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More information about Cyprus – Online Casinos & Gambling Regulations

Table of Contents

Find the Best Cypriot Casino Online

Online casino operations are for the most part illegal in Cyprus. The exception to this is sports betting activities, which require a license to operate. This means that Cypriot residents will often find that they are blocked by their internet service provider from accessing online casinos. Players have therefore resorted to using VPNs to change their IP addresses so that they can bypass localized restrictions. 

The issue comes from the fact that most establishments will prohibit the use of VPN software on their sites. Another problem that can arise from using a VPN, is that you may be using an IP address of an unregulated territory, hence increasing the risk of encountering illegitimate operations. Regardless, it is always recommended that you ask yourself a few questions about a casino before registering with them, such as the ones below.

  • Is the casino licensed?
  • How involved is the casino’s licensing authority?
  • Is there information about the site’s reputation?
  • Are euros supported?
  • Does the site have Greek or Turkish language options?
  • Are Cypriot players entitled to any promotions?

Finding answers to these and other questions can be quite a daunting prospect to complete for every casino you come across. That is why your best bet is to stick with GoodLuckMate, as we provide comprehensive casino reviews and articles that take all of the frustration and effort out of keeping yourself informed.

Gambling Regulation – National Betting Authority

It was the Betting Law of 2012 that created a lot of the restrictions that are still seen in Cyprus today. This law banned all forms of online and land-based gambling with the exception of certain lotteries and sports betting activities. The formation of the National Betting Authority (NBA) was also established, becoming the governing authority concerning all forms of gambling activities within the nation.

It wasn’t until 2019 that the restrictions began opening up. This allowed land-based casinos to open up on the island while allowing organizations to request a gambling license from the NBA. This also showcased the law’s clear distinction between online and land-based operations, as separate requests are required, depending on the nature of the establishment.

Currently, online casino games are still illegal in Cyprus and there have even been cases of fines and arrests of individuals who were caught breaking this law. It is therefore recommended that residents of Cyprus stick to sports betting when gambling online, for the time being.

Localized Online Casinos

Cypriot residents will most likely find that the localization of online casinos will generally be a mixed bag. Many sites restrict players from Greece and Turkey, which makes Greek and Turkish language options quite rare. Also, due to the current legislation and the relatively small market size of Cyprus, it will be rather difficult to find sites that will have localized promotions and events. The exception to this will be sports betting sites, which are able to operate on a fully regulated basis within the country’s jurisdiction.

On the other hand, as most operations are based in the EU, you can expect a wide acceptance of euros and euro-based payment options to be available. English is also the default language of the vast majority of sites, which should allow most Cypriots to get by with.

Gambling with Euros

Being able to play online using euros should not be a concern for any players. As most sites are based in Europe, the euro remains the predominant default currency. This also means that there will be several payment cards, E-wallets and bank transfer payment options available for players using euros. 

Again, we cannot stress enough that online casinos are for the most part banned in Cyprus and therefore making bank payments to such an establishment is not recommended. If you are committed to playing anyway, we recommend you use an alternative payment method, such as an E-wallet or cryptocurrency instead.

Casinos in Cyprus

The City of Dreams Mediterranean and Limassol are both recently established land-based casinos currently operating in the southern region of the island. These venues will allow you to play traditional casino games, however, online games still remain prohibited in these establishments. There are several options for placing sports bets though, which is very much legal. So, if you are a sports enthusiast you will most likely have a much easier time finding the right site for you. The same can’t be said for those preferring slots and table games, as this will require you to go outside of the law and its protections to find. We will therefore have to recommend that Cypriot players stick to land-based casinos when wanting to game, but with the option of hopping on the web for any sportsbook action.

  • A gambling license is intended to protect players, and one of its main functions is to provide a mechanism for resolving disputes when they come up. If you have a dispute with a casino, and the casino is being unreasonable, the gambling authority will help you. For many licenses, this means you can contact the gambling authority to get help processing your withdrawals, claiming money the casino has debited from your account, or resolving other disputes that might arise. The likelihood that the gambling authority will help you in ways that are effective, however, depends on the procedures they have in place for this. This is yet another reason why choosing to play at a casino that has a safe license is important.

    Getting help directly from the gambling authority is not always necessary, or even an option. A lot of regulators have now enforced third-party dispute resolution. This means casinos must have an agreement with an arbitrator who will look into disputes on the behalf of players from a particular casino. This ensures your dispute will be reviewed by an objective third party. All trusted online casinos have information about arbitration on their websites if they use this option, or they’ll have the contact information for the gambling authority you should consult. However, you should always try to resolve your issues with the casino first, and a lot of casinos have separate email addresses specifically for handling complaints.

  • If you’re worried about the security of the transactions you’re making at a casino, you should look for a logo with the acronym PCI DSS. This stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, and this is something the payment industry has created. If you see this logo, it means the casino can be trusted for safe money transactions since they follow all of the rules set by the payment industry. Information about this can also be found in an FAQ section on the casino’s website.

    Another thing to look out for in terms of payments is where your money is kept while you play. Some gambling authorities, all of the best ones actually, regulate what the casino can do with your money while they are holding it. Your money shouldn’t go into a general bank account held by the casino; it should go into an account that is strictly for holding player funds. This means that as long as you have the money in your player account, it can’t be spent by the casino. Your deposit will be kept separate from the operating funds of the casino until your player account is empty, which will happen if you make a funds withdrawal or if you lose the money while playing.

  • The best known system tool for ensuring that a casino offers fair games is eCogra; however, there are other providers that also offer these kinds of systems. You want to make sure that the casino is using a certified third-party control system to ensure that the games of chance you’re playing are actually based on chance and not on other types of metrics. Rigged games are ones that have been set up to pay out less than they claim to or ones that give some players a greater chance of winning than others.

    The eCogra logo can often be found in the footer of the casino’s website, but not all casinos choose to display it. If you can’t see this logo, go to the FAQs and see if you can find information about random number generators. If there are no FAQs on the site, check out their terms and conditions or contact the casino’s support and ask how they ensure their games are safe.

  • An SSL-encrypted website should be mandatory for any casino, and very few casinos operate without this or similar safe encryption features. Always keep in mind that you are giving the casino quite a bit of sensitive information, including your payment details. When you’re uploading and sending documents to verify your identity, you want to make sure that no unauthorized third-party has access to them. Site security, therefore, doesn’t only include the website itself but also what the casino does on the backend. You should always look into a casino’s data security. You’ll normally find information about this in their terms and conditions and their privacy policy. If in doubt, contact their support and ask for more detailed information.

    Most trustworthy casinos have information about site security in the website footer, so simply scroll down and look for the logo of a well-known security system.

  • The gambling license a casino operates under will have a big impact on your security. Not all licenses are equally safe for players for the simple reason that they are issued by different gambling authorities that work in different ways and have different rules. The rules and regulations may be quite similar, but the way they are enforced is a different story entirely. For example, if a casino doesn’t comply with the regulations, some gambling authorities may just issue a fine while others may revoke the casino’s license outright. How often gambling authorities show up for an unscheduled inspection or control will also vary.

    The biggest differences between a safe, high quality gambling license and one that isn’t as good will usually show up in the areas of fair gaming, dispute resolution and the rules and systems for identifying and handling problem gamblers (responsible gambling). If your country of residence has its own gambling authority, playing at casinos that are licensed by them will be the safest option for you. Other international licenses that can be trusted are issued by the Malta Gambling Authority and the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority. Curacao eGaming is getting better at protecting players whereas licenses from Panama and Costa Rica, for instance, are considered less safe. The worst option is obviously a casino with no license whatsoever.