It has surfaced that the Cypriot Ministry of Finance has submitted a draft bill to the European Commission for clearance, which intends to regulate all forms of online betting and gambling other than horse racing.

The proposed statute shall establish a Cypriot Betting Authority to regulate the gambling industry, which shall accept, review and decide over applications for relevant licences and permits.

The key provisions envisaged are:

  • Providers of gambling services must be registered with the National Betting Authority. Persons eligible to registration must be companies limited by shares incorporated in Cyprus or abroad with the sole object of conducting collective gambling and with an issued and paid-up capital of at least €500.000.
  • Players must be over 18 years of age and must hold a duly granted account with a licensed provider of gambling services.
  • Bets may be placed only via credit cards, debit cards, electronic transfers, cheques and other means approved by the proposed Betting Authority, with strict limits on transaction charges.
  • The operator shall be obliged to maintain players’ accounts and to credit all amounts due to the registered player.
  • Providers will be liable to a betting tax at the rate of 10% over the amounts staked.
  • Providers must maintain a web page showing their company’s name, address and licence details, together with links to web pages of organisations providing help against addiction and other gambling-related disorders.