Gambling sector Curaçao indignant about publications Groene Amsterdammer and Investico

“Calling it character assassination by Dutch journalists”  


WILLEMSTAD - “Recent publications by Investico and De Groene Amsterdammer, just like a publication by Follow the Money in November 2021, are downright defamatory to the online gaming sector in Curaçao. And the Radio Docu of the VPRO program Argos to be broadcast is not expected to be different. Apparently, it is necessary to commit character assassination on the sector time and time again, without verification of claimed facts,” says the Curaçao Online Gaming Association (COGA) in a press release.  


COGA says that there are so many inaccuracies in the publications that there is no start to name them all. “The publications are one-sided, tendentious, grievous and cause great damage to the reputation of the online gaming sector but also to Curaçao in general.”  

The board of the Curaçao Online Gaming Association has participated in the publications by the motivated answering of questions from journalists. The questions presented by the COGA showed that the journalists were biased and that they were based on incorrect information. The COGA therefore sent an extensive "fact-checker" of an article from the Dutch online platform Follow the Money about the online gaming sector, which appeared in November 2021. The COGA notes that little to nothing has been done with all this material. The principle of recovering has only been applied for the appearance. No questions have been asked about serious suspicions based on certain sources to those parties who should have the necessary knowledge about this. 


COGA has urged the Dutch journalists to visit Curaçao and to observe the functioning of the sector itself. However, preference was for a trip to the "hiding place" of a blogger in her own words, while unclear by whom, when and why she is threatened. 


“The fabrications, the far-reaching accusations, and the suggestive clothing of certain statements, for example about the involvement of the sector in the murder of Helmin Wiels, but also about bias of a Curaçao judge, seem to be necessary for this new character assassination. The actual facts are secondary.” 


COGA stresses that hundreds of people work in the Curaçao online gaming sector. These are hard-working people, who have to passively accept that they are being considered by Dutch journalists that they are gambling mafia, criminals, and murderers. The local newspaper Amigoe placed the article by the Dutch journalists integrally in its edition of 25 May, without asking any questions to local stakeholders. It is predictable that other Dutch and foreign media will re-publish the untruths and that parliamentary questions are then asked in the Netherlands. History repeats itself. 


COGA concluded by saying that the sector is under insufficient government supervision which is a fact that is not being denied. All parties involved want this to change as quickly as possible. But that does not justify that random abuses and crimes are put in the shoes of the online gaming sector or the government in an unfounded manner. Let alone that the judiciary should be involved in these suspicions. In fact, the last suspicion makes the publications for the reader unbelievable in one fell swoop. In the meantime, the government is working hard on modernizing the sector with of course a prominent role of the government in regulation and supervision, whereby the growth of employment is an important spearhead. COGA looks ahead and makes every effort to make a constructive contribution to prosperity and employment for the country of Curaçao. 

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