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Curacao has succumbed to the pressure from the Netherlands and agreed to tighten the gambling licensing rules.

Last week, the Dutch government announced that it had reached an agreement with its Curacao counterparts regarding “measures and structural reforms” intended to make the constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands “financially, economically and administratively resilient.”

Curacao will form a new independent regulator that will be tasked with overseeing the gambling industry and issuing licenses to interested iGaming operators. The regulatory body will be set up and ready by 1 March 2021.

Curacao has agreed to ensure that its gambling licensees “act in accordance with the laws and regulations of the countries they target.” Also, the island nation will ensure that all gambling licensees pay their required taxes and fees.

The Netherlands has been providing Curacao with “liquidity support” since April to mitigate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the island nation, which is heavily dependent on tourism. But Curacao also has an online gambling licensing regime that irks the Dutch government due to operators targeting Dutch punters.

In July, the Netherlands declared that its pandemic bailout was “no longer without obligation,” and Curacao’s failure to agree to certain conditions meant the third tranche of the bailout cash was withheld. In October, Curacao agreed to “comply with all requests” made by the Netherlands, including those “aimed at strengthening the rule of law of Curacao.”