Cyprus is looking for several individuals to become part of the country’s Gaming and Casino Supervision Commission (GCSC). Currently, there are a few vacant spots the gambling regulator has to fill after, earlier this week, the ongoing political rumble resulted in the rejection of three potential candidates.
According to reports from a local media hub, Cypriot legislators rejected the three candidates nominated for the three vacant spots in the Gaming and Casino Supervision Commission by the Government in office. The country’s Government is in a process of changing hands, and some Members of Parliament (MPs) have shared their opinion that the Cabinet should not be able to make recommendations about who fills the empty spots in the regulatory body.
That is exactly the reason why the majority of the Members of Parliament in the House are currently demanding that their ongoing arrangements are extended until the new Government has taken office. Recently, a run-off election was won by the former foreign minister of Cyprus, Nikos Christodoulides, who on February 28th, 2023 took office as the new president.
The country’s casino and gambling watchdog has seven members, all of whom have been appointed by President Nicos Anastasiades. He and Savvas Perdios, the Deputy Minister of Tourism, have been lobbying in favor of the three candidates for the commission who got recently rejected. However, the positions have to be signed off by the Parliament’s Commerce Committee after the terms of the three expired on February 5th.
Cyprus’ Gambling Legislation Aims at Avoiding Potential Conflicts of Interest
According to Costas Costa MP, the outgoing government should not be making any nominations for new members of the Gaming and Casino Supervision Commission, considering it would not be in place to oversee the regulator’s activity.
Now, as a result of the vacancies, there are only four individuals who are on the commission. As revealed by a representative of the Cypriot attorney general’s office, this is not causing any problems for the operation of the regulatory body. The Commission’s charter allows for such variations to exist, and the four members of the watchdog are still given the authority to make decisions.
Under the existing Cyprus gambling legislation, there is a clause that is specially designed to avoid potential conflicts of interest. The law bans individuals from becoming members of the Gaming and Casino Supervision Commission in case they are part of an associated business venture, such as a casino. This condition extends to an individual’s partner and relatives up to a fourth-degree connection. Shareholders of more than 1% in a gaming-related business are also suspended from being part of the Cypriot GCSC.
The appointment of one of the three potential candidates was blocked by local lawmakers due to their links to the gambling industry. According to the Members of Parliament, the head of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Christodoulos Angastiniotis, cannot be appointed as commissioner because of his position at the Chamber, which currently has Melco Resorts International as a member, making Mr. Angastiniotis automatically associated with the gaming industry causing a conflict of interest.