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Cyprus Goes Before European Commission For Online Gambling Pardon

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Last month, lawmakers in Cyprus seemed intent on convincing the European Commission that they should be allowed to enact an online gambling ban. The ban, according to the government, is needed to keep criminal behavior to a minimum.

Portugal was successful in convincing the Commission in the past, and Cyprus is hoping to follow in those footsteps. The Commission will rule on the Cyprus ban on Wednesday, and there is no indication that the country would be granted a pardon when dealing with international trade agreements.

The European Union makes it clear that a country can not prohibit other member countries from conducting business in their territory's. The EU has certain circumstances where stopping the business is accepted, and online gambling has been one of those situations in the past. Cyprus, however, will be the second nation to try and use criminal behavior as a scapegoat for their gaming laws.

Some analysts believe that the Commission will reject the plea of Cyprus for fear that other countries will continue to use crime as a way to stop online gambling companies from other countries from operating. Others believe that a precedent was set when Portugal successfully defended the ban, and Cyprus will have to be awarded the same ruling.

It is likely that the Commission rejects Cyprus' arguments, and forces the country to appeal the ruling. If that occurs, much like with Portugal, the process could be delayed for several years. That would make it difficult for Cyprus to move forward with the ban until a definite decision is made on the appeal.

In most cases in recent years, countries have started to come into compliance with trade agreements by opening their online gambling markets to foreign operators. The operators still must be licensed in other jurisdictions and must apply for licenses in the countries where they wish to operate. France, Italy, and Spain are among the countries that have opened their doors to outside online gaming companies.

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