Cyprus submits revised gambling bill to EC

8 January 2018

Cyprus has resubmitted its proposed new regulatory framework for gambling after the European Commission and Malta opposed its original draft.

The EU member state’s Betting Law of 2017 was submitted to the EC in June, and contained two amended pieces of legislation aimed at remedying several earlier infringements with the 2012 law identified by the EC, in particular the perceived unequal treatment of OPAP and other gambling operators.

However, Malta and the EC lodged opinions against the 2017 draft in September, with Cyprus given three months to respond.

The new draft law grants to a gambling services provider the exclusive right to provide gambling services, with tax to be collected as a percentage of gross profits.

The state control on the provider and on the services provided will be exercised on an ex-post basis by the National Betting Authority (NBA) and on an ex-ante basis by a three-member control committee.

The Cypriot authorities said this will be done in “a consistent and systematic way”.

In a statement, Cypriot authorities added: “The draft law also provides for the strict regulation, control and supervision of the operation of betting shops used for the provision of gambling services, as well as for the strict regulation of the organisation, operation and provision of gambling services.

“In addition, the draft law authorises the ΝBA to open disciplinary procedures against the provider in case of non-compliance with the requirements of the draft law and to impose administrative fines; it also includes a number of criminal law provisions regarding offences as defined in the draft law.

“Finally, the draft law includes a number of general provisions relating to the protection of the public.”

Cypriot regulator the NBA opened a window for betting operators to apply for licences from 3 October to 3 November last year.

Bet365 is among the eight companies that have since received full Class B online betting licences.

Related article: EC delays new Cyprus online betting framework