Gamblers in the Republic of Cyprus could soon have access to a one-click option to self-exclude from all locally licensed sports betting operators, while the Republic’s lone casino licensee has undergone a management shakeup.
On Tuesday, the Cyprus National Betting Authority (NBA) launched a public consultation into the establishment of a Unified Self-Exclusion Platform for customers of NBA-licensed retail and online bookmakers. The NBA is seeking input from its betting licensees and “all relevant stakeholders” until July 24.
The NBA’s main goals for its new responsible gambling tool are a registration process that is “simple, user-friendly and fast,” while ensuring that customers are made aware of the existence of the platform and that counselling and treatment services are offered to customers who opt for self-exclusion.
The NBA envisions a system that will allow gamblers to select a variable self-exclusion period, along with the option for permanent exclusion. The self-exclusion period would take effect immediately upon registration and online bookmakers would be required to transfer all funds in a customer’s account within five days of that customer requesting self-exclusion.
Cyprus currently has nine online betting licensees and six retail bookies, who collectively reported betting handle and revenue of €165.5m and €25.3m, respectively, in the first quarter of 2020.
The Republic is taking an increasingly hands-on approach to minimizing gambling harm as its market expands. In June, the Cyprus Gaming and Casino Supervision Commission announced the launch of a new ‘problematic gambling’ helpline in cooperation with the National Addictions Authority.
CYPRUS CASINOS GETS NEW BOSS AS BALLANTYNE RETIRES
Meanwhile, the Republic’s sole land-based casino operator – the Cyprus Casinos (C2) subsidiary of Asian casino operator Melco Resorts & Entertainment – recently announced the promotion of Grant Johnson as the new senior VP and property general manager of C2 and its in-development City of Dreams Mediterranean integrated resort project.
C2’s former president Craig Ballantyne apparently retired in April during the pandemic-related shutdown of the company’s temporary and satellite casinos. Melco CEO Lawrence Ho thanked Ballantyne for his service and congratulated Johnson, a nine-year Melco veteran who previously worked for Melco’s Macau rival Sands China. Johnson’s new role will see him report to Melco president Evan Winkler.