What is the legality of gambling in Cyprus?

Is Gambling Legal in Cyprus?

Yes, gambling is legal in Cyprus, but it is strictly regulated by the government. The country has undergone significant changes in its gambling legislation over the years, with the most recent overhaul occurring in 2012. This led to the creation of a legal framework for casino gaming and sports betting, allowing for a more organized and controlled gambling industry in Cyprus. However, not all forms of gambling are legal, and some restrictions apply.

What is the Current Legal Status of Sports Betting in Cyprus?

Sports betting is legal and regulated in Cyprus. The Betting Law of 2012 governs the sports betting industry in the country, allowing both land-based and online sports betting operations. This law established the National Betting Authority (NBA), which is responsible for issuing licenses, regulating, and supervising the sports betting industry in Cyprus. Licensed sports betting operators can offer their services to Cypriot residents, and bettors can legally place wagers on a variety of sports events, both local and international.

Can You Legally Gamble Online in Cyprus?

Online gambling in Cyprus is a bit of a mixed bag. While online sports betting is legal and regulated, other forms of online gambling, such as online casinos and poker, are not allowed. The Betting Law of 2012 explicitly bans online casinos and poker sites from operating within Cyprus, and the government actively blocks access to such websites. However, many Cypriot residents still manage to access and play on foreign-based online casinos, as enforcement against individual players is rare.

What is the Legal Age for Gambling in Cyprus?

The legal age for gambling in Cyprus is 18 years old. This applies to both land-based casinos and sports betting facilities, as well as online sports betting platforms. It is the responsibility of gambling operators to verify the age of their customers and prevent underage gambling. Failure to do so can result in severe penalties, including fines and license revocation.

Which Casinos and Popular Games are Available in Cyprus?

Land-based casinos are legal in Cyprus, with the first integrated casino resort, City of Dreams Mediterranean, currently under construction and scheduled to open in 2022. This massive project is expected to attract tourists and boost the country’s economy. In the meantime, there are several smaller, temporary casinos operating in Cyprus, such as the C2 Limassol, C2 Nicosia, and C2 Larnaca. Popular casino games available in Cyprus include:

  • Slot machines
  • Blackjack
  • Roulette
  • Poker
  • Baccarat

Do You Need a License to Operate a Gambling Business in Cyprus?

Yes, you need a license to operate a gambling business in Cyprus. The National Betting Authority (NBA) is responsible for issuing licenses to sports betting operators, while the Cyprus Gaming and Casino Supervision Commission (CGCSC) oversees the licensing process for land-based casinos. Obtaining a license requires operators to meet strict criteria, including financial stability, responsible gaming measures, and transparency in their operations. Illegal gambling operations can face severe penalties, including fines, imprisonment, and license revocation.

Are There Any Taxes on Gambling Winnings in Cyprus?

Yes, there are taxes on gambling winnings in Cyprus. Players who win more than €5,000 from gambling activities, including sports betting and casino games, are subject to a 20% tax on their winnings. This tax is withheld at the source, meaning that operators are responsible for deducting and remitting the tax to the government. Additionally, licensed gambling operators are required to pay a tax on their gross gaming revenue, which varies depending on the type of gambling activity.

Where Can You Find Official Information and Resources on Cyprus’ Gambling Legislation?

For official information and resources on Cyprus’ gambling legislation, you can visit the websites of the following government agencies:

  • National Betting Authority (NBA) – responsible for regulating and supervising the sports betting industry in Cyprus.
  • Cyprus Gaming and Casino Supervision Commission (CGCSC) – oversees the licensing and regulation of land-based casinos in Cyprus.

These websites provide detailed information on the legal framework, licensing requirements, responsible gaming measures, and other relevant aspects of the gambling industry in Cyprus.

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