Cyprus to expand its online gambling market

The Republic of Cyprus will proceed with plans to expand access to a regulated online sports betting market.

Cyprus.- The president of the Cyprus National Betting Authority (NBA), Ioanna Fiakkou, announced that the NBA would begin accepting online betting applications on October 3 until November 3. Gambling sites that failed to submit an application within that one-month window will see their domains added to the country’s online blacklist.

The new measure to regulate online betting won’t expand the list of legally approved online options; however, it will increase the number of companies approved to offer online betting and therefore expand the market.

Harris Georgiades, Cypriot finance minister explained that opening up the online betting market was part of the government’s strategy to bolster tax revenue via gambling expansion. This strategy includes the ongoing process to award one brick-and-mortar casino license, the licensing of video lottery terminals at sub-venues run by the casino operator and privatising the operation of the state lottery.

In addition, Cyprus intends to regulate OPAP’s betting games via legislation rather than through a bilateral agreement with Greece. Cyprus was left with no choice given that the Greek government sold its one-third stake in OPAP to private operators in 2013.