Cyprus Readies Casino Bill for Vote
Oddly enough, Cyprus has never hosted any actual casinos. That situation could change dramatically by the end of the month.
According to published reports on Cyprus media outlets including in-Cyprus.com, Cypriot lawmakers could be voting on a new casino gambling bill as soon as June 25.
If the bill passes into law, “The government will go ahead with the bids by August and potential investors will have a month to study the law from the day it is approved,” said Undersecretary to the President, Constantine Petrides.
There is, however, a fair amount of debate amongst Cypriot lawmakers about not only whether or not gambling should be permitted, but also what types of gambling should be permitted.
Some factions in the government are looking at slots-only model, while others think that table games should be part of the equation.
No matter how the vote turns out, there’s a fair amount of irony in the fact that Cyprus is considering legalizing gambling at all.
Before the European banking crisis, Cypriot banks made plenty of money from gambling operators, but the government was staunchly opposed to actual gambling within its borders.
Much of that grey market cash departed Cyprus after the fiscal haircut 2013, that lopped off 47.5% of deposits in the Bank of Cyprus. Not surprisingly, that move destroyed confidence in Cyprus as a safe place for discrete cash storage and decimated the country’s banking industry.
Like so many other cash-hungry governments, Cyprus is now looking towards regulated gambling to refill their coffers when things get bad.