Cyprus notifies draft gaming bill to European Commission

The Cypriot government has submitted draft gambling legislation to the European Commission for approval.

The proposed legislation is designed to bring the country's gambling law into compliance with European Union law and was drafted in response to concerns about the equal treatment of gambling operators in the country.

This specifically relates to the treatment of OPAP, which is currently excluded from the scope of national betting legislation and operates under an intergovernmental agreement between Cyprus and Greece.

"The Cypriot authorities recognise that there are weaknesses in the current framework governing the provision of such services in the Republic, with regard to the supervision and control both of the services provided and of the provider, and have decided to proceed with a reform of this sector in order to ensure compatibility with EU law," the Cypriot authorities stated.

The draft law grants an operator the exclusive right to provide gambling services, with the provider selected according to the specific procedure laid down in the draft law.

This includes a requirement that the provider must have a paid share capital of at least €1.5m and be incorporated in Cyprus or another European Union or Economic Area member state. The provider must also be able to provide a bank guarantee covering 5 per cent of its anticipated annual turnover and will be subject to a tax rate of 22.5 per cent of gross gaming revenue.

The draft law was notified to the European Commission on December 30th, 2017, and is subject to a standstill period expiring April 2nd, 2018.


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