Posted 1/23/11 : Doubts regarding enforcement and potential to limit Irish competitiveness
The Irish Times has published online gambling operator reactions to the government's proposal to tax remote gaming operators.
A spokesman for Boyle Sports told the newspaper that Irish-based online bookies would be unfairly penalised if the legalization goes through, because the government will find it impossible to collect the proposed tax and duties from operators who access the Irish market but are licensed and based in other jurisdictions that have more corporate-friendly tax structures.
Boyle Sports marketing manager Mark Nunan said extending betting tax gave online operators located outside Ireland an unfair advantage.
“We don’t have a lot of industries doing well right now and one of the sectors that is held in high esteem is the bookmaking industry,” Nunan said. “To be overtly penalising us, while at the same time offering incredibly strong tax incentives to foreign companies to base themselves here, seems a little strange.”
Paddy Power spokesman Paddy Power appeared to have doubts, too, saying: “We have to wait to see how they are going to enforce this but it’s hard to see how they will, short of sending out civil servants to the Caribbean to check the books."
He added “These [offshore] bookmakers are people who make their living by playing ‘catch me if you can’ with the authorities and no government in the world has been able to nail the [tax] collection issue yet.”