Cyprus seeks EC clearance of reworked national gambling framework

The government of Cyprus has submitted its restructured national gambling regulatory framework, to be reviewed by the European Commission (EC).

Cyprus is seeking to modernise its national gambling framework, allowing for new regulations and licensing for both retail and digital betting services.

Cyprus had first submitted its ‘Betting Law 2017’ proposal last June to the Commission. The EU had requested that the Cypriot government change its gambling policy which was deemed to favour Greek gambling operator OPAP as its preferred state-partner.

Last September, EU member state Malta, had requested a ‘statuary review’ of Cyprus proposed gambling laws, seeking to consider whether Cyprus had created any barriers to free movement of goods and services in violation of the EU’s existing business framework.

Led by the National Betting Authority (NBA), the Cypriot government states that its latest EC submission is consistent and systematic, creating regulations that provide an equal treatment of gambling operators joining its market.

“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”.

Under the proposed framework, licensed bookmakers would pay a tax of 10% on net revenue generated from services, combined with a further 1% levy on net revenue which will be contributed to responsible gambling initiatives. Furthermore, Cyprus will look to implement a 2% to support sporting organisations in the country.

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