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New regulatory changes for Germany and Curacao

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The regulatory changes and proposals that could change the gambling landscape for German and Curacao operators and players.


The online gaming industry doesn’t just require high-quality casino games and innovations to function properly.

Regulatory requirements and rules all play a vital role in the proper regulation and oversight of the industry.

Top gaming countries and regulatory bodies constantly look at new ways to create safer gaming environments for players while providing residents with the best gaming experience.

Germany’s latest proposal criticism

Germany has considered possibly removing unregulated gambling from its criminal code, but this move has been criticised.

The German justice minister, Marco Buschmann, has determined to remove section 284 from the German Criminal Code. The section bans any unauthorised gambling activities.

This has not been welcomed favourably, as many stakeholders are worried about what would happen if the country’s criminal law is relaxed.

Opposition to the new plan

Germany’s drug and addiction commissioner, Burkhard Blienert, has opposed the plan, saying that it could lead to a loss of control. Blienert fears that such changes would make the German online gambling industry even more attractive to organised crime as it would mean that unregulated gambling is only punishable as an administrative offence.

Other concerns include it becoming less likely to detect unregulated gambling and increasing the inspections done by regulatory authorities.

Blienert suggests that instead of removing the section, it could be altered to be more specific and expanded to include foreign operators.

IP and payment blocking may be implemented but not successfully limit foreign operators. The primary focus is prosecuting players accessing unregulated websites instead of locking down on foreign operators.

There is a pile-up of cases against players, but due to them being unaware of their illegal actions, most cases are closed due to lack of intent. Instead of removing section 284, it should be revised to be more effective in clamping illegal gaming operations.

Curacao's new gaming law awaits approval

It’s been a long process for Curacao as they shared their intent to revamp the iGaming regulatory structure in 2022. The main priority is to eliminate the current master and sub-licensing system. This move wasn’t welcomed as expected, and there was a lot of resistance. The biggest fear was that the new deposit limits and player KYC procedures would undermine Curacao’s place in the thriving gambling industry.

There is no telling how many Curacao licensed gaming operators will stay, but there is no mass departure. Curacao submitted the new gaming law, the National Ordinance for Games of Chance (LOK), to parliament and is now awaiting approval.

What is LOK?

LOK covers everything from setting up a new industry regulator, the Curacao Gaming Authority, to B2C and B2B licensing. It is set to become the cornerstone of the future gaming hub.

According to Finance Minister Javier Silvania, Curacao is ready to shed its reputation as being the ‘red-headed stepchild’ of the gaming industry. It is committed to holding operators accountable to international standards.

Sylvania also commented that they are excited to watch LOK progress to the next phase. He states that submitting to parliament is not just a procedural step but ‘a leap towards transformative progress.’

LOK is the product of various consultations and collaborative efforts across the gambling industry. Sylvania says that the new legislation is not just well-rounded and workable, but it also caters to the needs of current and future stakeholders. On top of that, it brings more revenue and employment opportunities to Curacao.

There are still many operators that are exploring the option of alternative jurisdictions, including Anjouan and Kahnawake. Other big contenders include the Isle of Man and Costa Rica. These jurisdictions focus on creating ways to lure operators away from Curacao. The latter is fighting back by reducing license fees under the new legislation.

The specific timelines for the final implementation of LOK will be revealed soon.

Published: January 12, 2024

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Article by Polly

CasinoWow Contributor

Hey guys, my name is Polina but my friends and colleagues call me Polly. I am truly passionate about online casino gaming and exploring the different online gambling experiences. I'm really into diving deep into topics and researching all the details. My aim is to gather the best information and write interesting articles for all the readers at CasinoWow.

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