Cyprus online bookies handle more wagers, collect less revenue


cyprus-online-sports-betting-handle-revenueCyprus-licensed online sports betting operators handled more wagers but collected less revenue than their land-based counterparts in the country’s fiscal Q3.

Figures released by the National Betting Authority (NBA) of the Republic of Cyprus show Class A (retail) and Class B (online) licensed bookmakers generated combined betting handle of €190.7m in the three months ending September 30, 2019, a 12% improvement from Q3 2018, but their combined revenue fell 8% year-on-year to just under €22.1m.

The nine licensed online bookies saw their betting handle spike by 35% to €118.5m while the six land-based betting operators saw their handle slip 13% to €72.2m. However, online betting revenue fell 11% to €7.4m while retail revenue fell a more modest 6% to €14.7m.

The government claims a 10% share of betting revenue, so it has a vested interest in keeping online operators not holding a local license from catering to Cypriot gamblers. The NBA added another 968 domains to its online gambling blacklist in Q3, bringing the total up to 10,592.

The Q3 handle figure represented a modest gain on Q2’s €176.5m and also represents the highest quarterly figure of the fiscal year to date. The previous year’s figures got a boost from the FIFA World Cup, while the current year will hopefully enjoy a similar surge from the Euro 2020 tournament.

Meanwhile, the Republic’s lone casino operator Cyprus Casinos (C2) has opened its new gaming venue in Paphos, the fourth and final satellite casino to open before its main integrated resort follows suit next year. On Monday, C2 began welcoming guests to its new C2 Paphos satellite casino, which features 50 electronic gaming machines.

C2 previously opened three slots-only facilities in Nicosia, Ayia Napa and at the Lanarca airport. The company also operates a larger slots-and-tables ‘temporary’ casino in Limassol, which opened in 2018 and is intended to serve as a proving ground ahead of the late-2021 opening of the €550m City of Dreams Mediterranean integrated resort.