Online Gambling Operators Targeted by Cyprus Government?

Stringent new law still being considered

It now seems likely that the government of Cyprus is about to introduce the much-criticized bill against online gambling operators, even despite the explicit opposition of the European Commission to such a draconian measure.

Apparently, a new law is being discussed by government and parliament based on which violators of the law - especially operators – could be facing up to 10 years in jail and fines up to Euro 500,000.

The law obviously targets online casino gambling, which has become quite a lucrative business that generates millions in income for the providers. It has been specified by the chairman of the House Legal Affairs Committee that the law will include strict penalties for offenders, and that internet service providers (ISPs) would be obliged to block sites offering the illegal service.

“There will be a continuous war to locate these webpages that will be placed on a register,” MP Ionas Nicolaou said. He also underlined that players, too, will be affected by the law, which introduces a provision that if caught either at home or elsewhere gambling online, punters will be liable to fines of up to Euro 170 000, or five years in jail.

Finally, the law will also be stringent to licensed land establishments which violate their permits. Reportedly, this draconian measure will be finalised in cooperation with the state legal service, and it is to face the continued parliamentary debate by Monday.

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