Ireland Reforms Online Gambling Taxes

Published Thursday, October 23, 2014 -
Ireland Reforms Online Gambling Taxes

Ireland is an island that has a history going back to prehistoric times. Ireland is also a divided land with Northern Ireland part of the United Kingdom and the South part of the European Union thus there are two currencies and different opportunities. Policymakers have called for the creation of an "all-island economy" to take advantage of economies of scale and boost competitiveness.

The Minister of Finance for Ireland Michael Noonan announced recently that the country will soon adopt a new gambling tax that is set to garner new revenues of as much as €25 million ($31.6 million) for the horse breeding industry. The Irish bloodstock breeding and racing industry is of major national importance in terms of employment (especially in rural areas) as well as in exports and tourism.

Minister Noonan claimed Ireland's tax strategy was to play fair, but the New York Times recently published a scathing editorial criticising the Government for unveiling new measures in the Budget that will allow some companies to cut their tax bills. Ireland has a reputation for giving corporations a break in order to attract there business to Ireland. However in the budget, Noonan declared the closure of the 'Double Irish', which allows companies to shift profits to tax havens, in one of the biggest changes to Ireland's corporate tax structure since the ‘90s.

The reforms to the Betting Act 1931, the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956 and sections of the Finance Act 1992, the new Irish Gambling Control Bill will require offshore operators to obtain Irish licenses prior to offering wagering services to Irish punters. Irish consumers will also be on the hook for a betting tax on all their transactions. Punting shops only charge a mere one percent on bets currently. Being fair the new bill wants all remote and land-based operators, bookmakers and betting exchanges to remit the same tax. Estimates place the revenues at €1.6 billion ($2 billion) wagered by Irish punters online each year.




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