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Curaçao-Licenced Casinos’ Alleged Illegal Activities in the Netherlands Discussed in Parliament
- July 27, 2016 By Oliver Young -
Last year we reported that there was a threefold increase in the amounts of the fines for unlicensed casino operators in the Netherlands and earlier this year it was announced that the gambling authorities in the Netherlands will be tackling mobile apps that they think is dangerous. It is obvious that the country is tightening its control on online casino gaming and it will be more difficult and more expensive for operators to offer services on the Dutch market.
Curaçao is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and it is known as a corporate heaven. Many online casino operators are based in Curaçao and are licenced and regulated by island’s authorities. Some Dutch MPs see this as a problem and they think that Curaçao’s liberal approach towards online gambling is hurting the newly adopted hard-line.
The Issue Has Already Reached the Government
It has been reported that the Curaçao gambling controversy has reached the Dutch Government and that the State Secretary of Security and Justice and the Home Affairs Minister have already discussed the issue.
The worry of the Government and some of the MPs in the Dutch Parliament is that there is an influx of illegal gambling activities from Curaçao to the Netherlands. Members of Parliament Andre Bosman from the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy and Ronald van Raak who is a member of the Socialist Party have been trying to draw attention to the issue repeatedly in the past few months and the Government finally decided to act upon their claims.
The call for an increased supervision on internet casino gaming and tighter regulations has been repeated and Dutch representatives expect a more hands-on approach from the Curaçao Government. Despite the fact that Curaçao is formally part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, its Government enjoys a very high level of autonomy.
Bigger Involvement of the Dutch Gaming Authority Demanded
The MPs that brought the issue up thought that there needs to be further action and they called for a bigger involvement of the Dutch Gaming Authority. There were certain worries that this will hurt the reputation of the island, especially since many casino operators have offices and employ people in Curaçao.
It seems that the MPs wanted to take things too far. Stef Blok who is a Minister for Housing and the Central Government Sector stated that the Curaçao Government and its Prosecutor’s Office already cooperate with the Dutch Government and that they provide supervision of online gambling. He added that it wouldn’t be right for the Dutch Government or any state body to say anything on individual companies that are based in Curaçao and their operations.
Moreover, the Dutch Gaming Authority cannot act outside the Netherlands as that is beyond the mandate of this body. The issue was discussed in Parliament and certain MPs asked for a greater involvement by the Gaming Authority. Dijkhoff, the State Secretary said that he will look into the matter.
The operations of several Curaçao-based websites in the Netherlands have already been under scrutiny and it has been reported that some of them were no longer allowed to offer their services to people who are physically located in the Netherlands.