SER Curaçao advises on renewed gaming bill
WILLEMSTAD, March 22, 2023 – The Social and Economic Council (SER) of Curaçao issued today its advice to the Minister of Finance on the renewed version of the draft National Ordinance on Gambling, abbreviated as LOK 2023 (Landsverordening op de Kansspelen 2023). The LOK 2023 aims, in view of social and technological developments, to modernize the current legislation on organizing games of chance, or giving the opportunity to do so, and to entrust an independent and expert body with the enforcement of rules regulating games of chance and combating and preventing gambling addiction. This newly established gaming authority will be tasked with implementing the LOK 2023 and rules to be established by or pursuant to national decrees, containing general measures, as well as tasks assigned to it by or pursuant to other national regulations.
On May 28, 2021, the SER of Curaçao advised on an earlier version of the LOK and also on the bill on gaming tax (LOKS) submitted to the council for consideration at the time. The SER then, after a thorough analysis and consideration of all interests involved in the proposal, reasonably concluded that both bills did not adequately meet the purpose for which they were designed as an integral part of a modernization package for the entire Curaçao gaming industry, including online gaming.
The recommendation of the tripartite advisory body, consisting of representatives of employer and employee organizations and independent experts, at that time was to conduct extensive coordination with the (online) gaming industry in a very careful and targeted manner, framed within a comprehensive vision, and to actually incorporate the industry’s input, with the help of tax advisors from both inside and outside government and financial experts, into renewed draft legislation of the modernization package already designed in 2019. Furthermore, the SER recommended an ex-ante evaluation of the financial, fiscal and economic implications of a renewed LOK and to move forward on this issue in a careful and diligent manner.
The government followed the 2021 SER advice and submitted the LOK 2023 to the advisory body late last year for its opinion.