Cyprus is a relatively recent entrant to the world of online gaming. The eastern Mediterranean island only legally permitted online gambling in 2016 and restricts licenses to sports betting only (online casinos and games of chance are still illegal). Nonetheless, online sports betting in Cyprus has proven popular and appears to have a bright future.
If you are thinking of setting up your online gambling business in Cyprus, it’s valuable to get a feel for the local opportunity. Xace has collated Cyprus online gaming statistics from official reports, academic studies and industry insights to give you a picture of the country’s gaming market.
Online gambling statistics for Cyprus
Cyprus is a popular destination for online sports betting companies looking to grow their market share. Our summary of online gaming statistics in Cyprus paints a picture of an exciting market.
Size of gaming market in Cyprus
Online handle for sports betting firms in Cyprus in 2020 was €65.3 million, with revenue of €6.6 million. This was significantly lower than 2019, when handle reached €129.2 million, and €10.15 million in revenue.
Although handle was significantly lower during the coronavirus pandemic, revenue was, as a proportion, higher than previous years. This may be because many traditional sports events were cancelled, so sports bettors turned to lesser-known leagues and competitions, where they had less knowledge of the teams involved (be that Russian hockey matches or Nicaraguan football leagues).
Taking a longer view, the average profit margin of online betting companies in Cyprus has been around 7% since this activity was permitted in 2016. The average Cypriot online sports betting business has handle of €536.7 million and gross revenue of €70.3 million
More data: Malta online gaming statistics 2020
Companies with online betting licenses in Cyprus
According to the National Betting Authority (NBA) of Cyprus, there are currently 12 companies that have a Class B license, which permits them to offer online sports betting.
The NBA is an active regulator and continually seeks out websites which are illegally offering betting and casino games to Cypriots online. So far, they have blacklisted 12,563 websites.
Online horse racing in Cyprus is the monopoly of the Nicosia Race Club, and it is illegal to bet on dog racing over the internet in the country. Most other sports are permitted.
Who gambles online in Cyprus?
The total population of Cyprus is 1.2 million, of which around 950,000 are old enough to gamble. Around 75% of Cypriot adults gamble at least once per year, with national lotteries being by far the most popular as they are when looking at the UK Gambling stats 2021. This suggests that there are just over 700,000 people who gamble in the country.
A study by the National Betting Authority found that 30% of Cypriots know about online sports betting. The survey also found that 17% of Cypriots engage in online sports betting. This would suggest that over 150,000 people on the island bet online at least some of the time.
Overall, the NBA study found that most Cypriots (68%) do all their betting with land-based operators. And, among those who bet both online and in person, the majority spend more with traditional retail bookmakers and casinos than web-based alternatives.
That said, among younger age groups there is significantly more interest in online betting compared. 9% of 15-17 year old's say they spend more money with online betting sites, and 5% of 18-25 year old's also spend more online. This suggests that as today’s younger generations grow up, more handle will shift online.
The coronavirus pandemic will no doubt be a boost to online sports betting companies in Cyprus, as gamers have become more accustomed to placing bets over the internet.
Considered the UK? Online gaming statistics for the UK 2020
Getting an online gaming license in Cyprus
It typically takes between two and four months to apply for and receive a Class B online gaming license in Cyprus.
Application fees vary depending on the size of the gaming company, but as a rule of thumb:
· Incorporation costs €4,800
· Licensing costs €45,000 per year
· Local server costs €12,000
· Government fees cost €581,500
· Application management costs €8,500
· Due diligence costs £7,500
Taxes for online gaming companies Cyprus
Cyprus has an attractive tax regime for online sports betting businesses, with an effective tax rate of 13% on revenues. It is broken down as follows:
· 10% for central government
· 2% towards the development of sport in Cyprus
· 1% to finance responsible gambling initiatives
Is Cyprus the right destination for your online gambling firm?
As these Cyprus online gaming statistics show, the eastern Mediterranean island makes for an attractive destination for online bookmakers. There is growing interest in online betting, a sports-mad culture, supportive regulations and reasonably low taxes on profits. For many businesses, expanding to Cyprus could be a smart move.
Once you’ve set up your Cyprus gaming firm, you’ll also need a gaming payment account. Learn how Xace’s Cyprus gaming accounts make your life easier.