Curacao Seeks Decentralization of I-Gaming Regulations

10 August 2002

Change is on the way in Curacao, where the Curacao Gaming Control Board has asked the central government of the Netherlands Antilles to decentralize the regulation of the island's Internet gambling industry.

A group of online gaming operators and gaming service providers in Curacao, which is one of the islands of the Netherlands Antilles, is seeking for the central government to allow Curacao to set up its own I-gaming regulations based on the national ordinance governing gaming, said Loraine D.E. Visser-Schoevers, a manger of e-business development at PriceWaterhouseCoopers in Willemstad.

"If you can see it in aspects of federal law and state law, this would be, basically, there's a country law and then all the islands have their own execution of that law," she said. "And that's what we're trying to do with the regulations."

Visser-Schoevers said the central government would still have the authority to issue Internet gambling licenses. Approximately 30 online gambling master licenses have been issued from the island.

All of the gaming control--both issuing licenses and regulating online gambling operations--falls under the jurisdiction currently, Visser-Schoevers said.

"The island government has requested the central government decentralize it, and we've set together with all the major players to get regulation rights for the island," she said.

One group that is definitely in favor of decentralization is the Gaming Control Board of Curacao. Raynold Nivillac, a director with the board, told IGN that there is hope that the authority will be transferred to the individual islands.

"It's just like a corporation, the corporation should be as flat as possible, and the decisions should be made as close as possible to the bottom of the organization," he told IGN at the Global Interactive Gaming Summit and Expo in May. "The same thing is happening on government level, and the basic philosophy is that everything that could be done by the territories--the island governments--should be their responsibility."

Nivillac said control of the Internet gambling industry was initially given to the central government because there was no gaming control at the island level at the time, and the central government had a gaming control department for brick-and-mortar casinos.

Anne Lindner can be reached at