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Sports betting and Cyprus: history and perspectives

Many people will be surprised to discover that, but Cyprus has a very long history with gambling and sports betting to be specific. Not all gamblers who register an account at sportsbooks that are now officially presented in this country, understand at what cost they have achieved an opportunity to freely enjoy their favourite hobby anywhere and at any time. This guide includes a brief history of sporting Cyprus betting and allows people to learn much more facts over how the online format of gambling was introduced to the republic. This information will be good not only for novice players, but also for experienced one who want to to know everything about the industry and how it has evolved in the last couple of decades.

The complete timeline of gambling history in Cyprus

Every gambler who wants to enjoy the process of sports betting in Cyprus should know at least about the key events in the gambling history of this industry of this region. It all began in 1960, when Cyprus gained independence from Britain. Thanks to this fact, the local authorities managed to set up a national lottery called OPAP. It actually continues to this day, which is an impressive achievement to say the least.

But it did not stop there, as in 1975 casinos started to rise in the north. This part of the republic has a large influence from Turkey. It has gained permission to develop casinos and it has become a major attractive point for people who would like to travel to the north of the republic just to have fun while gambling. It was only the beginning, as the industry kept being unregulated up to the late 2000s.

After the turn of the century it has become clear that the gambling industry will go all digital in the upcoming years. Which is why the government of Cyprus was unsure on how to create clear gambling laws that would allow online sports betting, online gambling games without a harm to the culture of the region. At first, regulations were unclear and created a lot of problems for entrepreneurs, but starting with 2012 everything has started to change for good as the betting law was introduced.

It was the year that changed everything. Thanks to the betting law, gaming activities have been divided into two major categories – Class A and Class B. Class A represents offline establishments, while Class B regulates online business. The National Betting Authority was formed around this time and set strict rules for each type of gambling activity. It was a time when each sector of the gambling industry was finally starting to be regulated properly. Illegal operators were finally pushed out of the market.

Perspectives of the gambling future in Cyprus

But do not think that everything immediately worked perfectly. Class B licenses had a couple of issues during the time period of 2012-2016 years, because during this time only Class A licenses were provided and only in 2016 the government started to provide licenses for online sports betting sites. Thanks to that, Cypriots invest more than 250 million euros in online sports betting yearly. It is a huge part of the national economy.

Since then the betting law keeps getting updates. The most recent one is from 2019, when his law was introduced to some minor regulatory changes as a self exclusion option for people who have issues with the control of their gambling behaviour. It is possible to say that the year 2012 was a revolution for sports betting in Cyprus and betting law still looks promising to this day. It has provided clear regulation of how sports betting companies should operate and firms have a clear vision of what they should do in order to grow a business that will be able to last for decades.

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