Recent statistical data shows that there are 36 licensed casinos in Cyprus. More than thirty of them are in the northern part of the island. The region is controlled by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which hasn’t been officially recognized.
The northern coastal city of Kyrenia is the gambling capital of Cyprus. There are more than fifteen casinos there. However, the City of Dreams Mediterranean, Cyprus’ largest casino, is going to open in Limassol. It will probably welcome its first visitors next year.
With eight registered casinos, the capital Nicosia is the second most important gambling center in Cyprus. The small village of Çatalköy (also known as Agios Epiktitos) holds the third place with four casinos. In short, the best Cyprus casinos are in the north.
Are There Casinos in Southern Cyprus?
The southern part of Cyprus is practically gambling-free. When the predominantly Greek population that lives there wants to gamble, they cross into the north. As we mentioned above, there will be a mega-Casino in Limassol at some time next year, but that’s not 100% certain. The ambitious project is called the Republic of Cyprus Integrated Casino Resort. It is a joint investment of gambling giants Melco and Hard Rock.
Gambling Taxes in Cyprus
There are two categories of land-based casinos in Cyprus, Class A and Class B. All of them have to pay a ten percent tax on their net revenues. But to whom? There are practically two governments in Cyprus, and the laws in the South don’t apply in the north.
To make matters even more complicated, Turkey has outlawed gambling. This means that all casinos in Northern Cyprus should be illegal, too, as it is under Turkish control. But they are not! All land-based casinos in Cyprus certainly pay a three percent tax to the State Gaming Board. The Board uses the money to support the local sports federations and a national gambling addiction program.
Is Gambling Illegal in Cyprus?
There practically isn’t any gambling in Southern Cyprus. All casinos in Northern Cyprus are de jure illegal as this part of the island is under Ankara’s control. However, there are 36 officially registered casinos in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Most of them are owned by Turkish or Russian citizens. So, gambling in Cyprus is not illegal.
In 2012, the government in Nicosia passed the so-called Betting Law. It provides that casinos in Cyprus be under the control of the National Betting Authority (NBA).
Best Cyprus Casinos in 2020
We’ve just established that gambling in Cyprus is de facto legal. We also pointed out that all of the gambling is concentrated in the northern part of the island. Finally, we clarified who owns most of the casinos in Cyprus. Let us now have a look at some of the best Cyprus casinos.
Cratos Premium Casino is one of the four casinos in the village of Çatalköy, some 6 km away from Kyrenia. It is good to know that the Turkish name of Kyrenia is Girne. The casino spreads over more than 43,000 square feet.
It has more than 260 slot machines and 34 tables for blackjack and poker, including Texas Hold ’em. The casino opened in 2010. Cratos Premium Casino also offers race and sports bets and roulette. The only baccarat table at the casino is reserved for “whale” clients.
2. Casino Liman
This is one of the first casinos in Cyprus, having opened back on January 1, 1987. It has exactly 280 slot machines and 18 tables for card games. The most popular one is poker. Liman also features an electronic roulette. Interestingly, the lowest bet one can make at Casino Liman is 1 Euro cent.
3. C2 – Cyprus Casinos Limassol
This is a temporary casino that opened in June 2018 on the site of a former supermarket in Limassol’s Zakari neighborhood. In 2021, C2 is to be replaced by the opulent City of Dreams Casino. At present, C2 can accommodate up to 1,000 players with more than 240 slot machines and 33 tables for card games. The poker varieties that C2 Casino offers include 3-card poker, Russian Poker, and Casino Stud Poker.
4. Zeus Casino
Named after Greek mythology’s chief god, this casino has been in operation since 2004. It is a cozy gambling spot with 200 slot machines and eleven card game tables.
Whichever of the four casinos you choose, we wish you many winning bets in Cyprus.