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Cyprus E-gaming Ban Is Open To Consultation

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

18 June 2010


Online gambling in Cyprus has been permitted since the Betting Law of 2007, but the Cyprus government now plans to ban it, except on horse racing and sports in Cyprus. However SAKOP, a social organization, has pointed out that EU directives demand a public consultation and an impact study on possible repercussions, neither of which has been carried out.

The consultation process will now take place and opposition to the ban is already coming to light. President Demetris Christofias and his government party AKEL have insisted on an outright ban to combat social problems, but others argue that a ban could not be implemented effectively and it is better to regulate gaming activity in order to collect the tax revenues it could generate.

House Legal Affairs Committee chairman, Ionas Nicolaou, has disclosed government estimates that turnover in the Cyprus online gambling market turnover was EUR2.5bn (USD3bn) in 2008, yielding a gross profit of EUR400m. The government says that by 2012 turnover could be as high a EUR5bn and gross profit nearly EUR1bn.

Techlink Entertainment Ltd President John Xidos was quoted by the Sunday Mail as saying: “The biggest problem we see is ... where there is no legal gambling, there is a ton of illegal gambling. The two big issues are that government needs to have full control in order to eliminate corruption, and the players need to have full control in order to control their gambling expenditure”.

Techlink is a supplier of responsible gaming technology which facilitates full control and regulation of electronic games of chance.

A comprehensive report in our Intelligence Report series examining the new possibilities that offshore e-commerce open up for business, and analysing the offshore jurisdictions that have led the way in offering professional e-commerce regimes for international business, with a particular focus on e-gaming, is available in the Lowtax Library at http://www.lowtaxlibrary.com/asp/subs_reports.asp and a description of the report can be seen at http://www.lowtaxlibrary.com/asp/description_report6.asp
TAGS: tax | interest | gambling tax | commerce | enforcement | offshore | e-commerce | gambling | licensing | legislation | offshore e-gaming | Cyprus | regulation

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