By Renee Kingsley
Ard van der Steur, the Dutch Minister of Security and Justice raised concerns over the Curaçao online gambling industry in June 2016, during a meeting of the four justice ministers in the Dutch Kingdom.
The minister wanted better regulations in place that would provide better supervision and monitoring of the online gambling industry.
This wasn’t the first time that concerns were raised as in May 2016, MP Ronald van Raak of the Socialist Party (SP) had prepared and submitted two sets of questions targeting illegal gambling activities that originated from online casinos in Curacao and the role that multi-national accountancy firm KPMG was playing.
Klaas Dijkhoff, the Junior Minister of Security and Justice and Stef Blok, the Acting Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations have committed to look into these concerns and will look to stop illegal online casinos from Curacao from operating in the Netherlands. Curacao is a small island nation that is a part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Blok stated that the Curaçao Government is currently in the process of putting together a national ordinance to monitor online gambling activities in the country and it would be the responsibility of the Curaçao Prosecutor’s Office and the Curaçao Government to come up with stringent regulations that would monitor the online gambling industry and prevent illegal online casinos from operating.
MP Ronald van Raak also questioned the integrity of KPMG regarding its association with casino magnate Francesco Corallo and telecommunications firm UTS. However Blok stated that he was unable to address all the questions raised by Van Raak as many of them were outside his given responsibility. Blok also highlighted the fact that the Dutch Gaming Authority (DGA) does not have the authority to act outside the Netherlands but it would collaborate with Curacao to promote better structural cooperation and improvement with the Netherlands.
The DGA had launched an investigation monitoring online casino sites from Curacao that offered services in the Netherlands. In a statement, the DGA said that its investigations “Concerned illegal gambling with a limited size on the Dutch market. The investigation resulted in interventions, after which the transgressions were ended.”
The DGA used informal enforcement procedures to put a stop to illegal lotteries and imposed fines on these online gaming operators. However, earlier this month MP Nine Kooiman (SP) and Jeroen van Wijngaarden from the VVD party along with the Second Chamber wanted the DGA to take on more responsibility in St. Maarten and Curacao to put a stop to illegal gambling websites. State Secretary Dijkhoff promised to respond to this motion at a later date.