Cyprus is not just home to beautiful beaches, but surprisingly also a place where online gambling has a regulatory home. While international players, such as those from the UK, can access these online casinos, strangely, in parts of Cyprus gambling remains illegal for Cypriots themselves (unless they look to internationally licenced sites for their betting needs). For UK players though, Cyprus casinos make a great gaming option offering a ton of exciting betting and casino options, all with some pretty good security covering the platform.
When it comes to casinos in Cyprus, UK players could do a lot worse than joining one of these sites. The Cyprus gaming licence has been around for a while and actually has contingencies in place to care for its specific customers. However, it is worth noting that for British players, there are better licences out there. In addition to this, not all Cyprus casinos are actually available to UK players, so they will need to check out the different options before joining any particular Cyprus site.
- Cyprus licenced casinos have a wide range of features
- Cypriots can’t use them
There are a growing number of casinos with Cyprus license, which does mean that players are given a lot of choices. While on the one hand, this is a good thing, on the other it can be somewhat overwhelming. This is where we come in. We take the time to look through all of these different Cypriot casinos to see which ones offer the best options, catering to their players. In this way, we are able to create a list of the top recommended Cyprus sites for UK players.
What is a non-UK casino from Cyprus?
The Cypriot casinos available to UK players are so-called non-UK casinos, casinos that are open to UK-players without holding a UK gambling license.
The UKGC have tried to stop these casinos, but it is perfectly legal for the non UK casinos to accept UK players as long as they are not pushing their casinos towards them – mainly meaning using UK-terms, images and pounds on their website.
These casinos are not on Gamstop, which means that you can access the gambling websites even if you have signed up for Gamstop.
To exclude yourself from non-Gamstop casinos you have to contact them separately, which reminds of the procedure before Gamstop was mandatory for all UK-casinos.
How we choose the best Cypriot casinos
There are many different aspects we consider when rating and reviewing Cyprus casinos. The first of these is the security that is provided by the casino. This doesn’t just mean the licence, but also what other protocols are in place to prevent player data from falling into the wrong hands. This is usually done through SSL encryption protocols, which run across all the different pages and protect private data. We don’t recommend any casinos that do not follow this basic level of security. We also look at other areas of player protection.
Further to this, we check out the game selection that is provided and which software providers are used. This is because some providers are not as reputable as others, often not having their games audited for fairness. We like to make sure that all our readers have access to nothing but the best, so we make sure these sites are fair as well. There are a number of other aspects we consider in our ratings, and the combination of all of these is how we rank our list. Other features include:
- Payment options
- Customer support
- Bonuses available
The Cyprus licence
All Cyprus casinos must hold a Cypriot licence issued under the specific gaming laws of that country. If a Cyprus-based casino does not hold such a licence, then we will not be recommending it and players should avoid playing there. To get a licence of this kind, the operator is required to provide a lot of documentation and meet specific requirements. The Cypriot National Betting Authority is the governing body that issues these licences, and they come in two different types: Class A and Class B.
While Class A is for land-based establishments, Class B is for online betting venues. This covers both casinos and sports betting sites so that UK players can usually access a Cyprus casino that has both of these gaming types available. All applications are carefully examined before they are accepted. The National Betting Authority can also revoke licences once they have been given if they feel the operator is violating the specific regulations laid out by that governing body. This can include money laundering issues as well as other transgressions.
While any licensing process is a little time consuming, the Cyprus licence, at least, is not as arduous as others. There are specific requirements that operators must meet to get this licence. These include the servers hosting the website actually being present in Cyprus itself. On top of this, applicants need to provide their full name and email. They must also submit a CV, full business plan, bank reference letter and a notarized passport as well as a utility bill from within the last two months. Processing is relatively swift, taking 2-4 months.
Getting the licence
Once the paperwork is submitted, it’s a case of paying for the licence and waiting. The licence costs less than some other jurisdictions, but it is still quite pricey. In general, a Class B licence requires a bank account to hold 550,000 EUR. Then there are a number of administration fees, government fees and more in place. In fact, in the end, the cost of the licence and the processes surrounding it can amount to over 650,000 EUR. This turns into quite a high cost, which means casinos are actively trying to be responsible.
Gambling in Cyprus
One of the strange things about Cyprus is that the attitude toward gambling is actually dependent on the location. For instance, the Turkish part has long allowed gambling. It is actually widespread in all forms, both on and offline, and has been legal for years. The Greek side is not quite as open, with many gambling options still being illegal (for instance horse racing is not permitted) and the rest of the gaming industry is very strictly controlled. However, in recent years things have begun to relax.
In 2010, the gambling industry within the country began to grow enormously. In fact, it was recorded that Cypriots were spending in excess of 100 million EUR on gaming, both online and off. This is when the government started placing regulations and taking charge of the situation, with better controls in place. Now the country is able to offer its licencing services to countries around the world, encouraging an even greater number of players to join their sites. However, not all players are able to join.
