|Officials on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus are planning to crack down on shops and cafes they claim are illegally converting into illegal online casinos.|
Savvas Vergas, the Mayor for the town of Paphos, told local reporters this week that he was ‘very concerned’ with the latest developments and is set to meet with police officials to discuss the matter. He claimed that many shops and cafes have converted their business PCs into ‘mini-casinos’ by allowing customers to play illegal online betting machines but did not stipulate which gambling sites were involved.
According to the municipality, a special permit is required for proprietors to charge the public for Internet access. This year, officials said that around 20 cafes and shops have been illegally operating as Internet cafes encouraging customers to play online casino games.
It is believed that some cafes are luring gamblers to play on illegal gambling machines such as fixed-odds betting terminals, computerised machines normally found in betting shops that allow players to bet on the outcome of various games and events with fixed odds.
Vergas said that his municipality would be conducting its own crackdown to stamp out what he described as ‘a worrying development in the town’.
“The Paphos municipality will make its own clampdown to determine whether or not the shops and cafes in question have the necessary permits to operate,” said Vergas.
“We will also be asking the police to check if there is anything illegal going on at these places.”