Wednesday July 4, 2012 : CYPRUS BAN ON INTERNET GAMBLING MOVES CLOSER
Agreement on tax proposals could herald a vote this week
The long-running political fight over gambling law changes in Cyprus could be nearing an end, although it carries with it a complete ban on internet gambling and betting exchanges.
The Cyprus Mail reports that lawmakers appear to have settled on a 10 percent revenue tax on operators, opening the way for a parliamentary vote later this week.
Speaking after a joint session of the House Finance and Legal Affairs committees, MP Ionas Nicolaou told the newspaper that lawmakers has at last agreed on the formula for taxation.
This would involve betting companies paying a 10 percent tax on total amounts wagered minus winnings paid to gamblers. In addition, operators will pay a contribution of 3 percent of revenues for the implementation of a Gambling Board, through which funds will be channelled to the Cyprus Sports Federation.
The Federation will in turn distribute the funds to the Cyprus Football Association (1.5 percent); special problem gambling programs (1 percent) and other sporting bodies (0.5 percent).
Late breaking news Tuesday was that some politicians are still lobbying for betting exchanges to be allowed, albeit confined to wagers on foreign football games. This may require further discussion Wednesday.