Members of the Cyprus Poker Association (CPA) can only play online games for the International Federation of Poker’s European Nations Cup competition qualifiers.
The Cypriot Government had earlier given an official recognition and certification to the CPA. However, several CPA members were arrested and charged with illegal gambling at two different venues where qualifying games were being played. The arrested people insisted were they played no-money-play initial tryouts for the National team, and the cash found at the premises was explained as membership fee collection.
The CPA claims they had not received clear answers from the authorities when they requested a permission to hold the qualifying tournament in Nicosia. As a consequence, the CPA decided to run the Cypriot online poker games for the National Team qualifications to avoid further conflicts.
Talks began between the CPA and the authorities, after which a spokesperson for the Limassol Police commented: “My personal opinion is that if these players were not playing for money, it is not illegal according to the gambling laws in Cyprus. I believe the case will be withdrawn.”
Theophanides was proud to comment to the Cypriot gambling news: ”We are looking forward to the big European challenge, despite the hurdles it has had to overcome to select a National Team. We are making history and this is the first step for Cyprus into the poker arena, joining some 300,000,000 players globally.”
The European event is scheduled to kick off in Vienna on December 7, 2012.