Cyprus in process to expand access to online sports betting market - Betting News | Sports News | Casinos News | Gaming Reviews

Cyprus in process to expand access to online sports betting market

Online sports’ betting is getting popular with each passing day and this is almost in each part of the globe. People love to associate with anything related to sports because of their love for their favourite sport. This is the reason they indulge in watching sports live as well as if possible even bet for their favourite teams and this has opened gates for sports betting. Even many online sports betting companies are expanding their base to different countries as well as offering Sports book with the variety of options to attract new customers. Recently the Greek half of Cyprus is proceeding with plans to launch a regulated online sports betting market.

On Thursday, Ioanna Flakkou, president of the Cyprus National Betting Authority (NBA) announced that NBA would begin accepting online betting applications as of October 3.  All the gambling sites will be given a month window till November 3, to submit their applications and failing which their domain will be added to the country’s online blacklist.

Earlier in 2012, Cyprus had passed a new gambling legislation that officially banned online casino; poker and exchange betting while giving Greek gaming firm OPAP an effective monopoly over other online products. However the following year Cyprus was included in the list of European Union member states by the European Commission whose gambling legislation was considered legally sketchy under the EU’s internal market rules on the free movement of services.

This new push to regulate online betting won’t expand the list of legally approved online options but it will expand the list of companies approved to offer online betting.  As per this strategy there is also a provision for an ongoing process to award one brick and mortar casino license, the licensing of video lottery terminals at sub venues run by the casino operator and privatizing the operation of the state lottery.

In a further move Cyprus also intends to regulate OPAP’s betting games so a to break its monopoly via a legislation rather than any kind of a bilateral agreement with Greece. This change is necessary considering that the Greek government sold its one-third stake in OPAP to private operators in the year 2013.  Cyprus announced last month that they are giving three short listed casino applicants time till October 5 to submit their proposals on their integrated resort plans. The government hopes that it will announce the name of lucky licensee before year end.

Cypriot finance minister Harris Georgiades said:

“Opening up the online betting market was part of the government’s five-pronged strategy to boost tax revenue via gambling expansion.”

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