Cypriot minister stresses need for national responsible gambling mechanism

 Cyprus Gaming and Casino Supervision Commission has opened a new treatment centre.
Cyprus Gaming and Casino Supervision Commission has opened a new treatment centre.

Speaking at the opening of a problem gambling treatment centre, the deputy tourism minister said Cyprus needed an effective mechanism to ensure responsible gambling.

Cyprus.- The Cyprus Gaming and Casino Supervision Commission has opened a treatment centre for problematic and pathological gambling in Ayios Athanasios, Limassol, as part of its investment in responsible gambling measures.

Named Pharos, the centre will offer help to adults facing negative consequences from gambling, in collaboration with the National Addictions Authority and NGOs.

At the launch, deputy tourism minister Savvas Perdios said that the gambling regulator’s investment was to be commended but added that Cyprus needed a comprehensive national mechanism to deal with problem gaming in order to benefit from the opening of more casinos on the island.

Limassol is set to host the largest casino in Europe – ICR Cyprus’s City of Dreams Mediterranean, which is due to open in Summer 2022. However, Perdios said more licenced casinos would also operate in other districts, which meant that “all future challenges must be dealt with on a national level“.

He said there needed to be a team effort, involving the state, local authorities, non-governmental organisations and others. 

Responsible gambling measures in Cyprus

Cyprus Gaming and Casino Supervision Commission head Christos Mavrellis attended the opening of Pharos, which took place during Cyprus’s Safer Gambling Week. 

Speaking at the Cyprus Gaming Show a few days earlier, he said: “An important consideration for the Commission is how the operator protects the welfare and interests of its customers

“We continue to work with the operator and other partners to prevent and minimise potentially harmful effects of gaming upon Cypriot society, particular minors, and vulnerable groups. 

“A good example of innovative technology being introduced by the operators and approved by the Commission is the use of facial recognition software, implemented in the past year to improve the capability of the operator to identify persons excluded from the casino for reasons associated with problem gambling, AML compliance, cheating or inappropriate behaviour.”

See also: Cyprus “casino citizenships” based on false data

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