The Authority, upon undertaking its duties in September 2015 and after carrying out an assessment of the current situation with regards to its internal functioning and the industry in general, set the primary objective of solving complex problems and weaknesses that had been presented. With the ultimate aim of providing qualitative and efficient services to licence holders, as well as the full implementation and compliance with the legal framework and the cultivation of healthy competition, the strengthening of the sector to a substantial extent has been set as the main goal of the Authority. As a consequence, the Authority has prepared an Action Plan (Strategic Planning) for the period 2016-2018 within the context of its medium-term planning.

The competences of the Authority include the regulation, supervision and control of betting activities which are carried out within the territory of the Republic of Cyprus. The sphere of the Authority’s competence primarily includes the granting of licenses to Class A or Class B licence recipients and to authorized representatives, the carrying out of controls, the general supervision of licence holders, as well as the preparation and issuing of directives for the better implementation of the Law. The Authority, fully comprehending the new industry standards applicable worldwide and the introduction and promotion of new technologies in the industry, has the objective of granting Class B licences, as required by modern developments.

The controls carried out by the Authority concern the carrying out of betting activities in a legal manner, compliance with the rules for the transparent, honest and fair conduct of such activities, the yielding of profits to players, the collection of taxes for the benefit of the Republic and their contribution to the Authority, as well as the enforcement of licensing conditions. The Authority is currently at an early stage of existence and it is necessary, without a doubt, to introduce such structures and procedures that will enable it to carry out its mission.

The adoption of precautionary measures for preventing money laundering from illegal activities is a matter of crucial importance for the Authority. It has thus initiated the procedure for drawing up a relevant guide that will be adopted in collaboration with the competent Advisory Authority for Combating Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing.

Furthermore, the Authority is competent for the implementation of specific measures for the prevention and protection of young persons and vulnerable groups against addiction to betting, as well as the preparation of regulations concerning the mechanisms for the protection of young persons and pathological players. The Authority is aware of the dimensions of betting addiction and it is thus prepared to immediately proceed with the necessary actions for preventing this phenomenon and developing a culture for responsible betting amongst young persons. The cornerstone of this effort is the collaboration of the Authority with the relevant bodies and international organizations.

More specifically, the Authority’s Strategic Planning for the period 2016-2018 consists of five pillars which are further broken down into specific planned projects, so that the Strategic Planning may form a comprehensive tool for setting out and implementing the relevant objectives:

Pillar 1 – Development and implementation of the institutional framework and the operating systems of the Authority

The objective of Pillar 1 is the development and organization of the internal operation of the Authority, along with the planned development of its necessary internal operating rules, the development and completion of the Authority’s internal systems, as well as the acquisition of the necessary technological infrastructure and human resources that will enable the Authority to have a functional model that will respond to its mission in a credible manner.

It is foreseen that the NBA will complete the process for hiring personnel that is knowledgeable on matters falling within the competence of Authority. In addition, education and continuous training of personnel will be provided in the areas of specialization of the Authority, as well as in the appropriate skills that will enable the maximum use of information technologies for the efficient use of human resources for the implementation of the strategy. Furthermore, there are plans for ensuring the necessary and effective supervision (control and monitoring) that will enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the Authority’s functioning, as well as its smooth, efficient and transparent management for enhancing its efficiency. Finally, mechanisms will be implemented for the timely and immediate notification of stakeholders on the decisions and actions taken by the Authority.

A clear definition of roles and a division of the competences of the staff will also benefit the efficient and functional organizational structure of the Authority, according to the main operational processes of the Authority, so as to meet its strategic objectives.

Pillar 2 – Development and implementation of the institutional framework of betting activity

The objective of Pillar 2 is the introduction of specific regulations and decrees concerning the carrying out and supervision of betting activities. The regulations and decrees are adopted in accordance with the applicable legislation and aspire to the optimal interpretation and application of the Law which has the purpose of organizing and regulating the conduct of betting activities. The objective is to prevent and avoid illegal exploitation and profiteering, to protect consumers, to safeguard citizens and especially young persons and vulnerable groups, and finally to protect and act in the interests of citizens and the public in general.

The specific regulations and decrees issued by the Authority are sent to license recipients and notified to authorized representatives. They are also published on the website of the Authority and made available to all stakeholders for their information and implementation.

Pillar 3 – Granting of certifications

The objective of Pillar 3 is the carrying out of controls and the approval of computerized systems for the provision of betting services, which is one of the main regulatory competences of the Authority and an important condition for ensuring the lawful organization and conduct of betting activities as well as the secure collection of public revenue.

Pillar 4 – Development and implementation of a mechanism for monitoring the compliance of the betting market

The objective of Pillar 4 is the development of mechanisms for controlling betting activities for the purpose of encouraging the compliance of the betting market with the Betting Law, the exercise of control over the conduct of betting activities and compliance with commercial communication standards by using modern technological means and methods. In this manner, the Authority will contribute towards meeting the objective that was set for the protection of consumers, while preventing illegal betting activities at the same time.

Pillar 5 – Development of measures for protecting the public, young persons and vulnerable groups

The objective of Pillar 5 is the development and maintenance of a reasonable betting activity, both by adults and minors, and the prevention of excessive waste of money by extent. To accomplish this purpose, the Authority carries out controls and continuously supervises and where necessary, restricts the content, type and intensity of betting schemes provided. By extension, it is planned to develop activities such as the conduct of research and the carrying out of specialized studies, to organize workshops and training programs, as well as develop specialized support tools for addicted individuals according to the standards implemented by international organizations, in cooperation with the competent services.