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Curacao gambling license: the ideal solution for startups

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If you want to start your business quickly and with minimal investment, Curacao gambling license is the perfect choice.
The license gives you a wide range of jurisdictions to work in, with only a few banned countries (like the US, UK, and some others) to stay away from.

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Jul 20, 2023 iGaming

Curacao gambling license cost is the best on the market

Curacao gambling license cost is the best on the market. This is one of the reasons why it’s the most popular gambling license in the gaming industry.

The compliance level is manageable by any startup.

This is very important if you want to start fast and don’t want to spend time writing a 187-page-long business plan.

Compared to other popular international licenses:

  • The Kahnawake license is three times more expensive than the Curacao license. It is a master license, but it also has its pros and cons, so be sure to check out my post here to learn more.
  • The Maltese MGA license is also three to four times more expensive, but it’s a Tier-1 license. It’s better suited for companies looking to expand into the European regulated market. Learn more in this post.
  • The Isle of Man license is six to seven times more expensive than the Curacao license. Like the Maltese MGA, it’s also a Tier-1 license and is highly regulated. Make sure you’ve six to twelve months and a solid budget before considering it. Learn more about the Isle of Man gambling license here.
personal gambling license

Important Information

Curacao's gambling license is currently undergoing some important regulatory changes. This affects all active operators, software providers, and platform providers. We recommend you to talk to one of our experts before applying for a Curacao license. Beware of scammers who claim that it's easy to get the Curacao gambling license. You can lose your money.

It can take anywhere from six weeks to twelve months to get your license

If you are in a gambling business, you’ll need to consider several factors before moving forward with a license.

The most crucial factor is time. Even though many advisors offer a Curacao gaming license in two weeks, it’s not quite true. There’s a trick to how long it takes to get a Curacao gaming license.

Note: There are four Curacao master license holders (licensors). They have the right to issue a sublicense. You can only apply for one Curacao sublicense!

A list of all four Curacao master licensors

Curacao master license holders:

  • Antillephone N.V
  • Gaming Curacao (GC)
  • Curacao eGaming
  • Curacao Interactive Licensing N.V

Benefits of the Curacao License

Access to markets
A Curacao gambling license doesn't restrict you from doing business anywhere, except in countries like the USA, UK, Netherlands, and a few others. This license still allows you to enter many thriving markets.
Gaming License Tax
There is a 0% game tax for the Curacao license. This means you don't have to pay anything except the initial licensing fee and yearly prolongation costs. It makes this license super effective for every startup and allows to minimize expenses right from the beginning.
Effective tax rate
The corporate tax rate for companies in Curacao ranges from 0 to 4%
Variety of games and payment options
Access to the leading software providers that allow you to offer the best games and take bets on all leagues in all markets. You'll also get access to a wide range of payment system providers.
Fast application procedure
You can get the license in just four weeks, but you'll need to have a proper business setup first. So, from the beginning of the licensing process to when your business is ready to go, it will take just two months.
Cover all gaming verticals with one license
You can operate online casinos, sports betting, lotto, table games (such as poker, blackjack, baccarat, and others), and other games of chance with the license of Curacao.

What master license holder do you need for your gaming license?

It’s the same Curacao sublicense and it makes no difference from a business point of view which one you have.

You can choose the master license holder, but they are all different and work differently.

One licensor may need extra documentation and a zoom interview. The other two may approve the gambling operating licence with the standard package of documents.

What makes the biggest difference is the time, the price, and the procedure of every master.

Here comes the secret…

Master license holder decide whether you get your sublicense or not. Period.

You can say what you want, you can get upset, and you can cry, but, your license will be delayed for many months. If you don’t know what you’re doing.

Yes, you got that right…

If you make a poor decision picking the wrong license vendor and then make mistakes along the way…

You’ll get in trouble!

It will take you significantly longer to get approval from the licensor. And you will be doing the legwork!

We’re talking months of pain and agony for something that should take a couple of weeks!

What is the reason for such a big difference between master licenses?

The main reason is that each licensor follows a set of rules, AML, and KYC procedures when processing each application.

They do a background check to ensure the beneficial owner has a good reputation. and the experience to run the business.

They have different views on many things, including business models.

  • Some of them will reject the application if you plan to launch a smartphone application.
  • You’ll also be rejected if you want to become a software house and develop your own games. This is because only one or two of them want to work with your software startup.

Every licensor is different and they provide different services. So, you’ll need a different strategy to succeed.

It also means that different applications will have different costs. The time commitment required to get the license will change as well.

So if you don’t know what you’re doing, you’ll be using a screwdriver to hammer in the nail.

It will take time to resolve discrepancies and coordinate changes with the licensor.

