Are Curacao Online Casinos Scam?
There is no clear-cut answer to that question. Obtaining a Curacao license is relatively easy, but the easier it is to get a license, the less value it has. Nevertheless, a Curacao license is better than no license at all. At the same time, the lax regulations enabled some sub-par casinos to acquire licenses and ruin the regulator’s reputation.
To cut a long story short, we refrain ourselves from defining Curacao licensees as a scam, but we consider it relevant to outline the reasons why they apply for a Curacao license and warn you about the drawbacks of playing at such casino.
Where is Curacao?
Curacao is a Caribbean island, also known as the Netherlands Antilles. Curacao is part of the territory of the Netherlands, which makes it a European country although it is so far away from the European borders.
Which is the Gambling Regulatory Body?
The Curacao e-Gaming Licensing Authority was established in 1996 to monitor the gambling services offered by Curacao licensees. For one reason or another, Curacao gained itself the reputation of a grey jurisdiction. Its licensees cannot be deemed illegal, but they do not have the credibility of the UKGC or MGA licensees.
Requirements to Obtain a Curacao Gambling License
- Applicants must be registered as a legal entity in the Chamber of Commerce
- At least one of the company founders must be a Curacao resident
- Applicants must provide proof that players can count on technical assistance
- The games must be audited and their fairness must not be questioned
- Company’s physical servers must be located in Curacao
- The licensee must keep track of players’ personal details, and the transactions they make
The above requirements may look quite harsh, but in reality, this is the bare minimum accepted by a licensing authority. In comparison, MGA and UKGC licensees must go through thorough checking procedures before being granted a license. Then, why online casino owners apply for a license from a jurisdiction not as nearly reputable as the UKGC and the MGA? The short version is: money. The long version is published below.
Advantages of Being a Curacao Licensee
- Online casino owners pay a 2% flat tax on income
- Sales are tax-free
- There is no VAT (value-added tax)
- No need to open an office in Curacao
- Casinos can team up with many payment processors
- Short application and approval process, combined with a minimum amount of requested paperwork
- Smaller application fees as compared to the UKGC and the MGA
- Curacao license covers all kinds of gambling activities
And while the above-mentioned factors do not have a direct impact on one’s gameplay, the drawbacks may make you think twice before opening an account.
Disadvantages of Playing at Curacao Licensed Casinos
Curacao Gambling Regulator is Not a Mediator in Disputes
Let’s assume that your winnings have been unfairly confiscated, or you have opted out of receiving promotional emails, but the casino sends them regardless, or you have doubts about games’ fairness. In case the casino is a UKGC or a MGA licensee, you can submit a complaint and the regulator would carry out an investigation. Violators never escape the long arm of the law and they are either fined or their license is suspended.
However, if you face an issue with a casino that is a Curacao licensee, you cannot expect the gambling regulator to take a stance on the matter. You will have to resolve the situation on your own and get in touch with the casino management. If your attempts turn fruitless, you can submit the case to the Curacao Licensing Board. You also have to present the communication you had with casino’s officials and explain the reason why you think you have been unfairly treated.
By the way, Curacao licensees are not allowed to accept UK players unless they have the necessary permit. So, if you see that a Curacao casino accepts UK players, chances are you are dealing with a scam casino.
Curacao licensees often accept US players and even fake the games created by the online gambling pioneers. For example, you may play a certain slot in demo mode, and when you switch to a real money mode, you get low-quality graphics and background music from a different slot. The demo versions and the fake real money versions of the games are often hosted on different servers.
What’s more, casinos operating under 1668/JAZ, 365/JAZ, 5536/JAZ or 8048/JAZ licenses are accused of operating illegally as these licenses cannot be transferred to other casinos. Also, casinos with these licenses are non-compliant with the established AML and responsible gambling procedures.
Online gambling is a never-ending source of excitement and a decent income, but to avoid rip-offs and disappointments, you should read between the lines and never let sugar-coated bonus offers fool you. Last but not least, don’t forget to check the CorrectCasinos reviews and see how we rated the casino you have eyed.
See also: Safe Casinos without a German License