The timeline for the enactment of the ban of online gaming by the government of Cyprus was for completion by the end of 2010. However, this objective has been delayed despite their proposal to the European Commission in September. The government planned to allow sports betting but ban all other types of online gambling. The reason for the ban was to protect citizens from the negative aspects of online gambling.
The European Court Of Justice
The precedent for this decision arose from the European Court of Justice. The European Commission stated Cyprus must obtain feedback from other member states which would take at least three months. If everything continues as planned, the ban would be enacted in March 2011.
Statements Of Objection
Unfortunately for Cyprus, the United Kingdom and Malta have filed statements objecting to the ban. The Democratic Rally Party Chairman accused these two countries of attempting to disrupt the plans of the Cyprus government. Regardless of their objections, the Chairman proclaimed this is only a minor setback and Cyprus will be able to pass the law.
From his review of the paperwork sent by the European Commission, he believes banning online gambling is only an issue if the goal was to draw competition from land-based casinos. Furthermore, as long as the process follows the European Union laws regarding online gambling, there should not be a problem.
Clarification Of The Specifics
The European Commission is requesting confirmation as to how customers will pay for online sports betting, why there are a limited number of licensees in the outline, and further clarification of specific articles that appear to be discriminatory in nature.
Opposition To The Bill
Opponents of the ban such as Henrik Witt, a Cyprus-based online gambling company, state that the ban could have unfavorable consequences to the economy. All online gambling operators will relocate from Cyprus taking jobs and income with it. Also, local players will continue to gamble illegally at suspicious sites resulting in the exact opposite of the goal of the ban.
Despite opposition to the bill, it looks as if it will be passed in 2011 once all paperwork is completed. The result will be a major change in the Cyprus economy due to a decrease in the number of jobs and thus money to purchase items. Players will look to spend their money on gambling in other countries. Perhaps in the future, the Cyprus government will overturn this bill.