Procedure for obtaining the Curacao gambling license

01
01
Background check obtaining the necessary documentation
We work with you to put together a comprehensive package of documents, ensuring that each item is perfectly compliant with the strict requirements of the regulatory authority. We also conduct a thorough preliminary review to identify and address any potential errors or inconsistencies. This thorough process expedites the approval process and puts you on the fast track to regulatory success.
02
02
Incorporation of the company in Curacao
Your company must be incorporated in Curacao and have a proper structure. We help our clients to create a suitable ownership structure that meets their needs.
03
03
Filing of license documents
We work with the regulatory authority to ensure that your application does not sit on a dusty shelf for months. This is the final step before your license is approved.
04
04
Opening of an agent company
You may need a payment agent company that offers you a wide range of payment methods and the ability to open bank accounts. We will help you make the right decision depending on your business model and make it in the shortest possible time
05
05
Opening a bank account for your online gambling business
Bank accounts in the gambling industry are challenging. We will show you different options and choose the best place to open a bank account for your business. We will also open it for you so you don't make mistakes with this process.

If you declare that you want to invest five million dollars in your online gambling business, you should be able to explain it

We had a client who wanted to open his first online casino. He came to me and my team to help him with his Curacao gambling license.

He was alright. He said that he just sold his business and has five million dollars to invest in his new venture.

His application was rejected. The reason was that he couldn’t provide any information to prove his story. No sales agreements, no invoices. Nothing. He lied to look better than he is.

Why am I telling this story?

We see many business owners who believe that buying a license is like buying a carton of milk!

This isn’t an exaggeration… Some people are like “We have cash, which means we make rules.”

It’s a myth and has nothing to do with the reality!

It’s a licensor’s job to make sure you have everything you need to provide quality service to your clients. And they know how to do their job well.

This also means that they don’t approve any company that’s suspect.

You have to realize one crucial thing…

Licensors take risks when issuing a license. So if you want other people to bet at your curacao licensed casinos or sports betting platform, then they have to believe in you.

You are starting a high-risk business and you have to be credible to get the license.

If you say you have five million dollars to invest, you have to show proof of wealth.

Or your application will be declined

Any licensor will reject your application in a heartbeat if you have a black spot on your reputation.

Here’s the average time it takes each licensor to get through the various steps of the application:

curacao gaming licence

The biggest advantage is that you can have a Curacao license ready in six to eight weeks

  1. It will take you between nine and twelve months to get the Maltese (MGA) and the Isle of Man license.
  2. The Kahnawake license will take you about four months.

Tip: I know of promises to get the license in a few weeks. This is a trick used by many companies to win the business.

  • I know at least three people that were promised a Curacao gambling license in a few weeks. Yet they are waiting in a line for several months already.
  • Every month we have several inquiries to help to speed up the process, because “it takes too long now!”

There are several reasons why your application takes more time

  • You are doing a bad job getting the required paperwork. (Sometimes we have to fly and meet clients to motivate them to do the work).
  • You have a complicated custom product (like a poker app) that requires also RNG certification.
  • You got misled by license vendors.
  • They simply preyed on you without having any decent experience.
  • Your application can be declined in this case and you will lose your time and money.

Whatever that is… it costs you time and money!

But it shouldn’t be like this…

If you want to start online casino or sports betting then you can get your license in six to eight weeks! Without any problems!

Curacao license will also save tens of thousands of euros, which you can invest in marketing.

At the end of this period, you’ll receive license information that you can place in the footer of your website.

Your customers can then easily check if your company has an active license.

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What increases the costs for the license?

Each licensor sets the price for the license independently. There’s no correlation between the price and the time it takes to review your application.

The most expensive option includes ten approved domains and it is also the longest to get. Other licensors have two domains in a standard package.

To determine your price, we need to understand a few things:

  1. Your business model matters a lot. This will help us to understand the time that is necessary to get your license.
  2. Deadlines. A year and a month when you want to start your business. The last thing you want to do is to postpone your launch for several months.
  3. Information about the beneficial owners of the company and their nationality.
  4. Your market.

It’s only then we can draw an optimal timeline for your business.

Requirements for a Curacao gambling license

No criminal record for all beneficiaries and the director of the company. If you are the sole beneficial owner and also want to be the director, you must provide a Clearance Certificate in your name. We will take care of the process to make sure you do this the right way.
You'll need to provide proof of address. Usually, this is not a problem, as any utility bill will do the job. Please talk to us if you cannot provide utility bills or if you are an expat living in another country.
If you are a software vendor developing games for operators, you will need certification from major vendors like iTechLabs, GLI, and BMM Testlabs. We make sure that the process is smooth and simultaneous so you don't waste extra time acquiring the license.
The gambling company must be registered in Curacao. We establish a company that meets the regulatory requirements. You don't have to travel anywhere to ensure the successful incorporation of your business.
Functional website at the end of the licensing process. We work with all platforms to ensure all regulatory requirements are met and your website is operational at the end of the licensing process.
Proof of income and proof of wealth. Every startup is different, and we need to show the regulatory body where your business funds come from. This is about being clear and following the rules.

