NEW CYPRUS BETTING LAW
Cyprus has recently enacted the Cyprus Betting Law of 2012 (the “Law”) for the purposes of regulating betting and on-line betting activities in Cyprus.
The aim of this Law is to regulate and permit betting on sport activities only whilst at the same time prohibiting any other form of betting activities which are not expressly permitted under the Law, as well as all other forms of gambling, lucky and casino games. In this respect, any betting activities which do not fall within the betting activities permitted under the Law (and provided the relevant licence is issued for such permitted activities) would be prohibited.
The Law regulates and/or permits betting and the provision of betting services as defined in the Law and provides for the provision of such betting services over the internet provided the relevant licences are issued. As per the provisions of the Law, betting activities which are permitted under the Law are considered as covering only betting on any form of sports or other events which is carried out pursuant to a licence issued pursuant to the provisions of the Law. Sports’ events are defined by the Law as covering any sport which is carried out by physical persons for which physical strength and skills are required. The term “other events” is not defined.
Even if a person has a licence to provide such sport betting activities which has been issued by another EU Member State, the Law would still require that relevant person to apply for and obtain a licence under the Law in order to provide these activities in Cyprus. Licensed providers of such permitted cross-border activities in other EU members states would therefore still need to obtain an additional licence from Cyprus in addition to that that they hold from another EU Member State.
The express prohibition of all gambling, casino and lucky games (including those provided on line), as well as betting exchange and spread bets is a fundamental characteristic of this Law. We would also like to add that in addition to gambling, lucky games and casino games, the Law expressly prohibits the possession or operation of all kinds of electronic game machines, slot machines, equipment or other inventions pursuant to which various games or other activities can be played or accessed such as for example poker, horse racing, motor racing, dog racing, fruit machines and bingo.