Gambling Legislation

Cyprus youth betting figures to lead to new legislation

Online gambling by underage Cypriots is causing a re-think on gambling laws

There’s not much to do in Cyprus, the Mediterranean island nation of around 1.2 million people. The lack of major industry has led it to become a hub for gambling operators from around the world, which may explain a recent trend. More young people are turning to gambling, and this is going to force the government to rewrite its gambling laws.

Cyprus has strict regulations that prohibit minors from entering licensed gambling establishments or engaging in any form of gambling. However, the country maintains its position as the third highest gambling nation in the European Union, with a substantial number of students being involved in such activities.

In Cyprus, the percentage of people engaging in online betting exceeded the average for the rest of the European Union in 2019, reaching 22% compared to the EU’s average of 16%. Furthermore, while the average percentage of online betting among EU member states was 18%, Cyprus surpassed this with a percentage of 27%.

The majority of students’ bets are placed on games such as Joker, Lotto, and Kino, which account for 16.6% of their betting activities. Football games come in second, with 13.9% of students declaring they bet on them. Moreover, 10.1% of students reported that they participate in card and dice games, while 4.5% like to gamble on slot machines.

According to local media, the House Human Rights Committee discussed potential legislation aimed at safeguarding minors from the perceived surge in gambling. Sources claimed that in numerous instances, parents promote their children to gamble or enable them to do so through means such as online platforms.

Principals of schools resort to organizing gambling events known as tombolas (bingo games) to raise funds, which could send negative signals. The alarming statistics about drug addiction among children from the new European 2020 survey have been brought forward by Constantinos Stylianou, the president of the National Drug Authority of Cyprus, in front of lawmakers as well.

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