The National Betting Authority boasted a 1086 per cent increase in registered revenues during the past decade, with the activity accounting for 3.34 per cent of GDP – up from 0.12 per cent in 2012.
Ioanna Fiakkou, president of the authority, on Wednesday argued that the sector’s regulation and greater transparency has significantly increased its viability.
Fiakkou said that the authority, which was established a decade ago to license, regulate and supervise betting, has as its goal to further grow the sector.
“Our vision is to make Cyprus a fair, transparent, and safe centre to the growth and innovation of gambling – always focused on the wider societal safeguards,” she said during the presentation.
Fiakkou added that betting revenues from 2012 to 2021 increased by 1086 per cent, while earnings are up by 409 per cent and tax to the state increased by 327 per cent.
Further benefits came from the two per cent tax on net earnings from betting, meaning that €13m was given to sports federations and over €6.5m has been collected for the protection of players.
The authority’s president explained that the number of licensed premises in 2013 was 550 but has since dipped to 497, but despite that reduction there has been a 90 per cent increase in betting revenue.
She added that in 2013 the number of employees in the sector was 1,150 but now stands at 1,422 – of whom 80 per cent in 2015 were not registered for social security or were not licensed by the authority.
Fiakkou emphasised that there have been 36,404 inspections at betting shops since 2017 and there has been an 87 per cent reduction in recorded violations.
She conceded, however, that illegality within the sector remains and will always be there but the authority – which has 32 employees – is doing its utmost to minimise it.