Sunday, July 22, 2012 : IRISH REMOTE GAMING TAX PROPOSAL PUBLISHED
The Betting (Amendment) Bill 2012 will extend the 1 percent betting duty in Ireland to online and offshore bookies
Online bookies accessing the Irish betting market will soon have an extra expense to factor into their financial planning – a 1 percent government tax.
Finance Minister Michael Noonan published the proposal Thursday in the Betting (Amendment) Bill 2012, which seeks to impose the tax and would also make online betting exchanges like Betfair subject to paying a 15 percent gross profit tax.
"This bill will bring into place a fair and equitable licensing and regulatory regime for all bookmakers and betting intermediaries," Noonan said.
"The fact that offshore bookmakers were not subject to the betting levy represented a competitive disadvantage to on-shore firms and also narrowed the State's yield from the levy."
The bill would also allow for shops to stay open until 10pm. Currently, shops cannot open in Ireland past 6pm unless there is an evening event.
The Irish Independent reports that the tax provisions are part of an initiative that will see the licensing and regulation of online sites offering gambling services to Irish punters.
Licenses will be required for any bookmaker whose online operations turn over more than Euro 200,000, or whose turnover includes 10 percent of online bets.
Betting exchanges will require an ‘intermediary' renewable licence at a fee of Euro 5,000.
The licensing and regulation will be supported by an enforcement structure that can levy fines of up to Euro 150,000 and/or prison penalties of up to 5 years for non-compliance with the new Irish law.
The next stage will be a vote for the amendment bill by Irish lawmakers, after which the draft will be referred to the European Commission for its approval before being signed into law, probably in the first hald of 2013.