In 2012, Cyprus introduced the Betting Law of 2012 (as amended in 2019) which regulates all betting activities in Cyprus. The Law regulates both land-based and online sports betting activities and services. The legal provisions currently ban online casinos, online poker, online bingo and exchange betting.
The Betting Law creates 2 types of betting licenses:
- Class A license, which regulates land betting services within physical licensed premises, excluding Class B services (online) and horseracing; and
- Class B license, which regulates online betting services excluding slot machines, online casinos and lotteries.
The National Betting Authority (NBA) is the supervisory authority of all the gambling activities in Cyprus. The responsibilities of the NBA includes the examination of applications, licensing, auditing and supervising betting shops and online betting operators as well as examining any complaints and suspending any licenses in relation to those.
An application for an Online Sports Betting Licence can only be submitted by a company with a paid-up share capital of at least EUR 500,000 established in Cyprus or with a branch in Cyprus (overseas company) with its main activity being the provision of betting services.
The application also needs to be accompanied by a bank guarantee from a credit institution located in Cyprus or another EU Member State for the sum of EUR 550,000, whose validity shall extend to a period which ends six (6) months after the expiration date of the bookmaker’s licence requested in the application form.
A prospective operator must also satisfy the National Betting Authority (NBA) that it fulfils the following requirements:
- That it has sufficient resources to pay players’ winnings.
- That it has adequate accounting systems in place.
- That it can comply with the regulations in force for the protection of players.
Licences are issued for one or two years, and may be renewed on application, subject to the approval of the NBA.