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Dutch Critique of Curaçao’s Gambling Law Protocol Spurs Debate and Reflection



The Dutch State Secretary for Kingdom Relations and Digitalization, Alexandra van Huffelen, has expressed anxiety over the parliamentary procedure surrounding Curaçao’s planned offshore gaming bill amid mounting concerns.

Criticism mounts as Curaçao’s Ministry of Finance tabled the National Ordinance on Game of Chance (LOK) to parliament without prior review by the Temporary Work Organisation (TWO), a key Dutch oversight body for structural reforms in Curaçao. Van Huffelen deems this procedural bypass worrisome, highlighting the necessity for adherence to established protocols.

Expressing her apprehension during an official visit to the island, Van Huffelen underscored the significance of harmonizing legislative actions with the agreed-upon reform agenda. She emphasized the potential benefits of leveraging the TWO’s expertise for effective governance and legislative capacity building.

“I also note that much more and better use could be made of the support the TWO can offer,” Van Huffelen stated. “I hope that Curaçao will make maximum use of the opportunities that cooperation with TWO can offer in order to make progress.”

Curaçao’s Reform Response

Following the criticism from the Dutch government, Curaçao’s finance minister, Javier Silvania, quickly made changes to the LOK and sent it to the TWO for a thorough examination, making sure it adhered to the reform pledges. With a goal to implement by June 30, 2024, the updated Act seeks to achieve the requirements delineated in the reform plan.

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In addition, there are currently talks of enhancing the gaming laws with additional measures that center on consumer protection, technological requirements, and anti-money laundering procedures. A concentrated effort is being made to strengthen governance structures and guarantee adherence to international norms as Curaçao navigates this era of scrutiny.

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