Cyprus recently implemented a new law which has caused many online gambling providers to shut down in the country. Several companies are considering suing the Cyprus Republic because they believe the new law is in violation of EU laws as well as discriminatory.
AA Crown Bet Ltd has had to shut down several shops that provide slot machines and online casino services. A lawyer representing the company as well as other online gambling companies has stated that Crown Bet is considering suing the Cyprus Republic. The group reported their thoughts to the European Commission. They are also appealing the European Court of Justice on the new law that is now in place.
Yiannos Georgiades of the law firm Georgiades and Mylonas spoke to the Cyprus Mail and stated that the new bill which involves gambling is violating provisions on the free movement of services and goods. Georgiades also stated the law violated the freedom of establishment that is set up in the EU treaty.
AA Crown offers sixteen shops in Cyprus where players could enjoy online casino options as well as slot options in Limassol. The shops were set up and available via an agreement with several companies in England, Malta and Ireland.
The gambling law was passed on July 6th by parliament and sections 78 and 79 of the bill prohibit this type of services, so the company had to shut down all of their sixteen shops. Georgiades commented: “The government could regulate and tax these services like other countries do, for example, the UK, Ireland, Malta and Spain.”
Georgiades went on to argue that the European Commission’s policy on the subject is to try and avoid complete prohibition. The commission has tried to encourage regulation instead of restriction of online gambling and Georgiades stated that the commission has tried to remove obstacles to the restrictions on gambling.
The lawyer has not only argued that the bill is now an unfair advantage to existing players in the country as well as the impact of unemployment with the closing of many gambling shops. The government has estimated that around 1,000 online gambling ships were operating on the island before the law was passed. On average, this could mean that thousands of employees are going to be out of work.
AA Crown is now looking over the option of filing a lawsuit against Cyprus. They will be going to the ECJ and then filing a complaint with the European Commission.
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