- Gambling is illegal in some parts of Cyprus
- Since 2010 the government started taking control
Are Cypriot casinos safe?
While this licence is relatively new, the country has taken a very strong approach to the way it monitors and regulates gambling. As we mentioned, in some areas of the island, it is only online gambling that is currently legal, so, with this in mind, these sites are made secure to help players. The licence requirements for any Cyprus casino does mean that the site has to adhere to specific player protection regulations, which include prioritising fair gaming and ensuring secure transactions and personal data safety.
One area that it takes into consideration is the protection of minors. Any Cypriot licenced casino will only allow players of 18 years or older to join the site. On top of this, there are specific rules in place regarding responsible gambling. This means that the casinos must offer services to help problem gamblers who might be accessing their sites. However, this is still a new industry for Cyprus and, while they are taking steps in the right direction, older jurisdictions have better policies in place for security.
Games and software at Cypriot casinos
Cyprus casinos are able to offer players a wide range of games to choose between. This is one of the more important aspects we consider when looking at these sites. It’s not just enough to have many games, though; it’s also important to have games of great quality. With this in mind, we also take a look at the software providers that supply these games. Cyprus casinos use a number of the top suppliers in the industry, including NetEnt, Evolution Gaming and Microgaming, which means players can expect top-quality games.
Not only does this mean these games offer great graphics and fun in-game bonuses, but they are also fair. All of these providers undergo regular auditing for gaming fairness, so players can rest assured that they are able to have fun and enjoy unbiased games. The sheer range of software providers means that players will also be able to access a number of different game types and genres too, ensuring they will never get bored. Some of the game options at Cyprus casinos include games like:
- Virtual table games
- Live casino games
How user-friendly is the site?
The next set of features we check out are all those that promote a more user-friendly site. A casino may be secure and offer a ton of games, but if players find it hard to navigate through the site to find what they want, then the gaming experience is affected. We take a look at the layout and main page interface to see if players can easily find their way around. While fun themes are also important, it can be a major downside if the site is graphics-heavy, causing pages to be slow-loading.
In addition to this, we take into consideration whether the site is responsive. This means that the site should look good on any device that is being used to access it. Part of this means that the site needs to work well on a mobile browser. In some cases, mobile apps have been created, but not all players are able to access these to download, so we prefer to see a site that is mobile optimised. More importantly, it needs to work for both Android and iOS devices.
Support at Cyrpus casinos
It’s important not to forget about the support options available at a casino, as these do factor heavily in whether the casino is user-friendly or not. Most Cypriot casinos will have several different support options available. Our favourite, and one we look for the most, is whether a casino offers a live chat function. In this day and age, everyone needs answers quickly and nothing is better than the fast turnaround from live chats. In addition, we check out the opening hours, preferring 24/7 options to anything else.
Another aspect to bring up when we’re thinking about what would improve the player experience is whether there are any bonuses available. Most online casinos offer welcome bonuses and other loyalty options to their players in an effort to stand out from the crowd. We check out what all the different bonuses offer and even look at the wagering requirements. We also ensure that UK players can access them, and use this information to inform our decisions on which Cyprus casinos we recommend to our readers.
The last area to consider at Cyprus casinos are the payment methods. We are always on the lookout for sites that offer a wide variety of payment options. Cyprus casinos tend to offer a number of payment options that UK players will be familiar with. These include options such as debit and credit cards, bank transfers and, of course, a range of eWallets and prepaid card options. A number of top providers, such as Skrill and PayPal, can usually be found alongside more localised payment options.
With the use of top providers, players can rest assured that their transactions are speedy and secure. Deposits tend to happen instantly, as is the case on most casino sites. Withdrawals will depend on the casino and the payment method, but always take longer than deposits. We also check out whether the casino takes any fees during these transactions, focusing on those sites that do not, when compiling our Cyprus casino list for our readers. Finally, we check out any terms and conditions regarding minimum and maximum transactions, currencies available and so on.
Final thoughts on Cypriot casinos
Cyprus casinos actually offer a lot to UK players. However, it’s important to remember that while they do offer their services around the world, not all countries are accepted. UK players do need to be careful as some sites will not accept them. This is because the UK’s gambling laws require the casino to also have a UKGC licence if UK players are joining. There are ways around this, though, such as using a VPN, but in general, we would not recommend it. This is why we only suggest sites that do allow UK players.
Once it has been confirmed that a UK player can access a Cypriot casino, then there is a whole ton of exciting options available. These include a range of exciting top-notch games, loads of bonuses, good levels of security and a range of different payment methods. As casinos all differ, players are encouraged to check out the different options themselves, or to simply use our carefully crafted list to find the best Cyprus casinos out there with minimal fuss – you can find that list right here.