In 2012, Cyprus introduced a comprehensive legislative framework to regulate betting activities. The Betting Law 2012 updated pre-established rules and guidelines and introduced new ones. Perhaps one of the most significant changes introduced by the Gambling Law was to appoint the newly established National Betting Authority (NBA) as the supervisory authority over all gambling activities in Cyprus.
The NBA is responsible for examining applications, and licensing, auditing and supervising prospective betting shops and online betting operators. The Ministry of Finance is responsible for the legislation and its amendments, regulations and directives.
The relevant Acts and legislative documents that regulate gambling activity in Cyprus are:
- The Betting Law 2012 – Law 106(I)/2012.
- Gambling Law 108(I)/17/7/2012.
- Gambling Law 4374/28/12/2012.
- The Lotteries Law 1974, as amended.
- Directive 98/34/EC laying down a procedure for the provision of information in the field of technical standards and regulations (Technical Standards and Regulations Directive) as amended by Directive 2006/96/EC.
- The bilateral agreement between Cyprus and Greece regarding the Greek Organization of Football Prognostics (OPAP SA (Οργανισμός Προγνωστικών Αγώνων Ποδοσφαίρου Α.Ε.)).
- The Law to Regulate the Establishment, Operation, Function, Control and Supervision of Casinos and Related Matters 2015 (Casino Law 2015).
The Betting Law 2012 regulates both land-based and online sports betting activities and services. In both cases, horse racing and dog racing betting are prohibited.
There are two forms of license available under the Law:
- The Class A license, which regulates land betting services within physical licensed premises, excluding Class B services (online) and horseracing; and
- The Class B license, which regulates online betting services excluding slot machines, online casinos and lotteries.
Services for the performance of bets by an authorised representative on behalf of a Class A licensee within licensed premises is also possible
A company seeking a license under the Betting Law must have its corporate seat in Cyprus or have a branch (overseas company) in Cyprus with its main activity being the conducting of betting activities. Also, its share capital must be at least EUR 500,000 either authorized or issued. The application has to be accompanied by a bank guarantee from a banking institution operating in Cyprus or in an EU member state for the amount of EUR 550,000, the validity of which should be for a period of six months after the granting of the license to the applicant. Also, the NBA requires any applicant to demonstrate that it has sufficient resources to pay the players’ winnings, it has adequate accounting and control systems and that it can comply with regulations, as given by the NBA, for the protection of the players.
Our team of experts is in a position to advise and assist in the application for a betting license. Please contact a member of our team for more details.