CURACAO SET TO TIGHTEN ONLINE GAMBLING REGULATION?
Island government reacts to criticism in the Dutch parliament.
It appears that the sustained efforts of Dutch MPs Ronald van Raak and Andre Bosman to draw attention to what they claim are questionable and irregular practices within the Curacao online gambling regulatory jurisdiction have prompted a reaction from the government.
Local media reports in The Daily Herald Tuesday are that the Acting Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Stef Blok and State Secretary of Security and Justice Klaas Dijkhoff are taking the concerns of the parliamentarians seriously.
On Tuesday minister Blok replied to the two sets of written questions submitted two months ago by Van Raak, revealing that he and State Secretary Dijkhoff are serious about preventing the expansion of illegal gambling activities from Curaçao in the Netherlands.
He revealed that the Dutch Minister of Security and Justice Ard van der Steur had held a meeting of the four Justice Ministers in the Kingdom in early June in which he had stressed the need for supervision on internet gambling.
Blok also revealed that a national ordinance is in preparation by the largely autonomous Curacao government which will "regulate the supervision on online gambling."
Minister Blok emphasised that it was the responsibility of the Curaçao Government and of the Curaçao Prosecutor’s Office to secure the proper supervision of online gambling.
However, minister Blok sidestepped more pointed questions in the Van Raak memo, saying it was inappropriate for him to comment about individual Curaçao companies, company structures and citizens as this was outside his authority.
Van Raak had asked several questions regarding the reported role of KPMG in relation to the telecommunications company UTS and the casino owner Francesco Corallo.
Blok noted that the Curaçao Prosecutors Office has shown that it acts against wrong-doings that affect the integrity of the local Government and which involve the gambling industry, and he reiterated that the Dutch Gaming Authority does not have a mandate to act outside the Netherlands, and that as such it cannot intervene in the local gambling industry.
However, following a widely supported July 5 motion in the Dutch parliament by MPs Nine Kooiman and Jeroen van Wijngaarden, who called for more involvement in Curacao by the Dutch Gaming Authority, minister Blok said that he had “emphasised that particular attention was needed on this matter,” and that State Secretary Dijkhoff would respond to it at a later time.
Illegal online gambling in the Dutch market offered by Curacao-licensed websites has been investigated by the Dutch Gaming Authority, and has resulted in interventions that shuttered several illegal operations, the minister claimed, adding that the Committee for Financial Supervision did not have jurisdiction to involve itself in Curacao issues, and there were no plans to change this.