Are you ready for a crucial update from the Curacao Gaming Control Board (GCB)?
In response to recent developments and misconceptions, we’re here to clarify the essential authorisation rights concerning access to and usage of the GCB Portal.
It’s time to unveil the distinctions between the ‘licensee account’ and the ‘census account.’
Prepare yourself for a seamless experience as we introduce these changes effective from January 15, 2024.
Let’s dive into the details to ensure you’re well-informed and prepared for the terminology adjustments on the portal. Curacao operators, this one’s for you!
The Curacao Gaming Control Board (GCB) has released crucial information regarding access and utilization rights for the GCB Portal, building upon the Minister of Finance’s recent announcement titled “New Curacao Legislative Framework – Critical Milestones” issued on December 20, 2023.
A) Licensee Account
A ‘licensee account’ is a portal-based account designed for Curacao incorporated entities aiming to apply for a license under the National Ordinance on Offshore Games of Chance (NOOGH) regulated by Curacao Gaming Control Board (GCB). This account serves as the primary point of formal interaction throughout the license application process.
The establishment of a licensee account occurs only after the submission of a letter of authorization to the GCB. Licensee applicants, which may primarily consist of those currently operating under a contractual arrangement with the master licensor (a sublicensee), as well as new applicants and master licensors interested in operating under the new transitional regime, can create licensee accounts.
The letter of authorization must be signed by a person legally authorized to bind the applicant company (the lawful representative). This individual appoints a representative responsible for managing the gaming license application on the portal (the authorized representative).
The authorized representative, while acting in this capacity, also serves as the portal administrator, with the ability to create other user accounts featuring various input and access rights. The applicant has the discretion to choose the authorized representative, who could be an internal employee, director, a third party with a pre-existing relationship (such as CSPs, existing directors, or master license holders), or a third party with a trusted relationship (e.g., lawyers, accountants).
Here are some additional points to consider:
- The authorized representative, acting as the portal administrator, can create other user accounts only as authorized by the lawful representative. While the GCB doesn’t require disclosure of this authorization, the authorized representative must ensure that the authority has been granted.
- Master licensors, who are obligated to participate in the census (as further explained below), can open a census account independently. They will also possess portal administration rights. However, they can apply for a license through the census account only if they are appointed as the authorized representative by the lawful representative on the license account or if they open their own license account and apply on their behalf.
- In cases where an authorized representative intends to use domains already registered as part of the census (a ‘prior census’) as part of their application, they can request the GCB to transfer such domains from the census account. However, if the GCB determines that the authorized representative has acted in bad faith (e.g., the applicant had no rights regarding the domains), this may impact the application outcome or result in the restoration of domains to the census account by the GCB’s discretion.
- If a licensee account has been opened before the master licensor’s participation in the census, if a domain has been deleted, or if there has been a GCB-initiated domain transfer (as per A(3) above), the authorized representative must grant access to the master licensor to their portal to ensure accurate information for the census. The master licensor’s rights pertain only to accessing the sublicensee section of the portal, where applicant details and domains are visible.
The authorized representative is responsible for overall portal information input, access rights, and administration. It’s important to note that:
- Any licensee account applicant can apply for one or more licenses under a single account.
- Ultimate Beneficial Owners (UBOs) can have one or more licensee accounts for separate operations through distinct Curacao incorporated entities. However, UBOs’ personal information disclosures will not need to be repeated for every new license, as the GCB will have their information on record after the first application.
- Applicants can use an unlimited number of domains associated with their license.
Currently, the portal enables multiple individuals to access a single licensee account or census account, but with strict parameters available only to portal administrators.
B) Mandatory Sublicensee Registration Under NOOGH
- Master licensors are obligated to register sublicensees and their associated domains on the GCB portal to meet the ‘census requirements,’ providing the GCB with visibility over current operations.
- To fulfill this obligation, master licensors need to appoint a representative with delegated responsibility for the census account (the census representative). The GCB requires limited proof of authority in connection with this appointment, primarily the digital signature of the master licensor on the census letter of authority when opening the census account for each sublicense and related domains. The GCB is satisfied by ostensible authority and does not need to verify the legal right to bind the master licensor. Similar to the license account and authorized representative, the census representative can be any qualified third party.
- Full cooperation in the census is mandatory for master licensors, except in cases covered by A(4) above, where the master licensor reasonably believes that a sublicensee has made an application to the GCB with domains that would otherwise be part of the census. Failure to comply will require impacted sublicensees to cease operating under their master license by March 31, 2024. This means that as of March 31, 2024, if a sublicensee is not on the census with associated domains, the master licensor’s contractual support for such sublicensee’s domains must cease, unless the master licensor is reasonably satisfied that an application has been made to the GCB.
- In situations where no prior census exists for a particular sublicensee and related domains, the license account takes precedence, eliminating the need for the master licensor to open a census account related to those domains, provided that the master licensor is granted access to the license account portal, as explained in A(4) above.
- In cases where doubts arise about the validity of the legal authority of the lawful representative to authorize the application or appoint the authorized representative, the GCB has the right to conduct further due diligence to ensure the lawful representative possesses all necessary legal authorities, permissions, and consents.
- The GCB reserves the right to disable domains referenced in the census account or the license account if they appear to be inactive, promptly notifying the relevant census representative and authorized representative.
- The GCB may receive requests to delete domains from a license account or a census account when the ownership of the domain has changed, provided satisfactory evidence of the ownership change is presented to the GCB.
- Templates of the letter of authority and the census letter of authority will be available on the portal starting from January 15, 2024. Stay tuned for these valuable resources to streamline your application process.