Monday, March 13, 2006
Cyprus government to allow bookmakers

The review of the Cyprus law seems to end in a disappointment for local racing organisation, the Nicosia Race Club, as it would have to change its exclusive betting license for a system that would allow bookmaking by third parties, on foreign and domestic horse races, internet and exchange betting.

One of the problems is the absence of any mechanism to finance domestic racing. According to the current system, a part of the betting volume is re-distributed to finance local racing. The bets on foreign racing will not have to contribute anything to racing. In addition, because these foreign bets do not contribute to racing, they can offer rebates to bettors.

Despite the attempts by domestic racing representatives and the IFHA, the government fails to see the threat to the continuation of the local racing industry if there are no legal guarantees for the financing of the industry.

According to the Nicosia Race Club, the domestic racing industry employs one thousand (on a population of arounf 700.000) and keeps 1,000 horse in training, which would disspear under the new system. The Nicosia Racing Club also complains about the government’s impartiality, as the new law was drafted by the legal advisers of UK bookmaker Ladbrokes.