Aruba

Top Online Casinos for Aruba

Legal both for residents and foreigners in land-based and online casinos without strict enforcement.

Aruba, a constituent country of the Kingdom of Netherlands, is an island in the southern Caribbean Sea, located 20 miles north of the Venezuelan coast. With Bonaire and Curaçao, Aruba forms Lesser Antilles group of islands.

Aruba is also one of the four countries that form the Kingdom of Netherlands, along with the Netherlands, Curaçao, and Saint Maarten.

Being autonomous, excluding the Kingdom relations and defense, each country is responsible for self-governing through its laws and regulations — gambling included.

Overview

Since the purview of the Dutch Gambling Authority (DGA) is limited to the Netherlands, the gambling industry in Aruba is regulated by the Departamento di Asuntonan di Casino (DAC), working under the umbrella of Ministry of Justice.

Gambling is legal in Aruba to everybody, both in casinos based on the island and through the online operators. The residents are limited to eight monthly visits to local casinos. The legal age to gamble is 18 years.

There are quite a few legislations that apply to the regulation and supervision of the gambling on Aruba:

  • “State Ordinance for Licensing Hazard Games” (AB 1990, GT 45)
  • “Regulations on Taxation of Hazard Games” (AB 1990, GT 8)
  • “Ordinance on Lotteries” (AB 1988, GT 25)
  • “State Ordinance for Hazard Games” (AB 1990, GT 44)
  • “Lottery Decree” (AB 1988, GT 26)
  • “State Ordinance for the State Lottery” (AB 1992, GT 115)
  • “State Ordinance on Airport Gaming Devices” (AB 2006, GT 13)
  • “Ordinance on Licenses” (AB 2002, GT 1)
  • “Aruban Criminal Law” (AB 1991, GT 50)
  • “Civil Code of Aruba” (AB 1989, GT 100)
  • “State Ordinance on the Prevention and Combating of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing” (AB 2011, No. 28)

The DAC is in charge of the development of standards for gambling operations, their implementation and supervision, and the licensing of land-based and online casinos.

Land-based Casinos

Often called “Las Vegas of the Caribbean”, the first casino in the island — Aruba Caribbean Casino — was opened in 1959, by Jake Kozloff. It operated uncontested for eleven years, paving the way for the others. As of 2016, there are twelve casinos based in Aruba that host nearly 1.5 million visitors every year.

In order to operate, the casino must belong to a hotel venture and license will be granted only to the operator that runs a hotel. No separate venues are allowed, excluding the airport.

Consequently…

all major resorts have their own casinos generally open from noon to sunrise, and some of them keep slots play open for twenty-four hours.

Casinos resemble those in the US with a similar game selection of blackjack, American roulette, poker, craps, slot machines, baccarat, and Caribbean Stud Poker. The latter is of particular interest since it originated in Aruba, in 1988. To no surprise, the island hosts more than a few professional Caribbean Stud Poker tournaments.

Other peculiarities of Aruba land-based casinos include free alcoholic drinks for the players, though the frequency of waitress service vary considerably from casino to casino, and — smoking. It is, unfortunately, allowed in all casinos.

Gambling in land-based casinos is usually based on the US dollar.

Licensing

When it comes to land-based casinos — notwithstanding already mentioned details — the license holder of a casino remains liable and responsible for all casino operations including the ones delegated to a contracted operator. The licensee is not allowed to provide any form of credit to the residents. There should be no abuse of alcohol on premises, while daily supervision is delegated to a casino supervisor. The operator is to allow state casino inspectors on the premises at any time.

All aspiring operators of land-based and online casinos submit their application to the DAC. In order to comply with stipulated requirements, they are to provide general information on their business and company (incorporation details, owners’ identities, organization structure, solvability, and such), plus rules of games offered. Other information may be requested as well.

The granting of the license for online operators is done via ministerial decree, and as such is subject to ministerial discretion. The license is personal and non-transferable, issued for a period of five years.

Other than the license issued by DAC no other certificates and authorizations apply in the field of gaming.

Only two restrictions are in place for online operators: they are not to target Dutch residents of the Netherlands, and, their license is not valid within the Kingdom but instead only in Aruba and worldwide.

Market Supervision

In addition to rather loose criteria and lax standards for establishing an online casino and attaining the license, there is also a tax angle that should be noted.

Aruban tax laws do not require gamblers to pay taxes on their winnings in any type of the casino. On the other hand, the government tax the operators, plus enjoy in revenues from licensing fees that any casino must pay. Enticing opportunities for players are actually decorated with win-win situation both for business and state establishment.

While the reasons can be understood to some extent — Aruba has actively sought to diversify its economy, particularly through its off-shore activities — the measures that are to ensure the integrity of legal frameworks are simply inadequate.

Further compounding this issue are money laundering operations primarily linked to drug trafficking due to Aruba’s geographical location and travel facilities.

Players’ Protection

There are no specific set of rules and regulations for fair gambling https://lcb.org/certified-fair-gambling-certified-casinos and players’ protection in Aruba.

The land-based casinos, being part of larger and branded hotels, do have casino supervisors and are subjects of state inspectors. This setup provides the players with the protection of, at least, the tendency to avoid controversies arising from players’ complaints.

However…

the online casinos, with global reach, are in effect left to be almost self-regulated.

The first obstacle, of course, is the license itself — it is not the gambling certificate but business operation permission. Consequently, it lacks software code quality, independent evaluations on RNG, relevant reporting systems on financial data and games played, not to mention hardware specification.

Then comes the enforcement. Once operators go live, the DAC no further controls the:

  • Requirements for documented gaming instructions and rules;
  • Assurances about payout tables with odds configuration and certification;
  • Responsible gambling measures in place;
  • Specialized support service for players;
  • Communication guidelines regarding messaging and target groups.

The bottom line?

While this beautiful Caribbean country and nation have much to offer, it is not meant for iGaming players. Therefore, we strongly advise you to…

avoid playing in online casinos with Aruba license, at least for the moment.

If you do, however, choose to follow your guts and play, please be sure to check your online casino on our Rogue and Warning List in order to be sure that games you’re about to play are certified as fair by independent evaluators.

Aruba, a constituent country of the Kingdom of Netherlands, is an island in the southern Caribbean Sea, located 20 miles north of the Venezuelan coast. With Bonaire and Curaçao , Aruba forms Lesser Antilles group of islands. Aruba is also one of the four countries that form the Kingdom of Netherlands, along with the Netherlands , Curaçao, and Saint Maarten. Being autonomous, excluding the Kingdom relations and defense, each country is responsible for self-governing through its laws and...
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