Cyprus Proposes Amendments to Online Gambling Rules

Published Friday, March 05, 2010 -

Cyprus's failure to legalize gambling establishments on the island has created a burst of activity on casino web sites. The activity in Cyprus reached approximately €2.5 billion in 2008 and it is expected top over €5 billion by 2012, a government official has commented recently. Cyprus is struggling with it's identity as Turkish politics invade it's space and calls for more action to protect Turkish cultural influences. The government of the island has steadfastly refused to give a legal face to land based casinos and gambling on the grounds that it is immoral and not in keeping with the principles of the people. Online casinos are widely available in Cyprus operating through legally registered servers in other EU countries. The House Legal Affairs Committee, chairperson, Ionas Nicolaou, said, “Ninety-five per cent of electronic gambling services in our country operate legally because they are provided over the internet and there is no authority (in Cyprus) where one can apply for a permit,” Most of those servers are located very close to Cyprus on the island of Malta. The absence of any specific legislation, creates a loophole in Cyprus that makes organized online gambling illegal and the offence chargeable but only if the perpetrators are caught in the act. Individuals who are playing online casinos from their homes are not breaking the law. Global Betting and Gambling Consultants, have completed a study on internet gambling in Cyprus that has shed light on the number of Cypriots that are playing and how much they are spending. The numbers are revealing and have prompted the House Legal Affairs Committee to discussed the problem and have suggested that legislation was coming to get the situation under control. Lawmakers propose to amend the law with a proposal that would exclude electronic gambling from this list of services that the E.U considers universal.


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