Australia Regulators Target Online Curacao Casinos

Robert Longthorpe - Senior Writer
Robert Longthorpe
11 August 2023 in News
AU Regulators Target Online Curacao Casinos

Australia is known to be very strict when it comes to its gambling laws and has been cracking down on various companies and places that break those laws - which we frequently cover in our news blog. Just last week we talked about the Australian federal court fining Diverse Link Pty Ltd.

In recent times however, the attention of the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has sharply turned towards online casinos operating out of the Dutch Caribbean nation of Curaçao. The surge in the operations of these casinos, especially those violating Australian laws, has triggered a series of events involving diplomatic communications, and pressing for legislative changes in Curaçao.

The Heart of the Issue

It has come to light that over 90 online casinos registered in Curaçao have been unlawfully offering their services to Australian residents. This is especially concerning as Australia has stringent laws against online gambling. It's worth noting that among the global community, Australia stands with most US states in its strict stance against residents utilising online casino services.

Curaçao's digital casino landscape is vast, acting as one of its primary sources of revenue. Interestingly, while there are only four master licences available in Curaçao, offshore companies can still legally operate by acquiring a "sublicence" from one of these master licence holders in exchange for a fee. The murky waters around the ownership of these master licences and the identities of the license holders raise concerns about transparency.

The Australian Perspective

What has been particularly irksome for the ACMA is the overt targeting of Australian residents by some of these Curaçao-registered entities. Evidence suggests that several of these casinos have adopted distinctively Australian cultural references, such as local slang and iconic animals, in their promotional content and business names. This brazen marketing strategy indicates a deliberate attempt to appeal to and attract Australian clientele.

Reports from sources such as the Sydney Morning Herald have illuminated the increasing apprehension of Australian authorities over the aggressive targeting of their residents by these overseas online gambling businesses.

Diplomatic Efforts and Responses

In May 2023, the ACMA formally addressed the issue, penning a letter to Javier Silvania, the Finance Minister of Curaçao. The ACMA expressed their concerns about the continuous breach of Australian gambling laws by these sublicence holders.

By June, representatives from ACMA and Curaçao officials convened to discuss the pressing concerns highlighted in the letter. The outcome of these discussions revealed a promise of change. Curaçao intends to introduce a new licensing system by the end of 2023. Under this revamped system, current sublicense holders will need to apply afresh for regular operating permits. Crucially, the Curaçao gambling authority assured that while assessing the suitability of an operator, violations in other jurisdictions (like Australia) would be considered.

Stakeholders and Future Implications

A notable operator in this context is Although possesses a sublicence in Curaçao, it is important to differentiate it from the Australian share trading platform with a similar name. The changes in Curaçao's law could potentially benefit entities like by instilling a system with more transparency and improved oversight of licensed operators.

However, until a final statement is issued, most companies, including, do not foresee any significant operational disruptions in the immediate future. As a prominent entity estimated to be worth billions and a major sponsor for the English Premier League team Everton, is a vital player in this unfolding drama.

Looking Ahead

While the proposed changes in Curaçao's licensing system are promising, the real test will be in their effective implementation and the subsequent impact on the online gambling landscape. The developments are eagerly awaited by all stakeholders, and the next few months are poised to be pivotal in shaping the future of online gambling in relation to Australian players.

Hot Topics

Best No Deposit Bonus Casino Sites 2023
Best No Deposit Bonus Casino Sites 2023

Finding your next no deposit bonus at NZCasinoClub is as easy as finding hay in a hay-stack. We have 100’s of active bonuses!

Online Casino Bonuses
Online Casino Bonuses

If you’re looking for casino bonuses, you’ll find the best right here. We have 100’s to choose from - claim them while they last!

Best New Online Casinos 2023
New NZ Online Casinos 2023

If a new online casino wants to survive, it needs a brilliant welcome bonus. We feature the best deals at NZ’s newest casinos.

Best Real Money Casinos 2023
Best Real Money Casinos 2023

It’s the news you’ve all been waiting for: NZCasinoClub’s list of the top real money casinos in New Zealand! Discover our exclusive bonuses.

Our Top NZ Online Casinos September 2023
Get Free Bonuses Weekly!

Get the hottest bonuses delivered straight to your inbox, spam free!