Cyprus is a place that people often visit for their vacation, looking for fun and entertainment, both offline and online. Cyprus’ economy is based heavily on tourism and all the businesses around it, so both locals and tourists had their share of the benefit. In fact, according to CasinoAuditor, gambling is one of the most popular and in-demand entertainments that tourists seek in Cyprus, for many reasons.
Firstly, when people are on vacation, they want to afford more than they do in their regular busy lives, not even in terms of money, but rather in terms of partying. Secondly, Cyprus is one of the places where gambling is actually available, and this is a serious attraction for tourists from the neighboring countries which are mainly Muslim, meaning that gambling is strictly forbidden in those areas. Thirdly, Cyprus is interested in meeting its needs so the local businesses are happy to offer their services and they also compete. As a result, the gambling situation is rather advantageous in Cyprus, both for locals and for visitors.
However, to enjoy gambling fully, it is important to keep some rules and laws in mind and to be aware of the current gambling legislation in Cyprus.
1. Offline Gambling
The good news for offline gambling is that it is fully legal, and the bad news is that it is more legal than online gambling. But let’s discuss the good news first. There are many land-based facilities for gambling, especially casinos and especially on the Turkish side of the island. Both locals and tourists are allowed. Moreover, sports betting is fully legal in Cyprus, so one can not only play their favorite table games or slot machines but also make bets on sports, including events and races that take place abroad. Obviously, Cyprus is comparatively small for many sports events happening at the same time.
The local operators that run offline betting facilities can also run online platforms, but things are more complicated with gambling online.
2. Online Gambling
Online gambling is so much fun and it is also much more advantageous from the point of view of many people, compared to offline facilities. You don’t have to go anywhere and play games on your phone in your bathroom; the games are plenty, the bonuses are attractive and more varied, the choice of sites is huge, the house edge is lower, and the payments are more flexible… the list of advantages seems endless. However, the bad news is that online gambling is not allowed in Cyprus.
Or rather, it should be said it is not really allowed, but most gamblers still play their favorite games for real money. The catch is that local operators can offer betting services only to players from abroad, but operators from abroad, in their turn, can offer games to people in Cyprus. While such activity is illegal, casinos still do that and people still play.
Now, the control over those issues is not very strict, and online gamblers are almost never punished for violating that law. There is barely any blocking for the websites offering gambling services for people in Cyprus, and no cases of persecution are known for gamblers who play for real money on such platforms. Unless the player wins a huge sum like a progressive jackpot that obviously exceeds a certain limit, the authorities seem to never pay attention to the fact of online gambling. The players are also not expected to pay any taxes on what they win online.
On the other hand, many foreign casino sites are happy to accept them as customers. Most sites are decent, reliable, licensed, and certified according to the international requirements of the industry, so they are safe for real money gambling. Those sites usually offer their services to players from more than one country, and other jurisdictions may view such activity as completely legal, depending on their own regulations. But in Cyprus, there are currently no regulations that would either completely allow and control the market, or effectively block it, so the local players can choose literally any casino site that accepts them as customers. It is important to only choose high-quality sites though.
One of the indicators of a high-quality casino is the license it holds. Okay, maybe discussing licenses of casino sites that illegally offer their services to players in Cyprus is a bit weird, but the point is that a license makes a casino legal and reliable in technical terms. Next, the casino may allow or disallow citizens of certain countries as real money customers; if the casino site is not directly run by the country where online gambling is prohibited, the law is technically not violated, and the site can decide to accept people in Cyprus as customers.
But of course, high-quality and reliable betting platforms are to be chosen at all times. A reliable site should hold one of the international online gambling licenses by MGA, Alderney, Gibraltar, Isle of Man, or Curacao. But it is the customer’s responsibility to double-check whether the license is active and relevant. Some fraudulent casinos go as far as adding a badge of a license on their platform but it does not link to any real license as such. Therefore, one has to pay attention to such things.
In addition to licenses that must be held by any reliable betting platform, those online casinos that take care of their reputation and of their customers’ experience have additional certifications from the relevant agencies in the niche. Most certifications have to do with software testing to prove that the games in the lobby, bonus mechanisms, and the banking procedures run by the casino site are fair and transparent. Many casino sites also seek the chance of getting the so-called seals of trust, usually by independent parties in the niche, like reviewing platforms, software developers, etc. The more reliable certifications and badges of trust are present on the casino’s platform, the more reliable the site is in legal terms.