Cyprus Tries to Regulate Booming Online Gambling Industry
By staff
Cypriots parted with over £28 million in bets on online gambling in 2006, according to figures recently compiled by credit card company JCC, prompting the Cypriot government to take steps towards controlling the growth of the industry.

The state’s reservations about the industry include fears that online gambling sites can be accessed by children. And while the 2007 European Directive makes it almost impossible to restrict the industry, the Finance Ministry is in the process of preparing a bill that would offer some control over the problem.

“The new bill aims to regulate Internet betting in a way that, among others, taxes will be paid by the betting company,” the Finance Ministry’s spokeswoman, Lenia Orphanidou told deputies.

The statistics were presented to the House Institutions Committee last week but according to Marinos Sizopoulos, a member of political party EDEK (Movement of Social Democrats), the figure could be as high as £1.5 billion, as the JCC figures may not have taken into account the sums of money that are recycled during betting.

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