Online Casinos in Cyprus – 2021 Legal Gambling Overview
The implementation of the 2012 Gambling Act has made the online gambling situation in Cyprus especially difficult. Although the legal terms might change in the future, most international casino sites are currently inaccessible from Cyprus. For more information about the gambling industry in the country, please stay with us and keep reading this review,
Overview of Gambling in Cyprus
Unfortunately, we cannot say that the gambling industry in Cyprus is at its best moment as most forms of gambling are legally prohibited. The industry used to be unregulated until 2012 when the Betting Act 2012 was introduced. The act regulates all forms of gambling and explicitly forbids all types of online gambling and land-based casinos in the country. The only legally permitted online gambling is sports betting. Thus, the operators who wish to provide online sports betting services are required to apply for a license to the National Betting Authority. When it comes to online and land-based casinos, however, the issue is much more complicated, and we shall discuss it in detail in the following paragraph. Furthermore, to help you gain a better understanding of the issue, we will also cover the following topics:
Cypriot Gambling Laws: 2021 Legal Situation
As we have mentioned above, the legal gambling situation in Cyprus is rather complicated. The operation of any online and land-based casinos within the country is currently prohibited. The Betting Act 2012 demonstrated no concessions towards the gambling industry and forbade all forms of online gambling with the exception of sports betting. Furthermore, even the Internet Service Providers were required to restrict the access to online casinos. The international gambling providers have disagreed with Cyprus’ drastic measures and have been continuously arguing that the strict gambling prohibition goes against the policies of the European Union. However, Cyprus has not yet been sanctioned. Furthermore, we must also point out that there have been certain cases of online gamblers arrested and fined for disobeying the law. The country follows strictly the completion of the gambling law and even though not every online gambler is sanctioned for disobeying it, there is an actual possibility of this happening.
We must also point out, however, that even though the Betting Law 2012 applies to the whole country, it is often ignored in Turkish-occupied North Cyprus. For example, even though land-based casinos are technically forbidden, there are at least 20 of them functioning in the Northern part of the country. Thus, it comes as no surprise that the online gambling law is not strictly followed neither. Nevertheless, the differences between the Northern and Southern Part of Cyprus are rather political and not a subject of our review. It is important to also point out that there are expected legal changes towards the situation of the land-based casinos as plans are to permit the functioning of one casino per each region. There are currently no known planned legal changes regarding the status of the online casinos. Thus, we must warn you that while you might be able to access certain operators from Cyprus, online gambling is still prohibited by the law and you should restrain from it to avoid facing possible charges. Meanwhile, we will let you know if the Government decides to change the online gambling’s legal situation.
- Prohibited Online Casinos
- No Land-Based Casinos
- Sports Betting is Allowed
- Gambling is Prosecuted
- Battles Addiction
- Does Not Follow All Laws
- Available Casinos
- Liberal Gambling Policy
Gambling Responsibly in Cyprus Casinos
The National Betting Authority is responsible for controlling and regulating the gambling industry in Europe. As we have established, the laws are currently strict, and the country forbids almost all forms of gambling. Nevertheless, the risk of gambling addiction still exists and many players in Cyprus have developed gambling problems. The statistics are actually concerning bearing in mind the fact that Cypriots should not have access to most types of gambling. The government, however, has accepted its responsibility and have put its best efforts into offering adequate and professional help for the affected. For example, a yearly Responsible Gaming Awareness Week is being organised in order to inform players of the gambling risks and advise them on how to find the required help. Alternatively, players with gambling problems can contact the Cyprus Samaritans or the Gordon Moody Association. Additionally, players can turn to the online source for problem gamblers Gambling Therapy.
History of Cypriot Gambling
The gambling industry in Cyprus might be currently facing a crisis but the country has a long gambling history. It all started back in 1960 when Cyprus gained its independence from Britain and celebrated it through the establishment of the State Lottery. It still functions nowadays, and it is being constantly regulated and supervised by the laws of the Government. Moreover, the net profits from the lottery are transferred to the consolidated budget of the Government and thus used for financing the state budget. What better way to support the country?
On another hand, the first casinos in the country were built in its Northern part back in 1975, when they were officially legalised. However, not many of them were opened until the 1990s and specifically until 1997 when the Islamic Welfare Party in Turkey forbid gambling. Thus, Turks who wanted to gamble had to do so outside the country. Fortunately, they found the right place in the Turkish part of Cyprus where more casinos were opened. It is a fact, however, that the Cypriots from the Southern part of the country also form a part of the casinos’ regular visitors as well as many other Europeans.
Another interesting fact is that even though online gambling (except for sports betting) is currently forbidden in Cyprus, it has not always been like that. In 2006, it was calculated that Cypriots were spending millions of euros gambling online. In fact, this might have been the reason why the Government decided to take stricter measures and to force the underage citizens to stay away from the online casinos. There is still hope, however, that the country will change its mind and legalise all forms of online gambling as otherwise, it faces the risk of being fined by the European Union.
Conclusion: Is Online Gambling Allowed in Cyprus?
As we have established the online casinos are currently illegal in Cyprus, and even though some might be accessible from the country, signing up to them is highly inadvisable. Remember that Betting Act 2012 is still in power and any action that goes against it could lead to possible legal consequences. Still, we expect the online gambling situation to change in the future and more options to become available. Hopefully, if the current situation changes, some of the best foreign online casinos can become a part of the Cypriot market. Until then, we advise you to stay away from all types of online gambling except sports betting, which is legally allowed.
FAQ About the Gambling Situation in Cyprus
Last but not least, let’s take a look at a short Q&A session about the gambling situation in Cyprus. It is important to know the smallest details if you want to play at the best online casino in Cyprus and, although you may not like the facts, we will help you out in finding the best solutions to your needs.
Is Online Gambling Legal in Cyprus?
No. Although some online gambling sites are accessible from the territory of the country, we do not advise you to try doing so. All types of online gambling are illegal in Cyprus, except sports betting. This legislative network is imposed by the Betting Law 2012 which also forbids all the land-based casinos.
What Are the Best Deposit Methods at an Online Casino in Cyprus?
Since online gambling, in general, is forbidden, you better not try to play for real money at an online casino in Cyprus. As such, there are neither recommended nor legally accepted payment methods.
Is There Anything Else I Should Know About an Online Casino in Cyprus?
There are plenty of interesting details, such as the imaginary subdivision of the gambling law for the northern and southern portion of the island. For instance, some land-based casinos are available only in northern Cyprus. Another interesting fact is that even the network service providers do their best to restrict access to online casinos to the residents on the island.