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Cyprus

Casino managers in court in north

gambling, poker, slots, casino, online gambling

Three managers of the Merit casino in northern Nicosia appeared in court on Wednesday after allegedly deducting “tax” from players’ winnings to the tune of 12 per cent, despite not having the authorisation to collect tax.

The scheme was revealed in September, when a Turkish Cypriot had received a fine after winning almost €79,000 at the casino, despite Turkish Cypriots being forbidden from entering casino premises in the north.

It was revealed in court in September that the man had been ordered to pay almost €9,500 in “tax” on his winnings by casino staff, with judge Murat Soytac ordering an investigation into the matter.

With that investigation well underway, the casino’s manager, slot manager, and cashier were all hauled in front of northern Nicosia’s district court on Wednesday.

All three are accused of breaking laws pertaining to money laundering, forgery of documents, and fraud.

Police sergeant Bilger Koral explained in court that the trio had allowed the Turkish Cypriot casino goer to enter the casino and play, before preparing false documents and asking him to pay “tax” on his winnings.

All three were released on bail worth 50,000TL (€1,594) and have a guarantor sign a 500,000TL (€15,938). They are also banned from leaving the north until their trial begins and must present themselves to a police station once a week.

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