Cyprus has effectively cut the power to online casinos and betting exchange sites by making such websites and pastimes now illegal in the country. The only form of online gambling surviving the political guillotine was sports betting, which is now to be regulated in the Mediterranean country.
The betting exchange ban also kills off any hopes Betfair may have had in avoided the disaster. Betfair had hoped that the ban would only apply to betting exchanges offering odds on Cypriot football teams, but the general ban on all betting exchanges has dashed the spirits of the world’s largest betting exchange market.
The Cypriot parliament and Ionas Nicolau – the House Legal Affairs Committee chairman have particularly made online gambling sound like a vicious disease that needs to be cut from Cypriot daily life, if quotes from the Cyprus Mail are to be believed. Mr. Nicolau is quoted to have said that gambling needs to be combated and that prosecution teams would now have the capacity to bring this about.
In a intriguing twist however, Nicolas Papadopoulos who is the House Finance Committee chairman has stated that new laws would not prevent people from gambling online in the security of their own homes. It is unclear at the present time, just exactly what it is that this means.
Sports betting companies are having a much better of time of it, it is believed. Under the new Cypriot laws, sports betting companies will be subject to revenue tax of roughly 10% in addition to a 3% charge to the newly founded gambling board. This 3% is believed to include a 2% charge to sports betting rights. 1.5% of this charge is believed to be heading directly into the pockets of the Cypriot football clubs, without whom sports betting would surely have gone the same way as other forms of online gambling. 0.5% of the charge is also believed to be heading into the pockets of other associations. It is believes that these other associations are varying sports programs, but this too remains unclear at present. The final 1% of the charge is reserved for fighting gambling addictions and assisting addicts through recovery programs.
The crackdown on online gambling is one of many currently washing over continental Europe at the moment. The European Union themselves have expressed interest in tightening the noose of illegal online gambling in Europe as have Belgium, Denmark, Serbia, Italy and Germany in recent months. All of these countries now operate a blacklist of certain sites, whilst offer licenses to those sites considered legal in their respective countries. William Hill sportsbook and Bwin for instance are inaccessible in the country of Belgium and there are growing fears the Cyprus could follow suit with their own sportsbook licenses.