Cyprus was steps away from adopting a new online gambling law, but the process was halted – or better to say paused – by the Maltese authorities as they need to share its opinion on the upcoming legislation.
Although the current proposal was under the scrutiny of the European Commission, the European Union's de facto government, responsible for proposing legislation and implementing various decisions, Malta as one of the online gambling pioneers in Europe, must present its opinion on the whole issue, along with other member states.
Three Months Weren't Enough
The European Commission and other EU member states had three months to examine whether the proposed legislation created obstacles to free movement of goods and services, and give their opinion on the matter. Now it seems this period wasn't enough for Malta.
Therefore, the standstill period has been prolonged until December.
The previous online gambling law was adopted by the Cypriot authorities back in 2012, as a part of the comprehensive legislation that aimed to regulate both land-based and online sports betting activities and services.
Waiting For Malta's Opinion
However, the European Commission identified several infringements, including the one related to the obligations of Cyprus internet service providers to blacklist and block websites operating outside of the law.
The proposed online gambling legislation was presented to the European Commission on June 28, and its provisions impose a 10% tax on net revenue generated from players in the country, with additional 1% of net revenue to be used for responsible gambling initiatives and 2% to support sporting organizations in Cyprus.
At this point, it's hard to say when will Malta complete the evaluation of the Cypriot online gambling legislation, and what will be its opinion of it. One thing is certain, the implementation of the new legislative regime will have to wait a bit longer.