This isn’t a process that goes by the book. And you have to be willing to pay a price or you’ll end up like John

John came to me six months ago to apply for a license for Curacao. (That’s not his real name, of course)
His new startup is using some opportunities on Twitch.com and he needed a license to grow his business.
After a very long and detailed conversation, we told him that the actual price would be $10,000 higher than he had been promised by some other company. He also had to wait for six to eight months.
I explained the difference between all options, but $10,000 is a significant amount of money for a startup.
Six months later, he was exhausted, horrified, and shocked that he had lost $20,000 on the license he never received.
He made a bad decision because he believed it was the same piece of the same pie.
How do I know this? John told me. I get to listen one – two stories like this every month.

Another factor that increases the price is the cost of the whole structure.

If you want your license to be an investment and not an expense, you’ll also need a payment company and a bank account.

You can save hundreds of thousands of dollars on taxes in the very first year if you are smart about the structure. It makes it pretty easy to justify the initial cost of the license.

curacao gaming license register

Note: Banks and payment system providers have their own rules and regulations! They will not cooperate with companies that do not have a Curacao gaming license!

curacao online gambling license

The application process for Curacao online gambling license

1. Background check of the beneficial owners

Compared to tier-1 licenses, the background check on beneficial owners is tolerant. (They take the extra mile in Malta or the Isle of Man).

Even so, it is a general AML and KYC process. You must have a good reputation and not have any criminal background to get the license.

What documents do you need to start the process?

Each UBO must submit the same package:

  • Copy of passport
  • Proof of address
  • Detailed curriculum vitae
  • Business plan
  • Bank reference
  • Certificate of police clearance
  • Source of funds
Download all templates for a Curacao License now
Download templates of all documents required to apply for a gaming license.
Download a List

2. Incorporation of the company in Curacao

You must first incorporate the company. Incorporating a company in Curacao takes between two and four weeks. (We handle this process entirely, so you do not have to fly anywhere.)

  • Companies in Curacao can have one or more beneficial owners.
  • Curacao companies must have a managing director.
  • The beneficial owner and the managing director can be the same person.

3. Submitting license documents

The final step is the license approval itself. If you didn’t try to cut corners with your application, your license will be approved within two or three weeks.

The more Beneficial Owners you have, the longer it will take to get the license. And more expensive! We recommend you keep this number between one and four so you do not waste time.

Tip: Each extra Beneficial Owner may raise more questions. You have to be prepared to take this route. This will stretch out the entire process in time.

The more beneficiaries you have, the longer it will take to get the gaming license. And more expensive! We recommend you keep the number of beneficiaries between one and three so you do not waste time.

4. Payment Agent Company and bank accounts for online gambling companies

We incorporate a Payment Agent Company right after the Curacao company is ready.

You don’t have to wait until you get your license approved, because this will save you two to three weeks.

Ideally, you should have your Payment Agent company and license issued at the same time.

Curacao gambling license countries you can start online casino in (and restricted countries).

Where can you operate with the license?

Curacao prohibits any business with its own citizens. You can’t do any transactions with citizens of the USA, the Netherlands, France, the Dutch West Indies, and Australia.

curacao license countries

Note: It is easier to block access for these geographies than to deal with the consequences.

Then there is a list of curacao gaming license restricted countries that ban online gambling in any form. It does not matter what license you have, it’s still against the law to run a business there.

Technically, all the risk is on you if you decide to test how deep the waters are. This includes the United Arab Emirates, Brunei, Cambodia, North Korea, and others.

Then there is a group of countries with their local licenses. Local regulators track the market and block domains if they don’t have a local license. These include Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, and some others.

Download a complete list of two hundred and twenty-one countries and territories you should stay away from if you don’t want to lose the license.

Find out all the countries you should avoid with Curacao gambling license.
Curacao gaming license restricted countries. List of all sixty-three countries and territories you should stay away from.
Download a List

What is the Curacao gambling license?

Curacao offers licenses for e-gaming companies that are based in its own territory. The island is located in the Caribbean and is a country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It is located about sixty kilometers north of the coast of Venezuela.

The Curacao Gaming Control Authority handles issuing e-gaming licenses.

This is one of the four countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. This allows enjoying the benefits of the European Union while having super-low corporate income tax.

The jurisdiction’s single license covers all forms of interactive iGaming, including casinos, sports betting, exchanges, lottery, games of skill, and games of chance.

Why do You Need The Curacao license in the first place?

Let me ask you this: do you need the license or do you need the ability to run your business smoothly?

