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Cyprus to expand access to online gambli...

Cyprus to expand access to online gambling market

Published on August 02, 2016

The Republic of Cyprus is proceeding with plans to expand access to a regulated online sports betting market.
The president of the Cyprus National Betting Authority (NBA), Ioanna Fiakkou, announced on Thursday that the NBA would begin accepting online betting applications on October 3.

The Republic of Cyprus is proceeding with plans to expand access to a regulated online sports betting market.

The president of the Cyprus National Betting Authority (NBA), Ioanna Fiakkou, announced on Thursday that the NBA would begin accepting online betting applications on October 3.

The period to submit applications will last until November 3. The gambling sites that did not submit an application within that one-month window will see their domains added to the country’s online blacklist.

Back in 2012 Cyprus passed online gambling bill, approving online sports betting while simultaneously imposing a ban on online casino games and exchange betting as well as granting a monopoly to Greek gaming firm OPAP.

The new measure to regulate online betting won’t expand the list of legally approved online options; however, it will increase the number of companies approved to offer online betting.

Harris Georgiades, Cypriot finance minister, explained that opening up the online betting market was part of the government’s strategy to bolster tax revenue via gambling expansion. This strategy includes the ongoing process to award one brick-and-mortar casino licence, the licensing of video lottery terminals at sub-venues run by the casino operator and privatising the operation of the state lottery.

Additionally, Cyprus intends to regulate OPAP’s betting games via legislation rather than through a bilateral agreement with Greece. Cyprus was left with no choice given that the Greek government sold its one-third stake in OPAP to private operators in 2013.