We have already reported on Cypriot government’s decision to address the issue of online gambling, read more in our (Cypriot Lawmakers to Speed up the Change in Gambling Laws) article. Currently the government is dead serious about changing the Cypriot gambling laws in order to raise much needed cash from taxes.
Cyprus Finance Minister, Kikis Kazamias is said to be preparing a legislation for regulated operation of online casinos in Cyprus. He told the House Commerce Committee: “Many among us would probably never enter such establishments during our lifetime, but this does not mean that we should not respond to the needs of the age, taking into consideration the public interest.”
This latest move is regarded as a complete change of heart towards gambling. Previous administrations have many times refused to even consider opening up Cypriot gambling market.
President Christofias ignored the fact that Greek Cypriots were spending their hard-earned cash elsewhere instead of spending them at casinos in the country and filling up the state coffers. Back in 2009 he told Cyprus gambling news: “There will be no casinos in Cyprus as long as I am President.”
Now, with the economy suffering and budgets not meeting expectations, proponents of gambling have gathered momentum behind the notion that Cyprus must not ignore a sector that potentially could bring much needed revenues to the state coffers.
Lakis Avramides, Famagusta Tourism Coordinating Committee marketing officer, commented that it’s better late than never: “It had to be done a long time ago. It’s never too late and we hope it will be realized soon, of course the Famagusta district will claim an operating license for a casino to help the seasonality of the district.”
Gambling proponents argue that casinos will definitely help Cyprus attract more tourists. Currently, Cypriots spend millions gambling with online operators and land-based casinos in the north. Gambling supporters say that gambling expansion legislation will keep that gambling cash within the country.