SER Curaçao advises on proposal to tighten regulation of lottery sector
WILLEMSTAD, Sept. 21, 2022 – On Tuesday, September 20, at the request of the Minister of Finance of Curaçao, the Social and Economic Council (SER) issued an advisory opinion on the proposal to make some amendments to the regulations regarding the regulation of the lottery sector in Curaçao, which have their basis in the Lottery Ordinance 1909 (P.B. 1965, no. 85, as amended). The amendments proposed by the Minister include additional administrative conditions that licensed lottery vendors or permit holders – both existing and new – must comply with, when (re)applying for a number lottery permit. In addition, it is intended to impose on them the obligation to keep their records in accordance with a computerized system. Furthermore, it is the Minister’s proposal to grant supervisory and enforcement powers to the Curaçao Gaming Control Board (GCB) with respect to the lottery sector by mandate, since GCB currently does not have these powers other than the sanction power to revoke a license. The package of proposed adjustments aims to reduce the risk profile of the lottery sector in Curaçao, within which large amounts of cash circulate, to an acceptable level. Due to the cash intensive nature of the lottery business, the entire sector is considered susceptible to money laundering and other illicit practices. Since this would be at odds with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations on money laundering and terrorism financing (ML/TF), to which Curaçao is committed as a jurisdiction, this has been expected to lead to the exclusion of the lottery sector from primary banking services (de-banking) and to de-risking, the phenomenon whereby international correspondent banks terminate the relationship with, and thereby the provision of services to, local respondent banks.