cryptocurrencies (digital currencies based on blockchain technology, such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Monero) where the integrity of the token is protected by cryptography, making it impossible to counterfeit. The attraction for customers is complete anonymity and avoidance of conventional banking channels for transactions.
Bank transfers (also known as wire transfers) are an old, slow and expensive way of moving funds between banks. Although most Curacao casinos still accept wire transfers, it may be discouraged because of the high level of charges in both directions
e-Checks work in a similar way as traditional paper checks do, moving funds from the customer’s bank account to the casino, but shorten the clearance rate to a few seconds. They use automated clearing houses instead of the card networks, so fees can be much lower since there are no charges for e-check acceptance. Customers may prefer this method because it is a once-off transaction, without the need for card information online, which can be hacked.
Curacao credit card payment
Credit, prepaid and debit cards (such as Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, Diners Club & American Express) are currently the most preferred online payment tools. They are directly connected to the customers’ bank accounts which means the movement of funds is coming straight from their bank through the card processing network.
Curacao payments online
The essential feature of a good online payment processing system are:
- supports the payment methods that customers know and trust
- provides localized interfaces for all languages and cultures in the target customer locales
- caters for all devices and operating systems
- optimizes their online gambling experience by providing secure and fast transactions
- handles subscription and recurring payments easily
- tracks payments
- analyzes transaction history
- interacts with your selected merchant account/payment service provider (PSP)
- has advanced tools for analysis of revenue and profits.
Before you decide on the payment processing system for your gaming operation, be sure to discuss the options with our team at GBO. We have more than ten years of experience setting up gaming businesses in Curacao.
Curacao is great for startups
If you are considering investing your time, effort and money in the eGaming industry for the first time, Curacao is definitely the location where you should establish your first operation. The obvious benefits of starting in this jurisdiction are:
- To get going with a full structure including a domiciled company, merchant bank accounts, payment services providers and everything else you need to qualify as a license holder can come out at less than €25,000
- Corporate taxation rates on profits are very low – just 2% provided your company was set up correctly from the start
- Because Curacao is a part of the Netherlands, you are able to home your parent company in a EU country, select EU banks and set up full IBAN payment processing accounts
- Gaming platform vendors recognise the Curacao gaming license as fully legitimate, so you will be able to “white-lable” the best of the breed for your own operation. No need to spend a large amount up-front which would be the case if the vendors refused to sell to you
- Players are familiar with the Curacao name and it has a high reputation of fairness and honesty, so they will respond positively to your marketing
- Finally, and most importantly, you will have the expert and friendly services of GBO with you every step of the way from initial inquiry through to opening the doors to your first customer. GBO has done this dozens of times for highly satisfied start-up customers, and we are keen to do the same for you.
How do I get a gambling license in Curacao?
To set up a Curacao online casino, you must first register a company and buy a sub-license. Our team of experts at GBO can help you take care of the necessary procedures to obtain the license, and set up your company, payments and banking accounts.
How much does a Curacao gaming license cost?
The Curacao Gaming Board does not issue or charge for gaming sub-licenses. To set up a casino operation in Curacao, you must purchase a sub-license from one of the existing Master License holders. The price of the sub-license is not fixed, but depends on the cost asked for by the master license holder.
Where can a Curacao gambling license be used?
The Curacao sub-license is valid only for operating a casino based in Curaçao that a local company wholly owns. We have over twelve years of experience and provide you with the full range of services for setting up the company and establishing the necessary payment processing and banking accounts. To find out more, consult with our experts here at GBO.
Why you need a Curacao gaming license for your online casino
Although it may be possible to create a website that offers e-gaming options without going through the steps we have outlined to get the gambling license, it is not just illegal and risky, but it also carries many negative outcomes. Making such a decision simply to avoid the costs of getting a license is extremely short-sighted and in the end will yield no net benefit. The main disadvantages are:
- Players have grown wary of gaming operators who don’t publicly prove that they are fully licensed, and are aware of the extreme danger they face when trusting their funds to such an operator. As well, no amount of marketing hype will convince them that they will not simply be cheated by games unfairly biased in favor of the casino
- Merchant banks and payment service providers are very strict when it comes to offering their services to companies that aren’t fully licensed, and trying to run a casino without these services is futile
- Owners, managers and operators of illegal gambling operations are personally liable for the consequences of their actions, and there is a high level of cooperation between government bodies and their police forces to crack-down on illegal gambling because of the way it can be exploited in money laundering and terrorist financing. It’s now not just a matter of fines and penalties, but can lead to substantial prison time if the authorities bring you before a judge
- Vendors of quality gaming software platforms are reluctant to offer their products to unlicensed operators, because this can spill over into their general reputation. As well, most players recognise the format and styles of these well-known packages, and if your website is significantly different, it will set off alarms
So, the costs of setting up a legal enterprise that is fully licensed in a recognised jurisdiction like Curacao are quite reasonable; the benefits it gives you in marketability and ease of operations are substantial, and all of this compares with the substantial risks you face of trying to do it without the license.