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Cyprus Hopes Domestic Crime Claim Keeps Them From EU Gambling Laws

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The US has been the most publicized country to ignore European Union trade agreements involving gambling, but other countries have taken a similar stand. Cyprus is hoping to become the latest to circumvent the trade agreements.

Last year, Portugal defended their online gambling ban by claiming that domestic crime was up, and in order to control domestic crime, the ban needed to be in place. The European Court of Justice accepted that claim, and Portugal was permitted to keep the ban in place.

The US has taken a different approach. In the US, the government has completely ignored a ruling by the World Trade Organization that awarded Antigua and Barbuda a financial settlement after the US enacted the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. The US still has not paid Antigua their restitution.

Cyprus would keep online sports betting legal under a new plan that has been drafted. Traditional casino games such as slots, poker, craps, and roulette, would all be banned. That has some customers in Cyprus concerned. Since 2007, Cyprus has been in compliance with EU laws.

Cyprus has police spokesmaen that have testified to the dangers associated with online gambling. Most notably, the spokesmen have detailed how loan sharking has become a popular business, and when people do not pay, physical violence is being threatened or carried out.

It is not yet known whether this case will end up in front of the EU Court of Justice. Cyprus must first enact the laws that ban Internet gambling, and then once they fell out of compliance with EU agreements, the Court of Justice may be called upon to rule on the matter.

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