  • With the right structure that your new company has in Curacao, you can save massively on taxes. I’m talking hundreds of thousands of dollars you can save in your bank account or invest in marketing.
  • In most cases, serious players want to see the license before they swipe the credit card. Sharks don’t use unlicensed operators.
  • You’ll be able to connect a variety of payment service providers.
  • You’ll be able to have bank accounts.
  • Top software providers don’t work with unlicensed operators. In this post, you can check Top iGaming Software Brands Across the World in 2023 (including prices)

It’s much easier to do all this while setting up your business in Curacao, saving you six to eight weeks of time.

Let’s say you need a payment gateway. Then you need a payment company in the European Union. We recommend Cyprus because it’s the tax haven in Europe.

All big boys including stake.com and roobet.com have a Payment Agent company in Cyprus.

With this setup, you can start processing payments immediately after you get the license.

Besides, this way you can plan your taxes and distribute them wisely.

Curacao gaming license cost.

Depending on the package, license fees will vary between 20,000 and 35,000 EUR. This is including incorporation, proper structure, and bank account.

Here’s the table with the actual license cost for each feature.

Cost of Incorporation, License, and Shared Hosting Space
EUR 20,000.00 – 30,000.00 (the most expensive package includes ten domains and additional work associated with the number of UBOs)

Dedicated Hosting Space (shall you decide to host your business on Curacao servers)
Additional EUR 1,500.00

Bank Account in EUR (including Merchant Payment / PSP accounts for processing money)
EUR 2,950.00

Do you want to know what can stop you from getting the license?

Some applications are rejected by licensors. On average, we’ve a problem with one in ten applicants.

Here are the four main reasons your application may be denied:

  • Having a Nominal UBO is against the rules. Every Beneficial Owner is subject to a background and reality check. Inconsistencies and inaccuracies are uncovered. (Licensors know every single trick.) You can’t be a seventy-years-old man without any professional experience. No one will believe that you are willing to bet your life savings and open an online casino.
  • Your business plan isn’t an essay for a grant. Licensors will read it and ask questions if they need more explanation. Make sure your numbers are realistic and the whole story makes sense.
  • Your past is important. You must provide certification that you’ve no criminal record to apply for the license.
  • If you held another license (such as a Maltese or Kahnawake license) and lost it for some reason, your application will also be denied. Licensors know when someone is trying to trick the system. You can’t have unresolved issues with other licenses before applying for a new one.

Conclusion

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Max Kerry

Maxim is the founder of LicenseGentlemen.com We help our small and large clients with online gambling licensing, platforms and payment system providers. After more than 300 successful licensing projects, we know exactly what problems every startup faces. We help our clients get the license quickly, choose the best platform and connect all payment methods so they can focus on their business. We also produce free content you can find on this blog or on YouTube.

What will you get working with LicenseGentlemen.com

Quick turnaround.
We focus only on licensing and structuring to guarantee you get your license as soon as possible. Without any delays. We achieve this by maintaining our relationships with all key regulators which is important during the application process because it allows us to resolve issues quickly without wasting time.
Your business needs to make money
In addition to licensing, you also need to make sure that the entire setup is done properly - you need to be able to connect payment system providers and generate cash flow. You stand to gain a lot more if your companies are located in the right jurisdictions that allow you to optimize taxes. Instead of opening just any business, we'll carefully review your business and show you options that can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Ongoing Support
We understand you want immediate answers. You'll have a dedicated channel where you can ask any question and get an answer immediately, saving you days and allowing you to get licensed quickly.
Free Consultation
With over 300 successful projects, we have worked with more than 300 companies and not just delivered the license. We'll show you the best platforms you need for your needs. You'll also learn which payment solutions are right for your market and work like clockwork on your website.

FAQ

Which is the biggest online casino operating under the Curaçao license?

It is difficult to determine a largest online casino, as private companies do not usually disclose financial information. In any case, stake.com and 1xbet.com are in the list of the TOP-10 largest online casinos with a license from Curaçao. According to the Financial Times, Stake.com generated 2.6 billion in gross revenue in 2022.

Where is the easiest place to get a gambling license?

Curaçao is known for offering relatively accessible gambling licenses. While the process may be simpler compared to some other jurisdictions, it still involves regulatory scrutiny to ensure compliance with international standards. The Curaçao, Anjouan and Tobique licenses are definitely the easiest licenses for start-ups to obtain.

Who issues Curacao licenses?

Curaçao master-license holders (also known as regulators) can issue sublicenses to other operators. Currently there are four regulators in Curacao.

How to get a Curacao gambling licenсe with our help?

If you’re interested in obtaining a Curaçao gambling license, it’s advisable to work with experienced professionals or service providers who specialize in facilitating the application process. We will guide you through the steps, help with compliance, and assist in acquiring the necessary licenses, ultimately streamlining the process for your casino or gambling operation. We’ve acquired over 300 gambling licenses for online casinos worldwide! Contact us for more information.

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