Are European payment processing companies necessary for Curacao-licensed gambling businesses?

For Curacao-licensed i-gaming companies, legal structuring involving European payment processing agents is nearly unavoidable due to the following reasons:

  • For Curacao companies, opening a bank account or acquiring a payment gateway could prove to be quite difficult. For this reason, operators are making use of companies known as payment processing agents. Payment processing agent is a company, established in the European Union, which opens bank accounts, secures payment gateways and collects the payments on behalf of the online casino. If properly structured, such companies are not obliged to obtain payment service providers’ or iGaming licenses. When opening a bank account, the financial institution examines not only the agency agreement, but also the internal policies (such as AML/KYC policies) of the Curacao company; for this reason, it is important that these policies comply with the AML regulations of the EU.
  • I-gaming companies which accept payments solely in cryptocurrencies are not in need of payment processing agents for customer payment collection since the casino itself is able to open e-wallets and collect the customers’ payments in virtual currencies. Nevertheless, payment agent companies are still required in order to cover their corporate expenses, such as payments for software providers or salaries which are, usually, paid in fiat.
  • More often than not, day to day business activities, such as customer support or marketing of the Curacao-licensed gambling company are conducted from business service centers in other jurisdictions. Based on the factual operational place of the online gambling service provider and its employees, companies in other jurisdictions are utilized.
  • Citizenship and tax residency country of the ultimate beneficial owner (UBO) might as well play a role in the legal structure of the gaming operator.

From the regulatory perspective, the simpler the ownership/legal structure is, the better. However, it might not always be feasible due to the aspects mentioned above. Over the years, Nomad Law specialists worked with many different sets of factors and has perfected the legal structuring for online gaming companies. Employing the vast experience with different regulators, operational and payment processing jurisdictions, we are confident that we will be able to meet even the most complex requirements.

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