Despite meeting the ‘white list’ criteria

Much to our surprise, the UK Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has not admitted the Netherlands Antilles onto its ‘White List’ of gaming jurisdictions to be exempt from the impending advertising ban. The new UK regulations facilitate new powers in the Gambling Act 2005 to ban gambling adverts from companies operating outside the European Economic Area (EEA). Up to 1,000 online gaming companies are expected to be banned from advertising in the UK come 1 September 2007.

Jurisdictions wanting to be included on the white list will have to demonstrate that they have in place a tough regulatory regime similar to the Gambling Act including measures that:

  • act to protect children and vulnerable people from being harmed or exploited;
  • keep out crime;
  • ensure that gambling is conducted fairly;
  • enforce compliance; and
  • ensure that gambling operators are subject to rules on money-laundering and financial probity.  

For many years already, the Netherlands Antilles (Curacao) gaming industry has demonstrated that it meets the ‘white list’ criteria, even before they were put on paper.

It is expected that the Netherlands Antilles will introduce even stricter legislation by the end of this year. Upon enactment of the new legislation, the DCMS will consider the Netherlands Antilles application again.

Karel Frielink
Curacao-based Attorney (lawyer) / Partner

Official Netherlands Antilles Government Response (11 August 2007):

Netherlands Antilles Government Working with United Kingdom to Approve Gambling Ads

The Government of the Netherlands Antilles has taken notice of the letter containing the decision of the UK Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, to not accept the recently made application to be “white listed” prior to the UK Gambling Act 2005 coming into effect on September 1st.

This application was considered by the UK Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Government of the Netherlands Antilles is encouraged to note that the remaining questions about the scope and scale of regulatory presence which were raised by the UK are all resolved with the passing and implementation of new legislation here, of which the UK has seen an advanced draft. This new legislation and its accompanying regulations has been accepted by the Council of Ministers and is now progressing through parliament in line with the timeline communicated to the UK DCMS, being December 2007.

In preparing this legislation the Government of the Netherlands Antilles has worked closely with the CIGA, the industry trade association of the Netherlands Antilles and is confident that the approval of both the UK DCMS and CIGA suggests that this is a well balanced piece of legislation that will meet the needs and standards of all stakeholders in what is an important regulatory issue, both locally and internationally.

Given the correspondence with the DCMS to date, and our own advisers, we are confident that the passing and implementation of the new legislation will allow us to be rapidly and rightly placed on the “white list” of jurisdictions in the UK. We are strengthened in this by the confirmation in the letter of the DCMS stating the UK Government opinion: “We would be willing to receive a further representation from you and consider the case again when that legislation is in place”.

As one of the longest standing jurisdictions regulating online gambling, we of the Government of the Netherlands Antilles agree with the UK’s rigorous approach in this matter, and look forward to completing the final steps needed to ensure our position, reaffirming Netherlands Antilles as a top jurisdiction for online gambling worldwide.


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