|Population July 2013:||0.8 million|
|GDP 2012:||17 Billion EUR|
|GDP per capita:||19,500 EUR|
|Taxation for Lotteries:||none|
||Regulated, local licence required|
Cyprus has a state monopoly on lotteries, and the government operates the state lottery. Through a bilateral agreement with Greece, the (now privatized) state operator OPAP was also allowed to offers its lottery games on Cyprus. Due to the governmental monopoly, the lottery is not subject to any formal taxation; instead, the entire net profit of lottery sales is transferred to the public fund of Cyprus. Cyprus is in the process of reconsidering its restrictive policies on gambling services to harmonize its legislation with existing EU law.
In 2012, legislation was passed which regulated online gambling, and established a licencing requirement. The monopoly for online gambling is in the hands of a single operator, the Greek OPAP, which may offer sports betting, online lottery and keno games. The National Betting Authority maintains a black list of illegal domain names, and has ordered internet service providers (ISP’s) to block these operators. The blacklist includes high-profile operators bwin.party, PokerStars, Betfair and William Hill.
Further changes to legislation may include the opening of the first casino resort on Cyprus, in the hope of boosting stressed state coffers.
The monopoly structure of Cyprus is under scrutiny of the European Commission. In late 2013, the Commission sent a letter of formal notice to the Cypriot government, opening an infringement case against its gambling laws.
According to the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law “sporting associations and charitable organisations are permitted to provide bingo services in Cyprus for their own profit, without having to obtain any licenses.” Charitable societies and sports associations are exempt from lottery duty and other taxes on the proceeds of charitable lotteries.
As far as we know, no lotteries exist in Cyprus that meet the criteria of a charity lottery.
CYPRUS GOVERNMENT LOTTERY
The Cyprus Government Lottery is the sole provider of a national lottery since 1958. The lottery is executed by the Ministry of Finance. Games offered are lotto, toto, instant lotteries and number lotteries. Sales in 2009 amounted to € 261 million (↑13%). Lottery profits, reportedly in the area of 40%, are transferred to the government fund from which sports, culture, education, health and other social programs are financed. No amounts are made public. There is no website available of the lottery.