Online Gambling Likely to Take in €5 billion on One Small Isle

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
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Online Gambling

€5 billion, now that's a lot of money.  These are the projections for the online gambling industry.  But when one considers that figure is just limited to one tiny island in the Mediterranean Sea, it is indeed difficult to get a grasp on how much the entire sector will take it. 

Cyprus is just a small part of the equation after all.  The island of Malta, also in the Mediterranean, represents a much larger contingency of online gaming ventures.  Costa Rica in Central America takes in untold amounts of money, most of which comes from the US. 

In 2008, the turnover from online gambling in Cyprus reached €2.5 billion according to the Cyprus Mail.  Interestingly enough, Cyprus is no longer licensing brick and mortar casinos on the island.

"Ninety-five per cent of electronic gambling services in our country operate legally because they are provided over the Internet and there is no authority (here) where one can apply for a permit," said Ionas Nicolaou, chairman of the House Legal Affairs Committee.

The DISY deputy revealed that one of the three biggest providers of online gambling services on the island, with a 30 per cent market share, turned over around €680 million in 2007.

In 2008, credit card spending on online gambling had reached €100 million, Nicolaou said.

Fifteen computers made a profit of €93,000 in just two weeks, he added.

While currently legal, lawmakers have proposed to re-amend a law that would exclude online gambling.

"The social impact is terrible," AKEL deputy Aristofanis Georgiou said. "The main aim is to protect Cypriot society."

Prosecution for gambling on the Web is still possible under the current law, but only if the perpetrators are caught in the act.  And individuals who play online games from the privacy of their home are not breaking the law.

Online casino establishments are cropping up all over the island.

Jagajeet Chiba,


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