The popular betting exchange Betfair has made it official and has filed a formal complaint against Cyprus with the European Commission. Seems that the new legislation which was passed in Cypress during the month of July, bans all forms of online gaming with the exception of sports betting and passive numbers games which are offered now by Greek gaming giant OPAP.
Part of the new legislation also specifically singles out banning betting exchanges much like the Betfair model. Currently, the island of Cyprus accounts for about 4% of Betfair revenues and that surely justifies the complaint and challenging the law.
It looks like they might have a good case too as Martin Cruddace Betfair’s lawyer said that Cyprus’ new legislation “goes against European free-market principles” and was “clearly incompatible with EU law.”
In the past other countries in the EU have attempted similar bans eventually giving in to the same legal argument.
As Cruddace further confirmed in a statement that Betfair is, “transparent and responsible operator, with a track record of working co-operatively alongside government in any jurisdiction in which it operates.”
Betfair is a public company so anything they get involved with on a legal level must have merit to it; and furthermore, will surely challenge the OPAP relationship with Cyprus legislators which has come under scrutiny recently for questionable betting practices.