Betfair Threatens Cyprus with Lawsuit

07/23/2012
By Tommie ClarkGoogle
This past week, the gaming community in Cyprus received news of the passage of a bill that outlaws online casino games playing and exchange betting. The legislation made its way through the House of Representatives Legal Affairs Committee and proceeded to full parliamentary vote where it passed.
 
Through the new law, a tax will be placed on net betting revenue. The passage of the bill is a follow-up to reports that authorities in Cyprus have been concerned about the possibility of losing billions of dollars in tax proceeds to top rated online casinos and through exchange betting, as punters bet directly with each other using another company as an intermediary.
 
This law does not affect Cyprus’ lottery, which has some online casino companies angered. A company called OPAP, created by a bilateral agreement between Greece and Cyprus, runs the lottery.
 
After news hit that the bill had passed, one of the top online casino brands, Betfair Group, threatened to sue the government of Cyprus in international court because the new law has affected its business. Betfair has said that the legislations has major flaws and does not comply with European Union law. Shares in the company have dropped about 4.5% since regulations have been placed on online casino games in the country.  
 
Jonathan Oates, Communication Director at Betfair, commented, “This particular piece of legislation has been drafted for some while and we were hopeful it wouldn’t come to this, we were hoping to expand if the exchange had been regulated.”
 
 
 
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