Internet betting exchange Betfair has announced that it will file an official complaint with the European Commission on Monday against the island nation of Cyprus due to the country's gambling legislation.
Betfair's complaint hinges on the belief that the legislation could make betting exchanges unable to legally operate within Cyprus. The law in question was put into place in July and prohibits cash betting transactions by betting operators.
A company statement says that Betfair is arguing that the attempted ban is discriminatory and a disproportionate breach of European Union law as it may apply to only betting exchanges. Officials in Cyprus are justifying the law by saying it is minimizing the risk of corruption and money laundering.
Commenting on the filing, Betfair's Chief Legal and Regulatory Officer Martin Cruddace said: “Having played a constructive role in the preparatory phase of a draft Cypriot law, we were disappointed with the inclusion of elements within it which could unfairly discriminate Betfair and in any event are clearly incompatible with EU law. We have therefore asked the Commission to review the matter and engage with the Cypriot authorities, with the aim of addressing the concerns raised in our complaint."
“Betfair is a transparent and responsible operator, with a track record of working cooperatively alongside governments in any jurisdiction in which it operates. Current Cypriot law goes against European free market principles and we look forward to working with the Commission and the Cypriot government so we can continue to provide our Cypriot customers with Betfair’s best-in-class Exchange product and odds value.”
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