Malta temporarily derails Cyprus bid to regulate online gambling

News on 29 Sep 2017

The Cyprus government’s initiative to legalise, licence and regulate online gambling has effectively been derailed – albeit temporarily – by an adverse opinion from EU member Malta.

The three month mandatory standstill period during which other EU members were invited to study and comment on the Cyprus draft law was set to expire this week, but has been extended to year’s end following Malta’s comments.

Cyprus submitted its draft towards the end of June this year, advising that it planned to levy a 10 percent tax on GGR for online sports betting operators servicing Cyprus punters, with a further 1 percent of net revenue to be paid towards responsible gambling infrastructure and measures, and an additional 2 percent which would be dedicated to sports development on the Mediterranean island.

Applications have been invited from sports betting companies, and eight international firms have already been granted “transitional” licensing, including bet365 and Sportingbet.

Under the proposed Cyprus online gambling legislative changes, online casino and betting exchange action remains prohibited, with tough punitive measures against players and operators provided for transgressors.

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