60 percent of Cypriot gamblers choose illegal or grey gambling operators
Results from the first-ever National Gambling Participation Study were released by the Cypriot National Betting Authority Monday, the most notable being 75 percent of the Cypriot population over the age of 15 either gamble or have gambled at some point in their lives (399,750 people) and are generally introduced to the pastime by a close family member.
The study, conducted by IMR Cyprus and the University of Nicosia, aimed to understand gambling participation in the country along with the extent of problem gambling in order to craft policies which would protect the public and promote responsible gambling, the National betting Authority said late last year.
Other key findings presented during a press conference at the Cyprus Finance Ministry were:
- 75 percent of Cypriots aged 15 and above, representing 399,750 of the total population, are currently involved in gambling activities. Out of those that are involved in gambling activities. 13 percent of those are considered to have shown possible problematic gambling behaviour and 6 percent (23,985) were identified as problematic and pathological gamblers.
- A large percentage of respondents indicated they were introduced by their father or another family member to their first gambling experience.
- Six out of 10 players visited “illegal” or grey area gambling operators.
- 85 percent of respondents felt the Government should strengthen its role in regulating gambling activities.
Ioanna Fiakkou, Chairwoman of the National Betting Authority believes the results provide ample information to steer the authority in policy making decisions across all aspects of gambling participation.
“… the preferences of players in specific gambling games (that 6 out of 10 are either illegal or in a grey area), confirm and make necessary the strengthening of the Government’s policies to effectively regulate the gambling industry,” Fiakkou said.
Fiakkou identified the need for an upgrade to the legislative framework, the elimination of illegal activities and addressing fragmentation of responsibilities among various stakeholders.
Moving forward, the authority will invite both public and private stakeholders, and public law experts, to create an ad hoc committee aimed at creating a national strategy.
The prevalence study was conducted on a national basis between November 2017 and January 2018, on a random sample of 3,000 people aged 15 and above, through personal interviews.