Tax net closes on Cyprus-based online gambling operators

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Internet gambling operators who chose Cyprus as a convenient and tax-efficient base may have to reassess their position following developments this week in which the local constabulary announced that it had handed over information on internet gaming companies to the Inland Revenue Department.

Coming on the heels of government moves to ban online gambling altogether, it is yet another blow to operators on the Mediterranean island, reports the Cyprus Mail newspaper.

It has been estimated that the industry in Cyprus has an annual turnover of €2.5 billion, and this week the police revealed that information unearthed during local investigations into proprietors of internet gambling companies had been handed to the taxman.

Police spokesman Michalis Katsounotos told the newspaper that the IRD would now be able to check whether the income declarations in these individuals' files are true. Katsounotos said the information had been sent to the IRD on October 25.

The Cyprus Mail says there has been criticism of the tax department over its alleged inefficiency that has enabled "many people" to get away with tax evasion, particularly in the gambling business.

"We will continue and will intensify our actions either through campaigns in all districts or additional measures in a bid to stamp out the phenomenon," Katsounotos said.

Cyprus is currently awaiting European Commission approval of proposed legislation designed to ban internet gambling.

Source: InfoPowa News